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Class Agreements

Page history last edited by Martha Hickson 12 years, 4 months ago

The sixth element of classroom synergy is class agreements.  Reached by consensus, class agreements serve as the map that guides student and teacher behavior in the classroom.


Making class agreements

During 3-4 class meetings and private conversations at the beginning of the school year, the students and teacher discuss a range of topics and generate a variety of lists that will be used to create class guidelines and rules.


Discussion topics can include (83-84):


  • What students enjoy most about school
  • What students dislike most about school 
  • What students have liked most about favorite teachers 
  • What students disliked most in teachers  
  • How students prefer to work 
  • What kinds of activities students enjoy 
  • What kinds of activities students dislike 
  • How students like their classmates to treat each other


These discussion results are collated into lists and charts, which are posted in the classroom for further discussion and distillation (84): 


  • What students enjoy and dislike about school, teachers, and activities
  • How students and teachers should conduct themselves 


The teacher then composes a list of concise statements describing the agreed classroom behavior, posts it in the classroom, and sends a copy home to parents. 


Using class agreements

Class meetings provide the teacher with opportunities to model the behaviors she/he wants students to adopt. Periodic meetings (weekly or bimonthly, 20 minutes at a time) can be used to reinforce classroom synergy. The posted agreement list acts as a daily reminder to students.  


Meeting agendas can include:


  • Problem discussion and resolution
  • Comparison of conflict solutions seen on TV or outside of class with the new methods being used in the classroom
  • Reiteration of good communication skills
  • Discussion of curricular choices 


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