Over the years, I’ve come to learn that our students know themselves as learners better than we do, so giving them choices and being a coach rather than a manager worked better for me in the classroom. A small change that was hugely transformational was asking the students to create agreements that we would adhere to rather than just a list of rules that I thought would be a good idea. It served to give them ownership because it felt more like our class than just my class. It was a slight but critical shift as I went from transactional to relational in my teaching journey.
Title: Our Classroom Rules!
Author: Kallie George
Illustrator: Jay Fleck
Publisher: Rodale Kids
Birth date: June 13, 2023
Suitable for: ages 3-7
Themes: friendship, teamwork, kindness
Brief synopsis: What are the rules that make a classroom rule?
Opening spread: Our classroom rules! Why?
Because we try to be on time and ready to learn.
Why I like this book: I love a strong read-aloud and I can see giggles and wonder in my future when I imagine taking this to a preK or Kindergarten class and ask them about school. They are such newbie learners that they have such fresh and fun ideas about what should should be and what school could be. This simple but sweet text with its brilliantly delightful illustrations features a diverse class with all of the animals (even worms!) basically learning how to get along with one another so that they can ALL learn. My favorite page? A lot of times, our work is play.
At ALL ages.
The friends in this book learn to play together,
they learn the reciprocal nature of listening,
they learn to work together to keep the space neat and clean,
they learn that mistakes are a part of the process,
they learn to collaborate and share,
they learn to take turns and to be kind.
And they learn that school isn’t about being THE best, but instead doing OUR best, a life lesson that is best modeled, taught, caught and practiced from a young age on, for sure.
Invite your learners to compare and contrast the rules on the poster above with the rules in the book. Which ones do you like? Why are they important? Which ones would you change? Why? What else might you add to make this classroom your very own, to feel comfortable and safe, to feel valued and valuable, to know that you belong in this class family?
Check out this sweet newcomer, then head over
Happy slide into summertime; savor every second
of your well-deserved fun in the sun, dear reader.