Cloud’s Classroom Rules and Voice Levels are a set of two posters designed to assist the elementary classroom Teacher with classroom management in a fun way. These electronic posters can be enlarged.
The beginning of the school year the most important thing a teacher can do is establish their rules and procedures. A classroom should only have about 4 or 5 rules, but there should be lots of procedures. I like these rules.
Cloud’s Classroom Rules:
1. Keep paws and tails to yourself
2. Listen carefully for directions
3. Listen quietly when others speak
4. Raise your paw to be recognized
5. Wag your tail and have fun learning
Procedures are how you want the students to do things and you should show them how you want everything done. You should have procedures for:
1. how to line up
2. how to walk in the halls
3. how to head a paper
4. how to line up and exit the building for a fire drill
5. how to pass out materials
6. how to ask to use the bathroom
7. how to turn in papers
8. Well you get the idea- procedures on how to do everything
A common mistake that teachers make is to assume that the children know how they want them to do something. If you have a room with 20 different students who came from 20 different families and have been raised 20 different ways, when you tell them to line up at the door, it means 20 different things to them. And so you end of with Chaos and the students do not know why you are upset because you told them to line up and they did what you told them to do. Do not assume they know what you mean. Model for them how you want it done and have them practice it. The golden rule is 3 =33. Which means if you spend 3 weeks practicing procedures ( not all day long but as they are doing things) you will have 33 weeks of a calm and controlled classroom. Use pre-correction. This means don’t wait for them to do it the wrong way. Before they begin to say enter the classroom ask, “What are you going to do when you enter the classroom?” Have one of the students answer and them repeat it for the classroom. “Yes, you are going to take out your journals and begin your morning work.” If they don’t do it correctly, “I don’t like how we entered the room. Let’s go back out and try it again.” The little bit of instructional time that is lost due to practicing will be made up later when they all know what to do and you do not have to waste time fussing with them or waiting for them to comply.
Another thing that teachers should teach at the beginning of the year, are voice levels. We use 5 voice levels (actually 6 if you count 0)
• Level 0- is silent- this is what they should be when the teacher is speaking, there are announcements, or someone is sharing with the class.
• Level 1 – is a whisper- This is the voice they should use when they are working with a partner. Only the person they are whispering to should be able to hear their voice.
• Level 2 – is a low voice- This is the voice they use when they are working with their small work groups. Only the students on their table should be able to hear their voice. The students at other tables should not be able to hear them and they should not be talking across tables.
• Level 3- is a teacher voice- This is the voice the teacher uses when she/he wants the class to hear what they are saying. It is also the voice that a student uses when they are sharing or answering a question for the class.
• Level 4 – is the playground voice- This is the voice you use out on the playground when your friends need to hear you from far away.
• Level 5- is a cheering or danger voice- This is the voice you would use at a football game to cheer or to call for help if you or someone else is in danger.
Have the students practice all of the voice levels except 4 and 5. 4 and 5 are not acceptable in the classroom unless the school is on fire. Create a signal like a bell when their voices begin to rise over the correct level so they know to lower their voices.