Build A Class Chant For A Happy School Year
Set yourself up for a happy school year by establishing classroom rules and a class chant to review classroom expectations everyday.
Picture this: 1:35 pm, your administrator walks in for an unannounced observation. He sits on a small chair at the back of the room and crosses his legs and opens his notebook. Then all the forces chaos and pandemonium hit your classroom. Someone runs with scissors, another gets a bloody nose, the class clown is standing on a chair yelling “Fear Me” and another child is tugging on your shirt telling you that the hamster is dead. And then you wake up. (All of this has happened to me, just not all at one time and not all during an observation- Thank the good Lord!!)
Whewwww!!!! Could this happen in your classroom? Probably not to this extent but dang, it sure feels like it some days. Here’s something you can do now that will keep the forces of chaos and pandemonium at bay.
Planning Now Saves Crying Later
“Stuff” happens in the classroom. Guess who gets to deal with it? You!! The trick is to structure your classroom so that students come in each day knowing you and your expectations. I’m sorry to say that a well run, productive, engaging, fun classroom does not just happen by accident. The faster you can establish and maintain these three systems into your classroom the faster you will be on the road to a better teacher life.
Classroom Discipline and/or Reward System
Now this is one of those touchy areas. People have their own moral/philosophical views on how to handle discipline and rewards in the classroom. I’m going to give you my thoughts but you have to do what works for you. You are the boss of your classroom and you are running the show so run it like a boss and take responsibility for it.
I know some schools have a set of uniform rules for each classroom and that’s fine. If you are allowed to make your own rules keep them in a positive voice, easy to understand and as few as possible.
Here is an example from my classroom (classroom rules)
Go Over Classroom Rules Everday??????
Should you go over the classroom rules every day? In my opinion- Yepper Doodle. It can take about 20 seconds (ummmm yes I did time it.) Here’s how I did it.
The Power Of The Class Chant
I LOOOOOVE a class chant. It is a great way to set the tone for the day, get everyone participating and send out the message of high expectations.
When And How To Do A Class Chant
I like to do the class chant as part of the morning routine. (We will talk about routines in another post). It is the perfect time to review the classroom rules/expectations, get everyone up and moving and participating in whole group activity.
During the morning routine, students stand and recite the class chant. The class chant is the rules of the classroom bundled up into a snazzy recitable sequence. Here’s what mine looked like:
Some Examples Of Classroom "Rules"
I’ve scoured the internet to bring you a list of possible rules for your room. Remember don’t load those little brains down with too many rules. Keep it simple.
- Ready To Learn: looking eyes, listening ears, quiet mouth, helping hands, walking feet
- Raise Your Hand,
- Respect Yourself and Others,
- Hands, Feet and Objects To Yourself,
- Follow Directions the First Time,
- Raise Your Hand and Wait for Your Turn To Speak
- Work Quietly and Do Not Disturb Others
- Show Respect For School and Personal Property
- Listen While Others are Speaking
- We are nice to others
- We help keep our room clean
- We play safely
- We listen to the teachers
- We do our best
- Be nice
- Try hard
- Do your best
- Wait your turn
- Share the supplies
- Play nicely
You Get The Idea….. Now For Your Freebie
PS-I’m new to making the editable PDF format thingy. I’ve tried testing this but if for some reason it’s not working for you let me know and we will figure something out.