1-2-3 Come Make a Social Contract & Some Classroom Rules With Me
A classroom social contract is quick, easy and fun for your kiddos. By having a say in making up the rules, (even though they will turn out to be the same as a teacher would think of) makes things seem more “fair” and students more accountable.
I love social contracts. I made one up each year no matter what grade I taught. I simply listed my rules on a poster.
We discussed why they were important. Then I had everyone raise their right hand and say “I promise to obey our rules.”
Older students can simply sign another sheet of paper, to be hung up under the poster, but for younger elementary, I liked to have them trace & cut out their hand print, then write their name on top.
Promising, and then signing their name, makes students feel important.
It also makes them accountable and more responsible for their actions.
Promises are big deals to children, so a social contract gives you a lot of behavior modification leverage.
All you have to do when a child gets off track and is breaking the class’s terms of agreement, is to ask, “Did you promise not to do that? Did you sign our contract? How should you act? What should you do?"
Sometimes I didn’t even say anything. As a gentle reminder, I’d give the “rule breaker” the proverbial “teachers stare”.
Once I made eye contact, I’d point to the contract. They’d follow my glance to the poster and I’d simply pat their name.
This gentle reminder, worked wonders.
I didn’t call attention to negative behavior, the child wasn’t embarrassed, and the gentle reminder got them back on track.
Periodically I’d review our contract, especially after long weekends, and vacations.
You can have a whole-group discussion, and ask children to reflect on how they think they’ve done, and ask if you should make additions or changes.
Because my social contract has been so successful in my classroom, I decided to share it in my latest creation for TpT.
The contract snowballed into a 65-page "School Rules Classroom Management" packet.
I think you'll find very useful, as it's "kid-tested & teacher approved" so these positive behavior modification techniques really work, plus they're quick, easy & fun for your kiddos.
I've included 4 social contract poster options.
Choose one & mount the poster on construction paper, glue it to the center of a piece of tag board.
Make a frame of student hand prints either with paint, or by tracing & cutting them out.,
Because accountability is so important, have children write their name over their print.
Besides the social contract posters, the packet is chock full of a variety of ideas & activities for your classroom rules, ensuring a safe, warm, and respectful environment, and includes the following:
- 2, emergent-reader rule booklets (For more personal accountability there's one with girl graphics as well as one for boys, which students enjoy coloring.)
- A matching social contract mini poster, and personal “I promise” bookmark.
- 51 pocket chart promise cards, giving you a broad selection of rule cards to choose from.
- 15 (rule-oriented motivational) posters
- 3 options for “Ready-Set-Write the Rules” to help reinforce what you’ve just shared.
- Several notes home from the children.
“I promised!” slap bracelets. My kiddos LOVE them! Using a square of Scotch tape, I fasten them on at the end of our day.
This is a quick, easy and super-fun way to reinforce the rules, as parents will be prompted to ask: "What did you promise?"
“Actions have consequences” bookmark
Mindful of our “P’s & Q” poster & writing prompt
My personal favorite: "I have rights; I have responsibilities” posters, plus
“We’ve got SWAG” posters, along with matching "I've got SWAG" mini ones. Both are suitable for older students.
I hope you find this social contract idea and the rule packet as helpful and successful for your class, as it was for mine.
In celebration for getting ready to go back to school, the packet is currently on sale in my TpT shop for just $4.95. Click on the link to pop on over.
As always, I have not one, but several FREEBIES for you today! I pulled 10 posters from the packet and rolled them into a Back To School Poster Packet for you. Click on the link to grab these fun FREEBIES today.
Well that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be watching 2 of my grandchildren today (Kaiden 2 & Kaitlyn 8 months) which is such a joy.
There's nothing like the awesome enthusiasm of a child and seeing the world through their adventurous and delighted eyes.
Wishing you a love-filled day filled with precious moments.
"There are not Seven Wonders of the World in the eyes of a child; there are seven million." -Unknown