1-2-3 Come Make a Social Contract & Some Classroom Rules With Me
A classroom social contract is quick, easy and fun for your kiddos. By having a say in making up the rules, (even though they will turn out to be the same as a teacher would think of) makes things seem more “fair” and students more accountable.
I love social contracts. I made one up each year no matter what grade I taught. I simply listed my rules on a poster.
We discussed why they were important. Then I had everyone raise their right hand and say “I promise to obey our rules.”
Older students can simply sign another sheet of paper, to be hung up under the poster, but for younger elementary, I liked to have them trace & cut out their hand print, then write their name on top.
Promising, and then signing their name, makes students feel important.
It also makes them accountable and more responsible for their actions.
Promises are big deals to children, so a social contract gives you a lot of behavior modification leverage.
All you have to do when a child gets off track and is breaking the class’s terms of agreement, is to ask, “Did you promise not to do that? Did you sign our contract? How should you act? What should you do?"
Sometimes I didn’t even say anything. As a gentle reminder, I’d give the “rule breaker” the proverbial “teachers stare”.
Once I made eye contact, I’d point to the contract. They’d follow my glance to the poster and I’d simply pat their name.
This gentle reminder, worked wonders.
I didn’t call attention to negative behavior, the child wasn’t embarrassed, and the gentle reminder got them back on track.
Periodically I’d review our contract, especially after long weekends, and vacations.
You can have a whole-group discussion, and ask children to reflect on how they think they’ve done, and ask if you should make additions or changes.
Because my social contract has been so successful in my classroom, I decided to share it in my latest creation for TpT.
The contract snowballed into a 65-page "School Rules Classroom Management" packet.
I think you'll find very useful, as it's "kid-tested & teacher approved" so these positive behavior modification techniques really work, plus they're quick, easy & fun for your kiddos.
I've included 4 social contract poster options.
Choose one & mount the poster on construction paper, glue it to the center of a piece of tag board.
Make a frame of student hand prints either with paint, or by tracing & cutting them out.,
Because accountability is so important, have children write their name over their print.
Besides the social contract posters, the packet is chock full of a variety of ideas & activities for your classroom rules, ensuring a safe, warm, and respectful environment, and includes the following:
“I promised!” slap bracelets. My kiddos LOVE them! Using a square of Scotch tape, I fasten them on at the end of our day.
This is a quick, easy and super-fun way to reinforce the rules, as parents will be prompted to ask: "What did you promise?"
“Actions have consequences” bookmark
Mindful of our “P’s & Q” poster & writing prompt
My personal favorite: "I have rights; I have responsibilities” posters, plus
“We’ve got SWAG” posters, along with matching "I've got SWAG" mini ones. Both are suitable for older students.
I hope you find this social contract idea and the rule packet as helpful and successful for your class, as it was for mine.
In celebration for getting ready to go back to school, the packet is currently on sale in my TpT shop for just $4.95. Click on the link to pop on over.
As always, I have not one, but several FREEBIES for you today! I pulled 10 posters from the packet and rolled them into a Back To School Poster Packet for you. Click on the link to grab these fun FREEBIES today.
Well that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be watching 2 of my grandchildren today (Kaiden 2 & Kaitlyn 8 months) which is such a joy.
There's nothing like the awesome enthusiasm of a child and seeing the world through their adventurous and delighted eyes.
Wishing you a love-filled day filled with precious moments.
"There are not Seven Wonders of the World in the eyes of a child; there are seven million." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Learn Some Hand Signals With Me and Take Control of Interruptions!
Ask any teacher what their students' most frequently asked question is and "Can I go to the bathroom?" will be in the top 3. "Can I get a drink?" and "Can I sharpen my pencil?" Will be right up there as well.
If their question was grammatically incorrect, as with the above use of "can", to help teach appropriate grammar, I'd often reply: "Yes you CAN, but NO, you MAY not." I'd explain this from the beginning and pretty soon all of my students were learning the proper use of the word "may".
Young children, simply being kids, are often interrupting. An obvious remedy to this problem is enforcing the raising of hands. Because this is easily understood, I thought I'd take it a step farther.
If you want to go to the bathroom you make a fist and stick out your thumb. Displaying a specific number of fingers, to signal a need, has been around since I was a child, however, instead of putting up 1 finger, I found it especially helpful, to do the "fist and thumb" for a bathroom request, simply because my Y5's were often raising and waving their hands, but never with a fist. I could then see at a glance, who needed immediate attention.
This technique is so simple, yet really works. Start out by teaching the concept on the 1st day of school. Choose one of the posters, print several copies, laminate, and hang up in several "sure to be seen" places in your room, and then practice a bit.
The hand signals are especially helpful when you are explaining something. No need for a child to raise their hand and state their need out loud. They just put up a hand signal; you make eye contact with that student and nod yes or no. This also avoids children getting out of their seats to ask you, and lessens "copy cats." Have you ever noticed how many kiddo's all of a sudden need to do something, just because one child got the ball rolling?
Some teachers add "Get a tissue" as another signal, but I feel if you need a Kleenex, because you just sneezed and snot is running down your face, no need to hesitate, just go get one and take care of business. I let students know from day one, that they could get a tissue whenever the need arose, and then follow up with a squirt of hand sanitizer shortly after. In all of my years of teaching, no one ever abused the privilege.
Click on the link to view/download the Signal Me anchor chart-poster, and let the training begin! I've also designed a few more classroom posters for back-to-school week. To view the 2nd article I wrote for today, simply scroll down.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others might find useful. My "Pin it" button is at the top. If you'd like to see all of the cute educational ideas I PIN, click on the "Follow me" heart to the right.
"In the garden of my loneliness, trespassers will never be prosecuted." -Ashleigh Brilliant