Have you been to Capturing Kids Heart training by the Flippen Group & love the idea of the Class Social Contracts but just aren't sure how to do them in a classroom with little wall space to post them. You want them to still be fun, creative, & unique to the students but what to do? >(Side note if you ever get the opportunity to be trained in this GO! Best 3 days I ever gave up of my summer vacation.)
I teach six periods, with eight (8) different classes. Yes 8, because my advanced students are mixed in with the 1st year students. Its the only way we can offer those advanced classes for my kids. So my wall space is limited, and the Fire Marshall says nothing on the ceiling or heck, within two foot of the ceiling. What I decided to do to keep them still fun but manageable in size this year is to create Tagxedo. They are similar to Wordle but a little more "fun" for the students to create. By the way I show everything that we are discussing using my data projector.
We looked at everyone's input and voted on what we wanted to use. I had my students do a Google Form Survey. Here is the actual one they completed.
I then deleted all the names and posted everyone responses to online. That way everyone can see each others thoughts and we could discuss them. Many ISD's now have Google Accounts setup for their teachers, if yours does not don't panic. Its easy just sign up for a free Gmail account and then log into the Google Docs using that. I promise you can do it and will love what all they can do for you. I'll Blog more about them in the future.
I have included those responses for you to see. Some of the things they will tell you when its anonymous and their classmates can't tell because there is no mane or hand writing, it really does free them and it will surprise you. Of course some of the darlings comments do, but I used that as a chance to discuss as a group what they thought about them, without singling out or embarrassing the kid who did it. I had a few who did that ask if they could redo their submissions because they finally realized that it was important and that is what really matters.
What we agreed to use I simply typed put that into a Word document so we could copy and paste the words over into Tagxedo the next day. Then you go into Tagxedo and pick = Theme/Colors, Font, and Shape to use. Once you get them to agree on it, simply Save it as a JPG or a PNG file. I usually save it as a the highest resolution. We found that agreeing on the shape and font was the hardest, so we practiced "Roberts Rules of Order" by saying Fore and then Against statements, then hand vote. I was surprised that all my all male classes some of them were very adamant about using the star or hear shape. It just goes to prove you never know what your kids are going to like. Never make an assumption about what "you think" they will like and allow them to be creative. What I thought would take maybe 5 minutes took almost 20 because they really took ownership of the design. Needless to say I was proud of my guys and gals!
Then I just printed on my color printer the image as an 8"x10", they all signed wherever they wanted to and with whatever color they wanted to. We then posted them at the front of the room. I will be adding a photo of the class to them also as soon as we have a day when everyone is here.
I am posting each classes Tagxedo Social Contracts below and links to their responses by class below. Check out what kids can do in 2.5 days, 1 to 1.5 if you don't elect class officers. However, I'm brave and we do that too. I have all of this explained in the website for the Unit given below.
So I hope to see more of you having fun with Social Contracts and Tagxedo soon! I just know you and your students have fun and love the process too. Let me know how the process goes for you and your students.
My Unit Planner for this Class Social Contact activity.