Lesson 3: Workshop Guidelines

Benefits of Creating Rules with Participants

A disciplined learning environment allows for:

  • More time spent on assignments
  • Positive participation in class
  • Improvements in learning, academic skills, and competencies
  • Improvements in social and emotional development

Clear classroom rules can:

  • Be useful in controlling day-to-day problems
  • Establish the instructor’s authority
  • Establish the role of the youth
  • Set routines
  • Outline behavior expectations
  • Encourage better-spent learning time

What do instructors need to do?

  • Set a positive climate for learning.
  • Develop caring, supportive relationships with and among the youth.
  • Organize and implement instruction in ways that optimize youth’s access to learning.
  • Use group management methods that encourage student engagement with academic tasks.
  • Promote the development of social skills and self-regulation.
  • Use appropriate interventions to assist youth who have behavior problems.
  • Adjust activities to promote social inclusion and equity.

To be successful, rules must be:

  • Directly and systematically taught in the classroom
  • Stated clearly and concisely
  • Established in collaboration with youth
  • Consistently and fairly reinforced

Activity 1: Give to Get

1 . Display the Give to Get Chart. It should look like the figure below.


1 . Explain that in every situation in which people must interact, there must be some “give and take.” Read the scenario below:

Lionel would really like to accept a job offer at an automotive center. The center is very far away, and the bus line does not go to the area. Lionel’s brother has a car and the center is on the way to his job. Lionel would like to ask his brother for a ride every day. He realizes that in order for that to happen his brother will have to leave the house about 25 minutes earlier every day to get to work on time.

  • Ask the following questions:
    • What does Lionel want to get?
    • What could Lionel give to his brother in order to get what he wants?
  • Possible Answers: gas money, offer to do or pay for car maintenance, bring lunch, drive for his brother.
  • How important is it that the gives and gets lists have an equal number of items?
    • Answer: It is not very important; it is more important that the values of what one person gives is equal to what the other person gets. For example, a person may give one thing, their time, and in return may get several things.
  • Ask the participants to come up with a few other examples of “give to get.” Then take a few responses for the question below:
    • Why do you think it is important to know what your “gives” and “gets” are before trying to solve a problem?
  • Connect the concept to the workshop by explaining that the participants all have things that they want to get out to of the workshop, but they will have to give things to get what they need. Ask participants to brainstorm the “gives” and “gets” for the workshop and record the responses in the Give to Get Chart.
  • Read the “gives” and “gets” and address those that will be covered and provide explanation for those that may not be appropriate for the workshop. For example, if one wants to get strategies for working with defiant youth or absenteeism, you might explain that although these are important issues, the program for the three days covers other equally important information and skills. Offer an opportunity for other participants to share resources regarding the topic during breaks.
  • Explain that it is important to think about “gives” and “gets” before establishing the workshop rules/guidelines because it can help guide and focus the discussion and highlight what is truly needed.