Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thinking about Our Hopes

Responsive Classroom suggests creating classroom rules using students 'Hopes and Dreams' for the year. I've found it to be a fun and effective method. This year I decided to use ThinkBlocks and the Patterns of Thinking to help us.

I shared my hope for the year and gave the students time to think about theirs and to talk with a friend. Then, as students shared their hopes I wrote each one on a big ThinkBlock. The next day we returned to our ThinkBlocks. I grabbed the medium sized ones and began sharing the parts of my hope. I talked about the things I would do in order to make my hope happen and the things I would need others to do. Students then shared the parts of their hopes. (They felt especially motivated to do so in order to get some medium ThinkBlocks. It's amusingly impressive.)

Finally, the next day we discussed how we can help each other successfully complete our hopes. The list was fairly short and surprisingly focused. In the end our class rules are: Be Kind and Help Others.

We did talk about being kind to people and to things (furniture, walls, supplies, etc.).

Be Kind and Help Others. I can live with that.


Jill Fisch said...

I love your idea of using ThinkBlocks for this activity. I have never used them but they sound like a great way to organize your thoughts. I also like your classroom rule. As a school we all have one rule: You may do anything that does not cause a problem for you or anyone else in the world. It really does "cover" everything and it makes the kids really think about their actions and if they are causing a problem for anyone.

Jenny said...

@Jill Fisch What a great school rule. How was that developed? How is it communicated to the students? I think school rules are so much harder than classroom rules. For the 20 of us to develop and rule and abide by it is a lot easier than all 850 kids.

organized chaos said...

LOVE it!! Next year can I borrow your massive amounts of think-blocks so we can do that too?


Jill Fisch said...

I actually don't remember how the school rule started anymore. Sorry. Now we talk about it in our morning meetings and at our All School Meetings at the beginning of the school year. I do an interactive writing activity with my first graders where we all write the rule together on chart paper and then sign it. The upper grades have two more parts to the rule about solving any problems that may arise but we don't use those in the primary grades.

Megan said...

Hi! I'm your newest follower- a Kindergarten teacher in Kansas. :) Nice to meet yoU! Love your blog and am anxious to read more.