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Gumby Rules!

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Keywords: animation, Gumby, Responsive Classroom Rules
Subject(s): Social Skills, Technology, Special Needs, Writing, Animation, Reading, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar
Grades 5 through 6
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Amesbury Middle School, Amesbury, MA
Planned By: Catherine Jackson
Original Author: Catherine Jackson, Amesbury
Students will:
Become aware of the reasons underlying social rules

Build classroom community as they work collaboratively to develop a framework for classroom deportment

Engage in consensus building through discussion of priorities and expectations for classroom behavior

Become more aware of their own social behavior and that of their classmates

Develop their own short animation of one part of the classroom rules/ examples/ apology of action/ consequences book.

MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY ( I have all of these)

Wall chart or whiteboard

Flip chart, overhead projector or Elmo

Bulletin board or other space for posting classroom rules

Computers with Internet access and printing capability

Video Cameras

Gumby Brings Classroom Rules to Life

In the first week of school, students and I will articulate hopes and dreams for the school year. They also write their hopes and dreams and draw a picture. Next, students generate rules that will help all class members realize their hopes and dreams.
The resulting classroom rules take on a radically different feel for students: These are our rules. We created them. They'll help us achieve our goals.
Once the rules are created, I help students practice the rules. When rules are broken, I respond with nonpunitive logical consequences.
Of these three components—creating the rules, practicing the rules, and responding to rule breaking—the most often overlooked in the busy life of the classroom is practicing/ modeling the rules.

Each student will pick one example of a rule and have Gumby animate it to put on our school web site. This way, students can watch the video over and over again to reinforce the appropriate behaviors.

Modeling the rules
If we expect students to walk when moving around the room, put away the sports equipment, show interest when a classmate is speaking, or settle into their seats quietly when they come to class late, we have to show clearly and directly what these actions look like.
Modeling is a good technique for doing this. It typically includes these stepsFor example, if the class decided that one rule is to treat others the way you want to be treated, one example is listening attentively. One student could chose to model listening attentively using Gumby in a video.

I will then put all the the student clips together to make one video for our school web site.

If students make a rule that says we should take care of our environment, here are possible ways to show that with Gumby:

Looks like: putting things back, keeping floors clean, handle equipment gently, clean the tables, keep desk clean
Sounds like: Excuse me, can I use..., Be careful with..., When you are done, please...

Students will enjoy watching this over and over again. They will also share the video with their parents.

Grade(s): 5 - 6
Standard: Language: General Standard 2: Questioning, Listening, and Contributing Students will pose questions, listen to the ideas of others, and contribute their own information or ideas in group discussions or interviews in order to acquire new knowledge.: 2.3 Gather relevant information for a research project or composition through interviews.

MA Standards: Speaking and Listening Standards Pre-K-5

1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
c. Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
d. Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
3. Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
4. Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
5. Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
I have made dozens of movies with my students in the past. I would love to try animation. Please check out my movies on my school web site. I also have one that I have made with Gumby already. This was done when I taught a lower grade.

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
I could use animation with students to reinforce any concept that is difficult for them to remember. For example, in math, Gumby could teach Pythagoras' theorem. In Language Arts, he could reinforce accountable talk rules.
I would also like to have students share their poetry on the web using animation.
Materials: Video Cameras, Animation, Hardware Devices