SPORTing Your Rules
It’s never too late to teach classroom rules. I do it on the first day of school, but you can also do it at the start of a new quarter or grading period. I list no more than five or six rules. The acronym SPORT works great for me:
- S — speak appropriately
- P — prepared and ready to learn
- O — on task
- R — remain in area
- T — treat self and others with respect
I teach these rules to my students. For example, this is how we enter the room, take care of our stuff, and get ready to learn. If I teach the system then I know there is no student misinterpreting it. I observe them and award points to students who are listening and following directions.
Then I send a note home to parents, informing them of the new system and explaining how it can positively impact their child’s grade. Students must return this note to me signed by their parents. I treat it as an assignment and give it a grade.
For students more challenging students, I may tweak this system. I just have to discover what motivates them and change the system as I go along.
Make your rules worth learning and adhere to them. I do the same warm up activity every day, creating routine and consistency. Inconsistency will make the whole thing fall apart, so make it reasonable. A good classroom management system will change your life in the classroom and help you meet your objectives.