Enroll

Creating Classroom Rules with Students

One of the first things we always do at the beginning of the school year is to establish a set of classroom rules. Some teachers choose to create classroom rules before the year starts, and then introduce them to their students when the year begins. However, I like including the students in the rule-making process. I think it helps give them a sense of ownership in the classroom and how it will function. This is also a good community building exercise for your students at the beginning of the year. If you choose to include students in the rule-making process, the following are a few suggestions:

  • Have an idea of the rules you want to have before you start. If you go into the process with no preparation or ideas of where you’d like to end up, it will take a turn for the worse. Jot down the most important rules to you before you involve the students so you can make sure they’re included by the end.
  • Aim for “umbrella rules”, instead of very specific ones. If they’re too general, it leaves too much room for interpretation. If they’re too specific, you’d have to have fifty rules in order to cover everything. Try to find a good balance between the two.
  • Try to have around five rules total. If you have too many it can get overwhelming. During the brainstorming process, write down as many rule suggestions as you want. Then go through and edit them down to a more reasonable number.
  • Give the students ownership and some control in the process. Make sure to take their thoughts and suggestions seriously. Including them in the process won’t have as big of an impact if they feel like they’re not being heard.
  • While making sure to give the students a sense of ownership in the rule-making process, don’t forget that YOU’RE ultimately in control. If you don’t think a rule will be of benefit to your classroom, then don’t use it. You’re the one who has to enforce them and manage the classroom so make sure the rules are something you can live with.
  • Make sure to discuss with the students that these classroom rules are not all encompassing. They should be aware that these class rules are in addition to the school rules. Also, that there may be situations where you’ll need to make judgment calls that don’t necessarily follow the rules you’ve set out. This should help to cut down on arguments about it alter.
  • You may want to have the students (and yourself) sign a contract at the end of the process saying that you all decided on these rules together and will abide by them.

 

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons and Stavros Sahtouris

 

 

Hannah T

About Hannah T

I am a 2010 graduate with a degree and certification in Elementary Ed., and I have worked with students from birth to junior high. I believe that one of the most important qualities to surviving a teaching career is a sense of humor. I also strongly feel that students are most successful when they are active and hands-on learners. My Mom was a Special Ed. teacher for almost 30 years, and my Dad was an English major, so I enjoy bouncing blog ideas off the two of them. This usually results in an exchange of great stories with my Mom, and a correction in my writing from my Dad. When they're not available, the job falls to my rescue dog, Coozie.

Hannah T

Top Posts | Teaching & Mentoring

Speech Therapy is Increasingly Important

Communication is the first step that begins to shape our lives. From learning new things in a school to solving an issue without taking extreme measures, proper communication is necessary to achieve many things.Language, by far, is one of the best modes of communication we humans have. It is a way ...

5 Reasons to Pursue a Career as an OBGYN

Also known as obstetricians, OBGYN doctors, specialize in women's health, reproductive issues and child birth. Those who wish to become an OBGYN must complete medical school and a four-year residency in a hospital pediatrics and OBGYN ward. Once college coursework and a residency have both been ... ...

Sustainability Management Tips for Small Businesses

Ways of doing business are changing drastically all over the world; various kinds of ideas and innovations are being implemented in businesses to make them successful. Business owners are looking forward to different kinds of business sustainability plans and programs so they have higher productivi ...

Fun Literacy Kit for Young New Yorkers

The New York Public Library has come up with a little something for kids to help promote literacy and get them started on reading and learning. It is called the Early Literacy Kit. This kit contains a literacy tip sheet, a growth chart, a guide to some extra literacy resources, and more.It's ce ... ...

Helping Your Students with ADHD

Teachers always face challenges with their students but what we are going to specifically talk about here are the kids who stare out the window, substituting the arc of a bird in flight for their math lesson, or the one who embraces their arts skills instead of paying attention in math class. These ...

Helping your Students Find Motivation

For some, school is a breeze. They glide through, it seems, without any sort of hold-ups and come out on the other side, unscathed. However, this is not the case for others. Some have a hard time getting done what they need to and stumble and falter the whole way through.While one student may have ...

An Inspiring Holyoke Story

HELIHELI, is an acronym that stands for the Holyhoke Early Literacy Initiative, a program initiated to encourage and train young children to read as early as possible during their formative years. It is a partnership between Holyhoke Public Schools and local community organizations that works with ...

Be Inspired by this Middle School

Children Learn More When InspiredIt’s a universal truth that people excel when they follow through on what inspires them. In this day and age, many middle and high school teachers will tell stories about how difficult it is to teach their students. One teacher who does not deal with this dile ... ...

Expand Your Horizons with an Overseas Stint

Traveling abroad to study or work is a big leap of faith. That is why there are only a few people that actually pack their bags and say goodbye to everything they grew up with. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the world though? Not just see it, but learn from its different cultures and expand your ... ...

AIM for French

French is the second most common language in the world, after English. It is the mother tongue of over 75 million people, and many others speak it as a secondary language. French is also one of the two working languages of the UN, apart from being the official language of 32 countries of the world. ...