Friday, June 03, 2011

Rules 2010-11

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 poison
No playing with trash cans
No pushing
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:

I Have A Rule!
The Rule Of Law
You Can't Say You Can't Play
Gun Play
"You And Your Friends Agreed"

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Juliet Robertson said...

And all very sensible too.

Mind you, last year I visited a school with only one rule...we care. That was it. Now there's a thought!

Carrie said...

I really like the rule "No walking in real monster teeth." It is too often left off of lists:)

Michaele Sommerville said...

The "No kitty butt..." rule should be mandatory everywhere. :) Love these rules.

RebbeccaJ said...

Isn't it funny how good they are coming up with rules that start with "NO." Because we are one of those schools that tries not to use no, except in the most necessary cases, we came up with three simple rules that seems to cover it all:

1- We will take care of ourselves.
2- We will take care of each other.
3- We will take care of our classroom.

And then of course we have a great discussion on how we might carry out these rules (let the "no's" begin!) It works pretty well for us!

Jamie K said...

Hi, my name is Jamie, and I'm a 4th year music education major at Illinois State University. I really enjoyed this post! I thought it was a great example of what students can do given the chance. Younger kids are much more inclined to follow their own rules than someone else's! I am looking at being a general music teacher - working with students K-5. General music involves a lot of fun instruments, and if there aren't enough, it's hard to set up a sharing system that leaves everyone happy. I think that leaving it up to the students to make the rules about sharing instruments might be worth a shot - it's something I'll have to try! Thanks for the idea!

pamlovesbooks said...

my 2-3s really REALLY get mad when someone knocks down their tower/building, so I'm glad you have that rule on there.

HeidiSongs said...

I really loved this list of rules! I am going to let my kids create their own list next year and see what happens. I love the idea. I also read your previous post on "No Guns." It was the one where the boys made something that looked like a gun, but claimed it was a "Love Shooter." Hilarious! :)
Heidi Butkus said...

I adore this list. It's so practical...!

Anonymous said...

You just can't argue about any of them!

Caro said...

Number 16 is my favourite. Always will be. ;) x

Mrs. Karen said...

We have only two rules in my classroom - (1) do not hurt anyone (that includes their feelings and their bodies) If you throw something it might hit someone and that would hurt ahhhhhh! (2) have fun.