In the process of unpacking our stuff in our new location, I came across the list of rules under which our 3-5's class operated for the 2010-11 school year. Each year we begin our first week in a state of official anarchy, the only rules being those mandated by our insurance company (like hand washing), but usually by the end of the first week of class, the kids are starting to feel the need to legislate certain behaviors.
Typically, one of the older kids will fondly recall how having a set of mutually agreed upon rules helped make preschool a better place the year before, raise his hand, and suggest a rule. If there are no objections, then we add the rule to the list which we post in a prominent place on the wall. The first set of rules tends to be of the general and utilitarian variety, like "no hitting," and "no taking things," although this year's class included several rules for pedestrians among its founding principles, perhaps anticipating the record number of field trips we would take this year.
We continue to make rules throughout the year as the need arises. For more information about how we make and "use" these rules in the classroom, I've provided a few links to former "rules" posts below.
This is a shorter list than what we've had in years past, but they served us. Without further ado, here they are more or less in the order in which we made them:
No swiping stuff
No ripping toys out of people's hands
No parking by a no parking sign
No knocking down paintings
No knocking down toys
No playing with sharp knives
No crossing the street unless a sign says "go" or a grown-up says so
No walking in real monster teeth
No messing up people's art
No hitting -- never!
No hitting heads
Washing your hands after the bathroom
No being bad
No potty talk (except in the bathroom)
No breaking paper
It's okay to play
No putting knives in people's eyes
You can't say you can't play
No driving unless it says "go"
No knocking down plastic dinosaurs
No getting into trouble
No saying "stupid" or "damn it"
No getting in a dragon's mouth
No walking on the wall
No walking on cardboard boxes
No playing with trash cans
No pulling hair
No knocking people
No real volcanos
No poking things in people's eyes
No spraying poison on people's faces or on their hands
No putting anything in people's eyes
No real weapons
No shooting people
No spitting on the floor
No going into outer space and crashing a car
No saying bad things
No knocking down buildings you don't help build
No kitty butts in people's faces
No knocking down a "no knocking down" building
No talking about killing
No putting toys on yucky cookie faces
You can sit on your knees in the back row
No throwing people
No throwing dinosaurs
No putting fingers in people's ears
No wearing other people's shoes unless they say it's okay
Links to the hows and whys of Woodland Park's rule making:
This is my personal blog and is not a publication of the Woodland Park Cooperative Preschools. I put a lot of time and effort into it. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
I am a preschool teacher, writer, speaker, artist and the author of "A Parent's Guide To Seattle".
For the past 15 years, I've taught preschool at the Woodland Park Cooperative School. The children come to us as 2-year-olds in diapers and leave as "sophisticated" 5-year-olds ready for kindergarten.
The cooperative school model allows me to work very closely with families in a true community setting.
I intend to teach at Woodland Park for the rest of my life. I love the kids and I love the families. It's an incredibly rewarding job.
(I have recently realized that I have some stories about my hometown of Seattle that I want to tell which don't really fit the Teacher Tom blog, so I've started a new one called Stories From 6th Avenue where I'll be occasionally writing about my city.)