Year 3 started off this year with a large number of rules they’d chosen themselves. Each of the 4 house groups had contributed their own set. This meant the class ended up with far to many rules to follow and things that were too complex for some members of the class to remember. Generating your own classroom rules is a lovely idea and when we’ve done it before it has worked quite well. This year was different.
We need to intervene and simplify the rules and the language they used. This was designed to help some members of the class who are able to cope better with a reduced volcabulary.
The myriad of rules were quickly put into themes and narrowed down to 4 essential areas. Importantly this process was done as a whole class activity with the assistance of our visiting specialist behavioural management TA. The class still feels ownership of the rules and it was one of the children who suggested calling them the “Golden Rules”. If these simple rules are followed then no one will be in trouble.
We posted the rules in a prominent position in the classroom and also put laminated versions on the tables. We also made a point over the next few days of catching children following the rules and took photos of them. These were added to the display to remind them what good behaviour looks like and that they can all do it.
Here’s a great description of exactly how a visual timetable can work in a classroom. Nicole works with Autistic children in the US and is working on her Phd. She writes:
the “wall” of schedules – each student goes to their schedule, takes off the top picture which tells them what happens next … they take the “sticker” to the location in the classroom with a matching picture on a little bucket, place the “sticker” in the bucket and then do whatever the task is (example, if the next sticker says PE, it will have a picture of kids lining up … they take it to the door, where there is a container with a picture of kids lining up on it … they put their sticker in the bucket and then go to PE, if it says carpet, they put the sticker in the carpet container then sit on the carpet, etc.)
The Snowqueen was a half term long year 3 project a couple of years ago. She was huge- larger than life. She dominated the classroom and was actually very well-loved by some children, despite her evil ways (or possibly because of them 🙂 )
The children really loved making her, and the snowflakes which hung from the ceiling all over the classroom. She was a totally cross curricular project.
The snowflakes were made to link in with year 3 maths, lines of symetry and reflection.
She was a traditional tale -turned into a playscript (literacy)
We investigated various materials to judge their suitability for making Gerda a coat to keep her warm (science).
Oh and we went to see a production of the play, in a theatre, at the end of the term. (PSHE – social skills and knowledge of the world).
Rules of course are there to be ignored :-). This post shows that art work can benefit from a more imaginative approach.This was a wonderful display done as a way of bringing the Ted Hughes classic book to life for a group of reluctant readers. Making the Iron Man himself took ages but the boys were very proud of their handy work. Details were checked with descriptions in the book. It was great for making sure they read and understood the text, could retrieve information, and just generally associated reading the book with having a great time being creative with a favourite teaching assistant. (Now sadly gone to train as an art therapist).