For those who don't know it, Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino have created a magnificent story about a boy and a robot who become friends. I love Ame's story, and I love how Dan brings this story to life with his illustrations. I grin foolishly from ear to ear every time I look at the last page in the book. This book has quickly earned a place in my heart! And so...
I "donated" this book to my classroom as my birthday treat when I got a signed copy from Ame. My first graders loved it! They quickly began mimicking Bot and begged me to read it to them again. After our second (or was it the fourth?) rereading, we were at the point in our classroom when we needed to establish some of our classroom culture. I couldn't think of a better way than to use Boy and Bot as our models.
We brainstormed a list of "rules" for our classroom first. They included things like:
No sword fighting
I encouraged my little friends to think about Boy and Bot. Would they ever engage in any of those behaviors? And what exactly does "be nice" mean? We also discussed Jill Fisch's one school rule which is... (and I may have the wording slightly wrong, but you'll get the idea!)
I can do anything I want as long as it doesn't bother anyone else in the world.
This, of course, led to a whole new conversation about what that meant and tons of examples.
Eventually, we came back to Boy and Bot. How would they treat us if they were members of our classroom community? How would they expect to be treated if they were members of our classroom community? How do Boy and Bot treat each other? Here is our final version of our Boy and Bot classroom "rules!"
After this summer's #CyberPD on Peter Johnston's book Opening Minds, I knew I wanted to create a more dialogic classroom where children truly have a sense of agency and are active members of our community. I threw out (literally and figuratively) my monthly discipline calendars and am relying on classroom meetings to help us have the kind of classroom where everyone thrives. It's not easy, but friends like Boy and Bot are helping us move forward!