In the grade 2/3 split I have been working in, we wanted to try co-constructing class rules in a new way. We were inspired by an idea from our colleague J.B. and decided to try using her idea of the medicine wheel as our format. It represents peace and harmony-an excellent model for any classroom.We also looked at some of the work from The Circle of Courage .
Thanks CR for once again letting me learn with you!!
Introducing the importance of the Medicine Wheel was the perfect way to engage our First Nations students from the first day of school, and begin our Treaty teachings. I love the idea that as a wheel, the four spokes keep the wheel strong and that is what will keep the class strong.
The wheel is divided into 4 sections. Generosity, Belonging, Independence and Mastery
As we moved through each section, we read and discussed many books. Our aim was for the children to tell us how they would feel and what it would look like if they felt they belonged, if there was generosity in the room, if they had choices and if they were learning well. After each conversation, the children wrote what they felt were the big ideas onto sticky notes.
We shared the sticky notes out loud and typed them into a Wordle. The kids loved watching the process of making a Wordle and before the class Wordle came up on the screen, we had them predict which words would be the largest.
Belonging and generosity are done! Now-on to independence.
With independence completed, we finished up with Mastery.
The wheel is posted in a prominent place in the classroom,where it can be refered to daily. It has really helped make classroom expectations both shared and valued by the entire class.
Some of the books we used to co-construct our beliefs were:
Belonging: I am loved-Bucket Filler, Elmer, Leon the Chameleon,Pebble, We are a Family, Jingle Dancer
Generosity:I have a purpose for my life- Bucket Filler ,Oddrey, Rainbow Fish, The Yesterday Stone, The Tree
Independence:I have the power to make decisions-Bird Child, Howard Wigglebottom,Listen to His Heart, Only One You
Mastery:I can succeed-The Little Engine That Could,I Can Succeed, What Are You Doing?
Please share any suggestions you think might work!!