My students and I just completed our class mission statement, and I decided to try a different format this year. Rather than present our ideas as a series of paragraphs, I designed the document to look like the front wall of a classroom. The text was fit inside a whiteboard, two bulletin boards, a clock, a flag, and other "classroom-themed" shapes. As much as possible, the meaning of the text matched the object in which it was placed. For example, the words "we use our time well and make the most of every day" were put in the clock. My hope is that this novel format will resonate with my students and give our ideas greater meaning.

 

Click here to see the full-sized version of our new class mission statement.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 17:45

Tip #7: Class Mission Statement (Part 3 of 3)

During this three-week period I describe the most powerful move that we, as teachers, can make to establish a sense of purpose in our rooms - creating a Class Mission Statement with our students and referring to it throughout the year for guidance.  After introducing the concept of a mission statement in Part 1 and outlining the steps you and your students can follow to create a mission statement in Part 2, I conclude by explaining how you can use the document as a consistent reference point throughout the year.

Using the Class Mission Statement as a Reference Point for Support and Guidance
Saturday, 02 October 2010 17:45

Tip #6: Class Mission Statement (Part 2 of 3)

During this three-week period I describe the most powerful move that we, as teachers, can make to establish a sense of purpose in our rooms - creating a Class Mission Statement with our students and referring to it throughout the year for guidance.  After introducing the concept of a mission statement in Part 1, this week I outline the steps you and your students can follow to create a founding document that brings together the ideas of everyone in the room.

The Teaching Tips for this three-week period follow the sequence shown below.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 17:45

Tip #5: Class Mission Statement (Part 1 of 3)

This week I continue to present ideas that connect to the four beginning-of-the-year priorities introduced in Teaching Tip #1.  This tip addresses the third priority: establish a sense of purpose in our classrooms so students understand why it’s important to come to school each day and work hard.  

The most powerful step that we, as teachers, can take to establish a sense of purpose in our rooms is to create a Class Mission Statement with our students.  The process of writing the class mission statement generally takes one week and produces a phenomenal reference point that helps children understand the many purposes of their learning, improve their behavior, work with greater motivation and enthusiasm, and find greater meaning in their work.  I simply cannot imagine myself teaching without this tool.