Avoiding Annoying Classroom Distractions: Group Contract

Fourth-grade teacher Lisa Koplik explains how to make a group contract to keep kids on track throughout the year.


One way to prevent annoying classroom distractions before they even occur is to establish a classroom constitution with your students in the same moment. So it’s not something that you’ve created on your own that’s 100 years old that just sits up on the wall somewhere. This is something you take a really solid amount of time to create with your students. And you really want it to be positively based you don't want “Don't,” y’know, “get out of your seat,” mer, mer, mer. They all know that stuff already! So in my classroom I have what's called the 5 Ps. So my classroom rules are: Be Positive, be Polite, be Productive, be Prepared, and be respectful. So it’s like it has a p in it. Anyway, these rules are not just for the classroom but also for life. They’re really important and we talk through them constantly. I reference them all the time throughout the year I point to them and I say “Was that respectful? Was that positive? blah blah blah” and they know that they signed on to these rules and they are able to even talk about with me and with each other examples of what this behavior looks like what it doesn't look like and it’s something that I really heavily value in the classroom and I think it’s important for them moving on in their lives as well.

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