Creating a Behavior Contract in Your Classroom
Students will be able to produce a behavior contract as a guiding document for their school year.
- Tell your class that today they'll be talking about rules for the classroom.
- Ask for a volunteer to tell everyone what rules are. After some discussion, define rules as guidelines or regulations for conduct or action.
- Instruct your class to think about past classroom rules they’ve known, current school rules, and even rules they have at home. Have your students turn and share those rules with each other.
- Get students attention and have volunteers share out rules.
- As students share out, use markers and blank chart paper to write out the rules given.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Define the concept of classroom rules and justification for their purpose. For example: Agreeing to the same classroom rules is important for all of us to do. When we follow rules, we can learn, keep each other safe, and make our classroom a safe place to be.
- Explain the lesson's objective in kid-friendly terms, defining the word contract as you go along. For example: Today we are going to create a set of our own classroom rules that we agree to follow. After we make it, we will each sign the rule chart as a symbol of our agreement to follow it. This is an example of a contract, a written or spoken agreement.
- Tell your students that everyone will brainstorm which heading each rule falls under: Take care of our classroom and school, Be kind, or Work hard.
- Choose three typical class rules, write each on a sticky note and think aloud where that rule should be sorted. Indicate the supplies and explain the activity. Show the charts pre-made with rules.
Guided Practice(7 minutes)
- Have your students turn and talk with their partner to think of two more rules.
- Instruct your class to write each rule on a sticky note along with their names.
- Bring the group back together and have 3-4 students come up and sort their sticky notes under each rule heading and explain their thinking for sorting.
Independent working time(5 minutes)
- Assess students' understanding and ask if all students agree on how the rules have been sorted.
- For students who did not come up to the board, have them write out the heading they think their written rule(s) goes under.
- Have students reflect and identify personal goals for their behavior and include them in their own personal behavior contract. Encourage them to write written explanations of why a certain rule follows under one of the given classroom rules.
- Provide cloze sentences for rules on sticky notes that allow striving students to fill in the blank. During the turn and talk portions of the lesson, provide written sentence starters to allow students to more successfully engage in conversation.
- Instead of using given materials, this activity could also be done using an interactive whiteboard. Teachers could type up student rules that are shared, and then students could sort using touch technology.
- During the review and closing, students could sign using a digital pen.
- Collect and sort remaining sticky notes after lesson. How students categorized these rules will be an assessment of the students' understanding of the activity.
Review and closing(7 minutes)
- Tell your students that now that they have a list of rules, it's time for everyone to sign it as an agreement to follow the class rules.
- Have each student individually walk up to the chart to sign his or her first name.
- Finish the lesson by signing your name at the end.