Each year brings a new crop of kiddos eager to learn and play into my classroom. It's like I forget that they are newbies and that we have to start back at the beginning again. LOL! The first thing every teacher needs to establish at the beginning of the year is what the rules and expectations are in the classroom. Without these lessons there would be chaos! That is why each year we start off talking about what rules are and their purpose, paired with who authority figures are and how they enforce the rules.
We begin by reading this book by Ellen Japernick. I love this book because sometimes kiddos feel like what they are doing is not a big deal. Seeing how the author explains what happens when "everyone does that" opens their eyes a bit and is a great engaging lesson. It leads the discussion into about what rules are and WHY we have them, to keep us and others safe.
First we brainstormed and identified rules that we have at home and at school. Students always love when I put their initials next to their contribution!
The next day we completed this simple rules and authority figures activity sort as a class. My first grader (I teach a combo Kinder/1st class) did it on her own. It is a great way for students to demonstrate that rules are not the same in all areas of their life.
The next day we reviewed what the purpose is for having rules and they demonstrated knowledge by writing about it using a sentence stem and illustrating. I scribed for my Kinders and my Firsty wrote hers by herself.
On Thursday we identified and sorted authority figures in the home, at school, and in the community as a whole group using these authority figures activity cards.
We also discussed how authority figures make and enforce the rules as a whole group. They used this authority figures activity foldable to independently identify an authority figure for the home, school, and community and showed them enforcing the rules.
The best part for me was seeing how they interpreted me as the authority figure at school "enforcing the rules". LOL! So adorable. To finish off this unit on rules and authority figures they predicted what would happen at school if there weren't any rules at school. They thought this was hilarious and loved getting creative with this activity in their Social Studies journals.
Download these rules and authority figures activities today and be on your way to teaching why rules are important in the home, at school, and in your community.
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Growing my gifts according to His grace.
~ Danielle Mae