Classroom norms have been a game changer. Rules are rules. Procedures are procedures but norms feel different and it's right in the name! NORM- what is a normal occurrence in our classroom. Here are the norms that I've implemented this year and am LOVING. Disclaimer...these are not my original ideas, just what is working for me! Bryce Hedstrom discusses Norm #1 & 2 here.
Norm #1- Classroom passwords
See my brief post on classroom passwords here.
Norm #2- Act of Appreciation
The students love this. This is tied to our end-of-the-hour procedure.
-"Gracias por aprender hoy."
-"Gracias por enseñarnos hoy."
This practice is not only a classroom management strategy but establishing this as a norm reminds my students DAILY that I care about them. That could be the single most important thing that we do, right? My students may not remember what I teach them but they will remember how I made them FEEL!
Norm #3- Listen with the intent to understand.
This year I spent time discussing input with my students. It was a brief but an important conversation. I didn't bore them with a ton of research but every student can tell me the that "input is all the language you receive". Students love to know the WHY. We ask them to be respectful, use Spanish only, listen with your eyes and ears.
These are not revolutionary rules that I'm asking of my students. All teachers want their kids to be respectful. All teachers want their kids to focus, listen, respond when asked to, pay attention to the person that is talking...but in Spanish class it means something different. My students know and can explain to me that English use during class interrupts their INPUT and the FLOW. Now that they understand INPUT and the importance it has on their language acquisition, we get more done, we have more fun and they respect the process!
Norm #4- We read at the beginning of the hour, EVERY DAY.
Self-Directed Reading (AKA FVR) at the beginning of the hour. More to come on this but for now, it's a game changer. If you're considering implementing it, do it. It's worth the time, the research, the investment. Your kids are worth it.