This school year I’m not putting rules up in my computer lab. Sure, there will be lab procedures posted (walk to your seat silently, make sure your mouse and keyboard are neatly stowed), but there will be no list of rules.
Instead, each class (about 8 classes will be coming through the lab over the course of a week) will come up with a list of 5 can do’s. Students will have about 15 minutes to work in pairs and come up with a list of their own. Then, they will share out their lists, with teacher recording each list item. Then, students will vote on which ones their class wants to add the wall. Each class will have their ideas represented on papers with each of the can do’s written by a student or students in the class.
The concept is for students to think about the possibilities for the coming year, for the kinds of things we will be doing, as well as for norms for how we behave, interact and learn.
During the course of the year, I’m hoping it will be easy to redirect a student by either stating that whatever they’re doing is not on the Can Do wall or ask them if it is, thereby making it a reference point for classroom culture.
The wall may grow and change over the course of the year as we encounter new situations or conversations.
I’m not sure whether I’m completely insane and will regret this or whether it will make a positive change in my classroom.
Thanks to Sue Connelly for inspiring me to write a post about my endeavor and to Brad Campbell for the inspiration for the idea!