Rules are an incredibly important part of school, work, and the world around us but often are resented and even ignored. That is why it is important to create a classroom environment that makes rules a positive experience and something that students will willingly and even enthusiastically adhere to. Through some research I have found that as early as eight years old students begin to take interest in rules, logic, how things are put together, how things work and the natural world. As fourth grade progresses your student will begin to see the “bigger world,” including issues of fairness and justice. By the end of this year your son or daughter will be able to think more abstractly and even enjoy rules and logic. With a solid set of rules that a student feels in touch with he or she will become more conscientious with homework and paying attention, structure and organization.
This year students will be more actively involved with the rule making process and hopefully take some ownership into our classroom and school regulations. When you walk by my classroom on the first day of school you may notice that on the bulletin board outside it says, “Mr. Bartholomew’s winning team.” That is ultimately my goal, to create a classroom where we grow as a family and work together to meet all of our objectives.
The first activity we do in the rule making process is to create goals for ourselves both academically and socially. How will you help our class become a winning team? It is important for students and I to do this because without a goal our team does not have incentive to work with each other and guide each other to obtaining them. A team needs something to work towards or strive to be.
Next, we will brainstorm ideas of what kind of rules we need for our team to have a successful year. I can assure you that generating a list of classroom rules comes easy to fourth graders and soon we will have a list of many. This may even be a step that you can be involved in with your son or daughter. Before coming to school discuss with your student what a positive school environment might look like, concentrate on the positive behaviors as opposed to the negative.
A list of many rules will be overwhelming for a student, so we will work hard as a class to consolidate them. Soon a list of many will be narrowed down to a few rules that encompass all that we have brainstormed. The students will create a visual representation of each rule and it will be posted under what Mr. Bartholomew considers the most important rule and what all rules can be filed under. RESPECT!!
With the help of myself, your students, and even you I hope that our classroom will have a terrific season and seasons to come.