Our Classroom Rules are very simple.
1) Do your best!
2) Be safe!
3) Be Respectful!
4) Make it Right!
These rules look different than the "NO" rules we all grew up with, but, in practice they function the same. Raise your hand to speak, share, wait your turn, keep your hands to yourself, use kind words, are still the things we believe in. We have discussed as a class what all these things look like and sound like, and why they are important, and we are working hard to hold one another accountable for them. I am honest with the students about that I too am doing my best and when I make mistakes I work with the person I have wronged to "Make It Right". It is very humbling to ask a first grader's forgiveness, but it is honest! Also it is an amazing opportunity for a child see that no one is perfect, and give them a great model for what to do when they have made a mistake.
I'm sure you have seen or heard already about GOLDEN POND. This is the top of the chart, and in general terms an exceptionally stellar day in First Grade. Most days no student attains this prize, the most students we've had so far is three. So please CELEBRATE when your child reaches this milestone. Did you know that every child comes in and clips into "Ready to Learn" which is green? Every day, regardless of the offenses of the previous day every day is a new day in First Grade, and as the children come in they are "ready to learn". Clipping down happens for breaking classroom or hallway rules or making choices that do not indicate a desire to learn. Two clips down, is red, which is "Teacher Choice" children whose choices lead them to red have a teacher student conference, and a way to Make it Right is determined. This may be a "helper job", lap to walk, letter to write, or teacher chosen lunch seat. Additionally, Red cards are usually accompanied by a note (teacher or student written) of explanation, and a phone call in the afterschool hours. I do my best getting these phone calls out in a timely manner, but I am not able to call long distance from our classroom, nor am I supposed to make these calls from my personal phone. Please also be encouraged that I am not a punisher. My most ardent desire is for each of my students to learn to be respectful, capable, and happy. I also whole-heartedly believe that each child has something they struggle with, just as they have an area they absolutely shine. The best part of teaching is helping them to determine how to maximize their strenthths while shoring up their weaknesses.