Monday, July 16, 2012
Classroom Management Monday- Honor Council
As summer begins it cruel descent...I have been thinking about what I want my classroom to look like this year---not just physically, but classroom management-wise. I have given a lot of thought to what has worked and not worked in the past, and what new things I want to try out. I love my color clip chart...and I am planning to continue to use it, but I would like to do a few other things differently.
One of the areas of weakness I have identified is that I don't give my students enough ownership in their behavior, and allowing them to make more decisions. I realize they are kids, and they get told what to do all the time, but as incoming 5th graders, I think they could handle more of the decision making.
When we do projects I do give them choices, and they pick what the final deliverable is, within the guidelines I give them for the project.
We work together to develop the classroom rules and I dole out consequences that hopefully line up with the rule they break.
One of the ideas I am considering is having an honor council. I would love to do it grade-level wide but would like to try it out in my classroom first. This would be similar to what they have in colleges and universities. Our classroom honor code would be based on the classroom rules.
We would have a council of students elected by the class that would hear infractions and decide the consequence. This would be for major infractions such as lying, cheating or stealing...not minor ones like talking. This council would also honor and celebrate the positive contributions and good decision made my their classmates too.
I realize that some of these infractions, depending on their severity would have to be bumped up to administration. And I also realize I am going to have to get approval by my principal, and buy in form both parents and students.
Unfortunately, many of my students live in an environment when truth, respect, integrity and honor are not valued. So hopefully the benefits of the honor council would move beyond the classroom walls as well.
Has anyone out there done something similar in their classroom? If so, I would love for you to weigh in.