So far, I've gone over the Introduction, Cornerstone #1: Self Control, Cornerstone #2: Choice, and Cornerstone #3: Communication. We're now moving on to Cornerstone #4: Community.
Our district uses Conscious Discipline for our preschool kids and 2nd Step for K-5 kiddos, but I have found that adding the Golden Rule into our daily routine and lessons to go along with it has helped out tremendously. The programs we have are great, but my kids need more. Lots more. We have our regular rules my mentor teacher recommended (Follow directions the first time. Keep your hands, feet, and objects to yourself. Be on task.) and we have added that all encompassing Golden Rule. We talk about it ALL. THE. TIME.
Successful classrooms have several of the same characteristics:
I love adding homey touches to our classroom. I moved into a room with windows this year and it is AMAZING the difference some natural light can make on all our attitudes. I think as a kindergarten teacher, creating a colorful and cheerful environment is just in our nature.
Our class name is KinderKorn. My son actually came up with it, but my class thinks it's hilarious, so it stuck.
Children crave routine and stability. We are creatures of habit. Those rituals and routines make us feel secure since we know what to expect. (They make life easier on our subs, too because the kids just know what to do.)
We have done this a couple times, but I should do it more often. When the kids help problem solve, they take ownership overt the decisions and help keep others on track. They hold each other accountable, which builds responsibility.
My kids were stressed/excited around the holidays. They were ready for Christmas, but several also had personal things going on at home. It was a tough month for everybody. There were many times we had to change courses and find other ways to teach the material without all of us losing our minds. There was LOTS of painting...
There are many ways we can reward our students' good behavior and encourage them to keep it up. It doesn't even have to cost us anything either...
The key things to remember about building community though lie in these 3 points:
- You catch more flies with honey than vinegar
- Members of communities help one another
- Everyone fits in
When we create all inclusive environments like this, everyone feels a sense of belonging and security.
I hope there is something in this post that struck you. Join us Thursday for the last part of our book study: The Toolbox of Management Techniques.