Class culture is best nurtured all year, and is most effective when it is authentic and relevant to learners. Class Values Rankings provide students with an opportunity to reflect each day on their progress towards key classroom values. In this strategy, the teacher provides students with the opportunity to identify specific examples of how they did or didn't embody the classroom values that day and assign their class a rating on that value for the day. After students have the opportunity to discuss, the class comes to consensus about how well they did. Students then have the opportunity to identify different ways they can improve the following day. Reflecting on the day's specific moments helps to create a classroom of trust, and a culture of accountability. It is also essential to developing a shared value-oriented language that can be referred to throughout the day.
Build a list of values that will guide you and your student's mindsets and actions all year. These values should both plot your vision for teaching and learning and also create a framework for learners to connect the dots from actions to these key mindsets.
See the "Pillars of Power" document in the Resources section below for an example of class values that could be used.
Build activities into class to teach the key values, especially in the beginning of the year. Consider having students participate in team building exercises to identify the values in process.
See the "Marshmallow Challenge Team-Building Activity" strategy for an example of an activity that could be used to teach core values.
In order to reinforce the meaning and understanding of your class values, try to use them in every day discussions, either 1:1 when conferencing with students or in front of the whole class. This helps students connect the values to specific actions and behaviors they can demonstrate on a daily basis, and begin to see the ways in which they can grow and improve.
For example, you might say, "We're going to have to show a lot of grit today because the AC is out!" or "You showed a lot of professionalism there making sure to write down all of your notes."
At the end of each day, ask students to reflect on the day and rate how well they did as a class, or individually, on each value. Encourage students to be honest with themselves and take responsibility if they showed or lacked the pillars at any point.
Students should practice both providing a rating and giving a specific example from class of how they did or did not embody that value.
Watch the video in the Resources section below to see students connecting specific moments and behaviors from class to the core values.
Once students have been given the opportunity to talk among themselves to determine where they were throughout the day, ask the class to come to a consensus of how they did that day.
Finally, ask students to identify different ways that they can improve in each value the next day. This ensures students identify the possibility of growth for the following day and have the opportunity to set goals for themselves as individuals and as a whole class.
Class reflections can also be valuable at the end of an activity.
Using the Class Values Ratings strategy in a synchronous distance learning setting allows students to reflect on key class norms, expectations, and values that may be different than those of a brick and mortar classroom setting. Reflecting on the class norms, expectations, and values promotes positive behavior, motivation, and accountability.
Create a list of values with your students that are specific to the distance learning setting.
Some class values to consider using for distance learning include:
Discipline: We will engage in the class assignments and class sessions in order to learn even when the assignments feel challenging.
Patience: We will allow ourselves to ask for help, and help others, as we navigate through this new learning structure.
Using a technology tool like Padlet allows students to share ideas of what they think the class values should include. The resource linked below, Getting Started With Padlet, is a tutorial for using Padlet.
Plan a lesson activity to explicitly teach the Distance Learning Class Values.
Scripted stories are great resources to use to engage students in discussions about class values. Write a short, open-ended, story about a student (or students) involved in a certain scenario regarding one of the class values. Ask students questions about what could happen next in the story. Students can also discuss how the student's actions did or didn't align with the class value.
If you plan to introduce your class values during a live video call, you can watch videos, read articles together, and discuss the values, as you would do in class.
If you plan to introduce the values asynchronously, you could use a Sutori playlist. A Sutori playlist allows students to engage with a playlist of items/resources relevant to a specific topic. The resource linked below, Walkthrough of Sutori's Creation Tool, shows how to set up a Sutori playlist. Sutori can be used to allow students to explore online content, at their own pace, related to virtual class values.
Provide feedback to students as they demonstrate the Distance Learning Class Values in a synchronous learning session.
Flipgrid can be used as a technology tool to provide feedback to students about the class values. The student can post a Flipgrid video about how their behavior did or didn't align with the class values, and the teacher can respond with a Flipgrid video response. The resource linked below, Getting Started With Flipgrid, provides information on how to use Flipgrid.
Students can share out, or respond in the chat, about how to improve or alter their actions to better embody the class values.
Class Values Ratings are an excellent way to help students with disabilities reflect on core values in a safe structured environment. It is also a way for teachers and fellow students to provide more daily affirmation of areas of strength and growth for students with disabilities.
Effective use of class values ratings requires teachers to prepare for the significant executive functioning (task initiation, prioritization, working memory, etc.) skills, written expression skills, and/or verbal skills required of students to engage fully. In order to support students with disabilities who have difficulty in these areas consider the following modifications:
Ensure that any handouts used are structured or modified to help students with task initiation as well as provide clear benchmarks (bolded words, bulleted lists) to assess task completion.
Use visual timers and verbal reminders for each part of a class rating activity to help students with task initiation and task completion.
Teachers should think carefully about the approach of quality over quantity when helping students with disabilities share information with them and their peers on class values ratings. For example, for students with disabilities that affect working memory and processing speed to have more time to process information, a teacher could ask students to only share out two rather than three examples of class values for the day, or narrow their focus to a specific portion of class rather than the whole period.
Class Value Ratings provides a great opportunity for learners to reflect on core values in a structured and guided way. This strategy also provides a chance to build community as learners reflect both on themselves and the class as a whole.
English learners are required to listen to the reflections shared by peers as well as sharing their own verbally. In order to support English Learners consider the following modifications:
How could class ratings support students to reflect on their performance?
How could you modify this strategy for your students?
ClassDojo is a multi-faceted classroom management tool focused on reinforcing classroom expectations and communicating those expectations out with the individual student, class, and families.
ClassDojo can support this strategy by providing teachers with concrete ways to reinforce these key values positively by using the points and portfolio systems.
Google Forms are an easy way to gather (form) and aggregate (sheet) information. Response to a Google Form document can be aggregated, sorted, and saved in a Google Sheet.
Google Forms can support this strategy by creating a simple way for students to reflect daily and individually on the class values and set goals for the next day.