Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Raising Responsible Learners


Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Running a responsible classroom is something we've worked hard to accomplish each year for over 20 years. It seems as time has gone by, there is a greater need to teach these small humans to care, share, and be aware of themselves, others, their surroundings, and their belongings. Truth be told, these lessons (on being responsible) were once presumed to be home parenting lessons. Truth be told, they are not always assumed to be home parenting lessons nowadays. So we do what we do best...We teach...Reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art, PE, music, and responsibility. That's a lot of responsibility for all of us! 
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
 We have learned as teachers that we cannot simply teach responsibility. It is a year-long process in our classroom. It's an experience that ebbs and flows through our classroom each day, every week, all year long. It is a marathon, not a sprint. As we look around at the end of each school year, we are amazed at how far they've come, how independent they now are, and how responsible they've proved they could really be just by being given a chance...No. Loads of chances all year long!

As we work our way through another school year,  here are a few successful ways we integrate opportunities to practice responsibility in our classroom.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
From the time they hit the halls, our school greets them with a hearty HELLO which tells them exactly how to start their school day the responsible way. Visual reminders are a fantastic way to take yourself out of the teacher reminder equation and give the power to them. Teach them where to look and what to do and they can do it!
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Our backpack hooks outside of our classroom have number labels over each hook. Each student in our class is assigned a number as part of our organization system. We don't use their numbers often because we prefer to use their names, but when we do use them we find it gets our class organized and showing responsibility quickly.  Our students are responsible for hanging their backpacks on their numbered hook each day. It makes it simple for us too if the office calls them to leave early for the day and we have to find their stuff for them. We just printed labels in our word program. We highly recommend covering labels with clear packaging tape so they last many years.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Lunch count is a daily chore, but not for us anymore! We set this clipboard outside each morning and our lunch buyers are responsible for signing themselves up. Then, we simply gather the clipboard when the school day starts and enter our hot lunch total for the day into our school attendance system. We keep a school lunch menu clipped behind the daily lunch count and tie a pencil to the clipboard for obvious 'pencils grow legs' reasons. 😉
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
We've trained our class to turn everything into the "Black Tray"...Not to be confused with the Black Hole. Things don't typically disappear if they're placed there. It's our catch-all for collecting anything and everything from their little hands as they walk in the classroom door. It is their responsibility to turn things into the Black Tray and we never allow them to hand anything to us...Put it in the black tray!
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Our weekly reading program, Buddy Books, gives students several ways to practice responsibility. From taking care of their classroom borrowed books to reading them at home and remembering to return them on their assigned day (we only collect 5 per day which coincide with their Sharing Days each week).
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
All class work is taken home on Fridays in their Friday Folders. This is a predictable, weekly opportunity to show responsibility. If they bring their Friday Folders back on time, showing responsibility, they earn a sticker for their Sticker Boards.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Taking attendance is easy and puts the task in their hands. We created this attendance board for our Promethean Board. As students enter, they dive into learning by moving their fish into the sea.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
We adore the idea of numerous class helpers, but honestly, it just hasn't worked for us in first grade over the years. Instead, we have a Person of the Day each day who is our handy helper for the entire day. Some of their classroom responsibilities include being the line leader, office runner, lunch tub taker, and any other task we can summon them for to give them an opportunity to show responsibility.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Kids love checklists...Like pizza, mac and cheese level love, love checklists! Come about January, we like to mix things up a little and give our Person of the Day a checklist for classroom jobs they need to read and complete on their day. Give them a clipboard to go with that checklist and they squeal with joy. Seriously.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Okay, this is our favorite way to set the tone and start each day ready to be responsible for ourselves. We posted the video on our Instagram and Facebook page, so head over there to watch, but what can we say, this is the best thing we've started in our classroom. Love, love our Daily Pledge! We're sharing it with you.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
A huge part of responsibility in our classroom is accountability. While we understand they are just learning, we also hold them accountable when they make mistakes. Our philosophy - Little people, little mistakes. So, we treat it as such. I mean, is an "Oopsy Daisy Note" the end of the world. With a name like that, absolutely not! :) But, they get the message loud and clear. If you forget to bring something in in our classroom, you'll need to complete an oopsy daisy and bring it back tomorrow. The End.
PASTE IMG CODE HERE
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Homework passes are great motivators for showing responsibility in our classroom. We like to reward responsibility with rest! You can download our Homework Passes for Responsible Classes for free.
CHAMPS classrooms for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
We are a CHAMPS school and we use it in our classroom to hold students accountable and keep them responsible each and every day. When we begin an activity we, "CHAMP it out". When we come to the rug we, "CHAMP it out". You get the picture. We are a CHAMPS classroom and CHAMPS are responsible for themselves and their own learning. 
CHAMPS classrooms for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Have a few CHAMPS in training? We give those kids who need a little extra, differentiated practice with responsibility their own CHAMPS boards and help them set goals for ways they can CHAMP up their game in our classroom.
CHAMPS classrooms for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
We love rewarding responsibility with our Super CHAMPS awards. It's amazing what a little piece of bright yellow paper will do to the self-esteem. We love sharing with parents how their children displayed responsibility. Who knows...Maybe it will rub off at home too! 😉
Listening activities for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
If you've been fluttering along with our blog for a while you know we hold listening to the highest standard in our classroom. If they aren't listening, they aren't learning! Listen Up is our favorite way to build responsible learners fast in our classroom. We practice these daily, then weekly, then in centers, then for homework. The listening practice never ends and before we know it, we can hear the responsible learning day in and day out in our class.
Listening activities for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Classroom dismissal procedures made simple! Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Do you dread dismissal time? We did too! But, not anymore. We literally just say BYE and they are responsible for Belongings, Your mail, Every chair up. Get it? BYE!
Shoe tying take home. Help families bridge the gap between home and school by sending home helpful tips, tricks and practice reminders for teaching kids how to tie their own shoes.
Sometimes our responsibility lessons get sent home. Shoe tying is a home responsibility, we hope. If possible (given the students have support at home, otherwise we carve out time during our day to sit with them ourselves), we send home our Shoe Tying Take Home Freebie to learn this life skill.Classroom newsletters to build responsibility in the classroom and at home.
The last tip is a secret, so come in real close. Do parents in your classroom need some responsibility reminders from time to time too? These two moms say, WE DO! We tend to slip secret notes into our class newsletters just to see which parents are taking the responsibility of reading. Shhhh...Now you know. 

Responsibility in the classroom is a year-long goal with loads of opportunities for our students to practice taking the reigns for themselves, their surroundings and their own learning. 

2 comments:

  1. Wow! Wow! Wow!!! What a gift this was this morning. Thank you for taking the time to post these wonderful ideas! Thank you for your generosity!!! I especially love the pledge. We have been saying-May my hands work with care, my heart work with love and my mind work with attention, but I think it would be fun to have something new for the end of the year. Yay!
    Julie
    First Grade

    ReplyDelete

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