When making classroom policies, rules, or guidelines, it’s essential to be able to answer the question: what’s the bottom line? When we go beyond our content, curriculum, or instructional methods: what is truly important about this space and this community as a place of learning?
The bottom line can be framed in a few different ways:
- Classroom mission statement. With your students, examine the mission statements of popular companies, nonprofits, and even your school. Invite small groups to propose a mission statement and then combine or take a vote.
- Shared values. In my classroom, we used a values cloud worksheet (PDF) to consider which qualities we each valued in school and then shared with one another so we could find some common ground. Some examples: cooperation, trust, honesty, leadership. We took a “fist of five” tally to see how strongly each person felt about each value (holding up one finger meant…
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