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You Know the Rules

This year we tried something different when it came time to discussing the rules. After reading Teacher Tom's First Book, I was inspired to try his way of introducing the rules this year. I tacked two big pieces of paper over our big chalkboard on the first day of school and waited for a couple of days and a few incidents to occur before we sat down in group conversation to talk about what rules are ("we are going to make an agreement") why we should have them ("so that we can all feel safe and happy here"). Then we opened up the discussion for everyone to pitch rules they could come up with and discussed together whether or not we should agree to them (and write them on our big paper) or not.

The first thing that was different about this approach was that I was transcribing the rules in their own words instead of positively phrasing their suggestions. I just wrote what they said, so on our board it read "no hitting" instead of "be gentle" …

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