Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WBT: Five Rules

“The rules are simple!” ― Kazuki Takahashi

A classroom can't run efficiently without a set of rules. Many teachers, myself included, have in the past started their year by creating a class set together with their students. I was led to believe this would help my class feel ownership of their rules, but there is little evidence to prove this opinion. With Whole Brain teaching, students are presented with a set of ready made rules complete with actions to learn from their teacher  the very first day. These simple rules are easy to learn and remember.

One important aspect of using rules in a whole brain classroom is that the rules are not simply posted and forgotten soon after they are taught. Instead, whole brain teachers find ways to ensure they are constantly running through the heads of their students. To make this happen, it is important to review the rules and their actions EVERY SINGLE DAY. Students need repetition and daily reminders like fish need water. But simply reviewing the rules every morning will be boring, and students need to be engaged, so it is important to review in the whole brain way, which involves reciting the rules in different voices- loud, whisper, slow, fast, robot, opera, etc. Doing this should make the students eager to see what the next review will bring, while ensuring the rules are recently on their brains.

Once students have the rules ingrained on their brains, all the teacher has to do when rules are being broken is to call out the corresponding number, and the whole class will stop what they are doing and perform the memory action while reciting the rule. The offending student or students are never pointed to or mentioned by name, but by having the class repeat the rule they should be instantly reminded of their expected behaviour and will feel instantly chagrined.

What's great about these rules is that they are very true to the spirit of Whole Brain teaching. They touch on every aspect of our brains practical use! Students see the posters, hear the rules, do they rules and say the rules. They are even feeling the rules when they realize they have broken one and the whole class breaks out into a repetition of the broken rule.

I look forward to implementing these five awesome rules when I teach again. Of course I could use the methods with any set of rules, but they wouldn't have the associated actions, or the nuclear power of rule number five!

First Steps
Hands and Eyes
Mirror and Switch

This is in response to the First Steps Article: Five Classroom Rules.
This is the last in this series, I will now begin to dig more deeply into the articles and videos available on the Whole Brain Teaching Website and continue to participate in the Facebook Courses.

To get your own copy of my rules posters, please click on the above image, or the sample below to go directly to the Google Document.

I've linked this freebie to:
Freebie Fridays

Do you have an idea for a future post, or are interested in guest blogging or having me write a guest post? Please comment or email me!

Want to find awesome resources for your Early Childhood Education classroom?
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  1. Hi Mrs. D! I've been a follower of your blog for quite some time. I'd love if you could add a link to this post in my FREEBIE classroom décor linky party.

    All the best,
    Emer at A Crucial Week

  2. The 5 rules are the easiest rules, everyone gets them, everyone knows when they are breaking them and best of all, I can remember them too!
    I am now your newest follower.
    Think all night…..Teach all day

  3. Thanks a million for linking up and for adding the button!


  4. Hi,
    Thanks for this great freebie! I love all of this EBT stuff!
    Your Follower,
    Corinna :)
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

  5. I like your rules...especially, "Keep your dear teacher happy!" Hopefully your students can follow that rule;) I'm with you, in my personal opinion, making rules as a class doesn't make a drastic difference in the class ownership. I'll be posting my rules before the students even arrive for open house:)

    We are ALL Special!

  6. Hi Mrs D...many thanks for your fantastic resources. My nurture student love them......good boundaries :)


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