Creating Classroom Rules

Creating Classroom Rules Classroom Management Strategies
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Rules of conduct set the tone of your learning environment and it is important to both create and share your behavioral expectations with your students at the beginning of the school year.

A great way to make your students want to follow the rules - besides helping them understand the purpose of rules - is to invite them to assist in creating the classroom code of conduct!

Start by jotting down your own set of rules - those that you think are most important to creating an orderly, safe, and successful learning environment  - and use them as a backbone for your discussion. When discussing rules as a class, be sure to write down all of your students' ideas, then work to condense the list into a handful of clear and concise behavioral guidelines that can reasonably be put into practice. 

Don't stop the discussion at simply creating rules, talk with your students about why they are in place...

  • Explain the reasoning behind each guideline
  • Invite students to give examples of what non-compliance might look like
  • Give students various scenarios and have them discuss if the rule was followed or broken
  • Determine what the consequences will be if any of the guidelines are violated

By helping create the classroom code of conduct, students are invited to take responsibility for for their behavior. They can't blame their behavioral misconduct on not knowing what the rules are or not understanding what a particular guideline means - they had a hand in creating it! To take it a step further, you might even invite your students to sign a behavior contract or classroom constitution. The physical act of signing {perhaps with a parent witness} evokes a sense of seriousness and responsibility.

Classroom rules are important to a successful learning environment. Make it a point to give your students responsibility in the classroom - for their actions and for themselves - and they may just be inspired to make more responsible choices!