This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the fourth and last in a series about using leveled books to teach the importance of good citizenship and classroom behavior. Click here to read the first post, second post, and third post.
In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to help young students develop positive behavioral skills. Today, I will conclude the series by looking at No Rules from the Kaleidoscope Collection. By reading Friends Are Fun, At School, A Bad Day, and No Rules, your students can become good citizens at school while developing their literacy skills at the same time.
Book Four: NO RULES
Remind the children that for several days, they have been discussing ways that good friendship leads to good school experiences. Use the chart prepared at the last session that shares ways to prevent a bad day.
Display the cover of the book, No Rules. Introduce the grandmother and her granddaughter. Ask students for examples of things they do with a family member and why they enjoy the activities.
- Pages 2–5:
Were rules necessary for everyone to enjoy the activities in the story?
- Do you think the grandmother and granddaughter in the story need rules? What might those rules be?
- What is a rule?
As they hear the story ending, students will understand why the grandmother felt the need for a rule. Provide an opportunity for them to offer comments about what they heard. Reread the last page to help the children compose a rule:
What rule do you think the grandmother thought was needed?
The two in the story were at the grandmother's home. Remind the students that you previously asked them think about rules that are necessary at school. List these responses on the board or on a transparency. If the children need help responding, the following scenarios could be shared. After each, the children can suggest results of the scenario and a corresponding rule:
- Janet sees her friend, Sue leave to go to the restroom. She decides to go and visit with Sue in the restroom.
- William does not listen to the teacher when she explains an activity, so he does not know where to go and what to do.
- Jane talked while the teacher read a story, so the teacher had to stop the story. During group activities, Jane also talks while other students are talking.
- Jimmy's teacher takes out the supplies needed for an art activity. Jimmy does not want to share and grabs something from Joe's hand. Joe becomes angry, and the teacher has to talk to the two boys.
Ask the children to raise a hand if they understand the reasoning behind the rules. After recording and reading the rules from the children, explain that you want the children to follow these rules. Remind them that you will be watching and will be proud of those who follow the rules. They will be helping you and others enjoy the classroom.
On following days, recognize and praise individuals, groups of children, and the entire class when you see one of these rules being followed. At least once a week, read the rules with the students and remind them of the importance of each rule. Other rules can be added as the need for more guidance is seen in the classroom. Involve the students' wording of each new rule and ask them to think about why the rule it is needed.
In summary, remember the importance of the classroom environment and your role in making the classroom a happy and safe place. Research tells us that students in well-managed classrooms have more friends, score in higher percentiles on achievement tests, and become caring and fruitful students as they progress through the school years.
This concludes my series of posts on using books to teach positive behavioral skills in young studnets. To go back to the first post in the series, click here. If you like what you've read here, you can see an archive of my earlier posts here! I contribute fairly frequently, so subscribe to the blog in the upper right sidebar to get my next series of posts delivered directly to your mailbox.
Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.
Click the image below to download an information sheet with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post and books written by Geraldine Haggard.