January 31, 2012

Suggestions for training responsibility

In the context of my quote today, I found a nice article on internet.

I bring it here in my Daltonblog as discussion material. But some practical ideas are very useful.

Determine classroom rules and present them to your students while explaining that sticking to the rules is responsible behaviour. Rules should cover punctuality, not speaking unless permitted, being respectful to others, doing homework and the careful use of the school's, and other people's, property. Display the rules in a visible place in the classroom and present them to parents through letters.
Find a variety of classroom jobs that need to be filled, and make the students apply for the position. Give descriptions for each job by detailing the individual responsibilities. Job titles can include board cleaner, paper collector, librarian, janitor, registry supervisor, homework administrator for children who have been away, animal keeper for the classroom pet or lunch counter. Place the most, and least popular jobs on a weekly rota where all students have the chance, and misfortune, to perform them.
Place a basket with paper strips in the classroom. Invite students to write their name and action on a paper strip whenever they feel they have been particularly responsible, or helpful. Check the paper strip tray once a week and make a paper chain out of the strips. Hang the chain on the wall and encourage the children to increase their efforts in order to make it go around the entire classroom.
Ask the children to bring in a book where the characters perform either responsible or irresponsible actions. Let each child introduce his choice of book and discuss the contents. Children have to define what is included in the terms responsible and irresponsible and how the actions affect the story and characters in the book.
Give out an assignment in which the children have to recall and write about a truly irresponsible act they have performed. Ask them to consider what made the action irresponsible, how it made them feel and how they could have solved the situation differently. Read the assignments and discuss the issues in class.
Organize the children in teams and ask them to perform work assignments or tasks as a group. Explain the importance of teamwork and how it depends upon the reliability of the individual members. Let the groups define responsibilities for each team member. When assessing the work, prioritize the group effort and team spirit involved in the project, rather than the outcome.
Pick an age-appropriate movie and watch it with the class, provided all parents give consent. Prepare a work sheet with the names of three to five main characters in the movie written on top. Give out the work sheets and ask the students to note the responsibilities, and irresponsible actions, of the characters while watching the movie. Discuss the work sheets and let the children consider the reasons for irresponsible behaviour in the movie and how it affects the other characters and their actions and the story development.
Prepare an age-appropriate mock personality test in which the pupils are invited to assess their personal sense of responsibility. The tests can contain multiple-choice questions about personal preferences, decision-making procedures and problem solutions, or present case studies where the students are presented with fictional situations and have to decide what to do on behalf of the characters. By assessing the tests, you will gain insight about how well students understand the significance of responsibility.

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