Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Club - Chapter 7 The Five Rules

To start at the beginning of this book club with me:

When I first heard about WBT last year, I taught the rules, did the scoreboard (just the first part of it), and also used Class Yes.  I taught the rules, but I didn't always reference them, practice them, or even understand them!  After reading this chapter, I am much more prepared to introduce them and I appreciated how Biffle goes through and explains WHY the rules are the way they are.

Rule 1: Follow directions quickly.  This one is a no brainer.  Of course we want kids to follow directions quickly.  The quicker they do what we ask, the learning can be done and the less room for misbehavior.

Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak.  This is another one that I enforce on a daily basis.  I can't stand when children call out, interrupt, or talk over each other.

Rule 3: Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.  This is the one that I didn't enforce.  I felt that i ha kids constantly raising their hands and asking me to get tissues, put a book away, sharpen a pencil.  With 28 kids, it was too much!  BUT, it makes sense if you don't want students wandering around the classroom, getting into backpacks or things they shouldn't be getting into during work time, or up talking to someone at another table without permission.  Biffle gave the idea of putting up a sign on the board to indicate times when it is allowed to walk around without permission, like during certain activities and lessons.  I like this idea!

Rule 4: Make smart choices.  I like this rule because it encompasses so much!  It's self explanatory and works inside school and out!

Rule 5: Keep your dear teacher happy.  At first, I thought this one was weird and egocentric.  But when I really think about it, I DO want students to listen to me and make me happy.  It's not so bad :)  Biffle says that this rule can be used when a student *thinks* they made a good choice, when in actuality is was rude, sarcastic, or generally disrespectful.  All you have to say is, "Well, that may be a good choice to you, but it doesn't make me happy because of yada yada yada".  That stops all arguments because who is the leading expert on what makes the teacher happy?  YOU!  The funny thing is that Biffle agrees with me that this rule is egocentric, but he goes on to explain how it helps students to learn how to respectfully talk to and treat adults.

And the never fail way to make sure your students know these rules?  Rehearse!!  Print signs from the WBT website or find some for free on TpT.  Hang them up and practice every day.  Your students will learn the rules and your will be a happy teacher!

I have two versions of rules in my TpT store for free.  I'd love it if you checked them out and could use them in your room!

What do you think about these rules?  Would you change anything about them?


  1. We actually did change them to merge them with our school wide behavior. It's worked out beautifully with us. I LOVE the rules and this year my goal is to get better at the scorecard.

    So happy to have found your blog! :)

    1. I'm your newest follower.

  2. I don't use rule 3. We really don't sit back at our desks all that much, and it doesn't really bug me when they get up for something. I think it might be more useful in older grades. We just use the other four rules.:)

  3. The whole brain rules have really made for a much calmer learning environment. I have changed rule five to read... Keep your teachers heart happy. I also ask, "when is my heart happy?" The students respond, "when you can teach and we can learn."

  4. I am glad to have found your blog. I started using the WBT rules and responses this year. It is amazing how something so simple can change the learning environment. I made some changes to the rules to fit my class.
    Rule #1 is Follow directions quickly and correctly. I found that they were quick, but sometimes they didn't listen carefully enough and they needed to focus more on correctly following the directions.
    Rule #3 is Be respectful and caring. I found that I was not able to keep on top of the raising hand to leave your seat because I was often working with small groups or individuals. I arranged other signals and guidelines for this, and when they followed our rule, this worked well.
    I hope to use more of the techniques next year. It is truly as much about training me as it is training the children.
    Diamond Mom's Treasury