By Jana’ Thomas, Scholastic Chess Instructor
Let’s continue with another tip to help you create your classroom culture. The ‘E’ from our acronym C.H.E.S.S. stands for:
Establish Everyday Practices
Once you have set up the environment and have laid the ground rules for your students, you should develop everyday practices to create a culture in your classroom. Everyday practices become routines that support the classroom management, lesson facilitation, and student participation in your space. When you have students going along with your classroom “flow” with minimal direction, they have assimilated to the culture in your room. Here are a few examples from my classroom experience:
I’m affectionately called Queen Thomas. I have created an everyday practice of using our “royal names,” calling each other, kings and queens. This is my way of building the self-esteem of my students and encouraging their respect for others and good sportsmanship, which affects the classroom management.
Everyday, I assign students on one side of my tables to play with chess pieces of one color, and the same for the opposite. This reinforces and prepares students for chess tournaments, while helping to facilitate my lesson. Practicing this redirects students favoring play with one color only. So, instead of disagreements, students look forward to Queen Thomas’ routine picking of their side of the table, for the color they’re hoping to get.
For puzzles or other activities with the class, I use my display board. My students know that I routinely ask them to help place the pieces on the the board. So, they often raise their hands to participate before I can even ask.
Establishing everyday practices, routines, allows for your students to know what to expect in the “flow” of your classroom, to which they liken, as they becomes a part of the culture you create.