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At first glance, my students will notice that there is a musical theme to my poster they might be surprised to see that

t in a social studies classroom, but even the music has a historical element to it. On the first day of class, I will hand out the flyer with my rules and I will play all of the songs (encouraging students to loosen up with some dance) that correspond to my rules. While the song is playing, I plan to explain the rule and ask for any questions, hoping that students will hear the song and get the tune stuck in their head and therefore remember the rule, while I will continually reference the songs throughout the first two to three weeks, as well (American Federation of Teachers 2014). I chose to base my rules off of songs from the Motown era for multiple reasons. First, the songs have historical significance if a unit should broach the topic of civil rights. Second, the songs might not be popular for these students, but they are almost universally known and are catchy enough for students to remember and connect with the rules. I will require my students to share these rules with their parents because I want these rules to be known and understood, in case they need to be referenced in the future (Emmer & Evertson 2013). Rule 1: My first rule, based on the Aretha Franklin classic R-E-S-P-E-C-T, starts broad by asking students to respect themselves and their peers, then becomes more specific by illustrating what that means. It is stated in a positive way and is overarching while an important part of student interaction (American Federation of Teachers 2014). As long as I state that respect includes letting others have a turn to speak without interruption, I can reference the rule continuously if a student becomes disruptive. I added that laughing is encouraged in class (my students will also get that from the songs and the dancing) but only out of a respectful nature, any laughter that becomes disruptive or is mean spirited will likely be punished. In our social studies classroom, my most important rule is that students respect different backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, thoughts, and questions and notice that they contribute to a much needed diverse tapestry of individuals that is why this rule is listed first. Rule 2: Listed second is my rule that states that students must be in their seats, ready to learn, with completed homework at the sound of the bell. This goes along with the song Get Ready by The Temptations (a real pump up song if you ask me)! I specify three materials a writing utensil, a notebook, and folder that students must bring to class every day because regardless of the activity, I want students to have those materials handy in case they need to write something down, or reference old assignments. This also minimizes locker time, as well as allows for more instructional/activity time (Emmer & Evertson 2013). I also ask that students bring a positive attitude to class every period because I know that depending on the time of day, the weather, or the results of last nights big game students will have varying attitudes towards learning however, with my rule for a positive attitude, they might think twice before burying their head in their desk. Rule 3: While Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston are belting out It Takes Two I will explain to my students that they have a responsibility to do their best work. This very broad recommendation is broad on purpose because I want my students to list for me what their best work looks like, hopefully arriving at conclusions like peer edited, spell-checked, quality over quantity, etc. (Emmer & Evertson 2013). I also list that it is a two way street when it comes to turning in assignments and modeling good behavior. I hope that this rule serves to empower the students because while I point out that I want to be a role model for them, they must be role models for their peers. I believe that students will come to understand that they have a responsibility to maintain consistency in turning in assignments and in behaving as an example for their peers, while also reserving the right to keep me on my toes when it comes to grading assignments and serving as a role model for them. Rule 4: The last rule is nevertheless an important part of what Mr. Nortons classroom is all about. Just as there was no mountain high enough to keep Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell from pursuing each other, I think it is important to establish as a rule that students cannot give up on each other, but most importantly themselves.

This rule might also help students realize that in this classroom, they get out of it what they put in. This rule is not strict or disciplinary, it rather forces students to think about what kind of classroom experience they would like to have. Keeping It simple, the students will realize that they do not have to do much to have a fun and educational experience. In conclusion, at the bottom of my rule sheet, my students will have the opportunity to go home and with their parents or on their own, come up with a rule they have for the class or for Mr. Norton that goes along with any song of their choosing. Effective classroom managers allow for some student input in the rules (Emmer & Evertson 2013). After all, in a social studies class that is supposed to instill American ideals and perpetuate democratic principles, the rules that govern our classrooms should derive from the consent of the governed.