Free and lawless learning. Sounds like fun… but in the classroom? Disaster. That was last week: mayhem, disruptions, disorder.
So this week, I laid down the law; we started with clear rules, and I reminded the students of the rules through the day. We followed a system, whereby rule followers would earn points. Lastly, a prize: whoever earned 25 points got to take a unicycle home for the day.
Raise hand for permission to speak or leave
Strive to make your teacher happy
Wait to talk to each other after class
Keep hands to selves
Discipline hands (shoulders back, back straight, face forward, hands folded over each other on the table)
Rukiyah won the day. She raised her hand, participated, and held discipline hands nearly the entire time.
Three new kids, who know very little English, wanted to join the class. I let them in on one condition: they follow the rules. Guess who were my most attentive students?