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Hopes/Dreams and Agreements

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10 tips for creating a class agreement… – What Ed Said. Do a quick google image search for ‘classroom rules’ and ‘classroom agreements’ (or ‘essential agreements’ as they’re called in the PYP) and see if anything surprises you… What I noticed is that, despite the heading, many classroom agreements are still lists of rules.

Do teachers value compliance above learning? These are amongst the most common elements I found, none of which seem to relate to learning... Work quietly.Raise your hand to speak.Listen carefully.Follow instructions.Do your best work.Don’t speak until called on.Be punctual. Have our students’ training and experience set them up to believe that these are are the appropriate expectations for a learning environment? Some are even more extreme and less related to learning… Sit correctly on chairs. Does this set the tone for engaging learning? Here are some of the more appealing inclusions I found, which are more likely to support an environment conducive to learning… and isn’t that the purpose of school?

I really like this one! Essential agreement… – What Ed Said. In a PYP school, every working group (teachers or students) starts off by creating an ‘essential agreement’. In the classroom, this means that, rather than teachers imposing rules, everyone works collaboratively to establish an agreement of how the class will function. Today Jocelyn and I developed our class essential agreement. We started by asking the children to consider carefully and then write down what helps them learn and what hinders their learning. The next step was to share with a partner and find the things they had in common. Later we brought back a list of all the things they had written and, in groups, the students highlighted those they saw as most important for a class essential agreement which will maximise learning for everyone.

This will be collated, brought back one more time to make sure everyone agrees and then we’ll have our class essential agreement! The wordle shows the key words from the students’ original list of what helps them to learn. Like this: Where are the rules? Formulating essential agreements in the PYP. | SharingPYP blog. Michelle Twining, Mount Scopus Memorial College, Australia Following our class discussion on our essential agreement one boy raised his hand. “Where are the rules? If this is an essential agreement, shouldn’t it say the things we can and cannot do?” I was a bit confused at first but then I had to smile. When I said these were not the rules but essential agreements, I realized that, to him, they were the same thing. Further discussion was needed! We started the year thinking about the worth of things and values. When I questioned why they chose what they did, this led to a discussion about the word ‘value’ and a brainstorm around the question, “What do you value?”

Wordle on values Over the course of the next few weeks we created a ‘Wordle’ of values, then noticed things we valued a little and a lot. Then we asked, “If we truly value these things, what will that look like? We framed the sentence structure: ‘We value… so we…’ We changed wording, combined ideas and asked the following questions: Read-Alouds to Inspire Hopes and Dreams. By now you probably know how much I love children’s books! Here are some that would be perfect for launching a discussion of hopes and dreams—the first step in the Responsive Classroom approach to creating classroom rules with students. Last winter I shared a few read-aloud ideas in a post about revisiting hopes and dreams in the new year. Any of those books would work equally well at the start of the year, and here are some more ideas: Big Al by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Yoshi. Big Al is a large, scary-looking, but very nice fish who wants to make friends. All the little fish are scared of him until the day when he has a chance to prove how kind he is.

If you use this book, you could have an underwater display for students’ hopes and dreams, featuring Big Al and the smaller fish to remind your students of the story that launched their own goal-making. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Brian Selznick. Pop! "It All Begins With Hopes and Dreams" Six months ago, a second grader at Roundtown Elementary, a K–3 school in York, Pennsylvania, brought a simple idea to a whole-school assembly—to place a bench on the playground for students who feel lonely and want someone to play with—and the story went viral. First, the “buddy bench” idea was featured in a local newspaper.

From there, it caught the attention of major media outlets and Facebook users. Now, over 300 schools across the country have brought a buddy bench to their playgrounds. Principal Matt Miller still receives almost daily inquiries from school leaders across the country seeking answers to these questions: How did you create a school culture that enabled this to happen? What’s the key to your success? “While the media has focused on the bench itself, this is really a story about empowering students, about creating a culture where students’ ideas are encouraged and celebrated,” says Miller. Starting the Year With Hopes and Dreams Buddy Bench Began as a Hope and Dream.