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Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Classroom Belongs to the Kids

1 week down...many more to go!

The first few weeks are all about building relationships, and, as you know, week 1 is critical. Our school is beginning the Leader in Me process this year, so I wanted my students to feel that my classroom really belongs to them.

To start with, I used the 6 Essential Questions activity in groups. Their responses became our class rules. I was really impressed with the rules and consequences they thought up.
They also put their names up...everywhere!
As part of the Leader in Me program, our school came up with a new mission statement, and each classroom came up with their own. We read a few examples, and then I partnered the kids up to see what they would come up with. The result was wonderful!
School mission statement

Class mission statement
Of course, all the artwork is their own! Finally, we needed leadership roles to keep the class running smoothly. The suggestion box underneath is to add anything they think we need. I've already had one suggestion in it!
We're really emphasizing the 5th graders as student leaders for the younger kids in the school. The classroom roles are one way to practice. Many are applying for schoolwide roles as well. 

One thing I love is our bathroom procedures. They put their clip on the first available number. When it is an appropriate time to go, the person on number one goes, then calls the next person on the list and moves all the clips up one number. This way, they're monitoring their own bathroom breaks and not interrupting the class.
The last thing we went through was Class Dojo. I absolutely love this program. It is a simple points system, but with the added advantage of immediate parent contact. Kids and parents can log on to their account online or with a smart phone app to see how they're doing. I can also send out class notifications and contact parents directly if there is an issue. 
Next week we start curriculum. I am teaching only reading and science this year, and I wanted to give the kids a preview of what we'd be learning. We'll begin next week with these anchor charts:
The first week is always exciting, and I can't wait to dive right in next week. Have a wonderful school year!


  1. Have a great year! We are also sort of doing the Leader in Me. We have the book to use as a guide and are making our own stuff up.

    1. It's a pretty cool program; hopefully Northside will be able to get the training soon :)