Recently Kendra shared about a book she's using in Circle Time this year called The Essential 55. The book outlines the classroom rules of teacher Ron Clark.
I checked it out at our library, and jotted down some of the rules that I would like to discuss with the kids over the next few months. At the outset, many of these seem pretty obvious: the "rules" are simply guidelines for common courtesy-- but my kids definitely benefit from having these explained to them, and I like to do a little role-playing, too- and try to give them examples of how they could be courteous in their everyday interactions with others.
I've tweaked the wording of some of the rules a bit, and combined a couple, but here are the rules we covered this morning:
1. When responding to an adult, answer by saying either "Yes, please", "No thank you" or "Yes, Mr. Smith" or "No, Mrs. Johnson". (He requires his students to say Yes, ma'am and No, sir, but that has always felt a bit awkward to me, so we're sticking with Mr. and Mrs. and pleases and thank you's.)
2. Make eye contact. When someone is speaking, keep your eyes on him or her at all times. If someone makes a comment, turn and face that person. (I find this one is difficult even for me! I am so in the habit of counting my children or keeping my eye on them when I'm talking to someone, that even when the kids are *not* with me, I always seem to be looking around when I speak.)
3. If someone wins a game or does something well, congratulate that person. Say "Great job!", clap or show enthusiasm for their good work. Do not get angry or cry because you lost. Conversely, if YOU win the game or do well at something, do not brag.
4. When you are asked a question in conversation, you should ask a question in return. It is only polite to show that you are just as interested in them as they are in you.