How to introduce Class Rules to Students
1. Let students have a say. Many teachers choose to introduce the rules on or around the first day of school.
Some teachers even give the students the opportunity to pitch in and create the rules together. The reason for this, is that when students feel they had a hand in deciding what is expected of them, they tend to follow the rules more closely.
2. Teach the rules. Once the class has created a list of acceptable rules, then it's time for you to teach the rules. Teach each rule as if you are teaching a regular lesson. Provide students with an example of each rule and model if necessary.
3. Post the rules. After the rules are taught and learned, then it's time to set them in stone. Post the rules somewhere in the classroom where it is easy for all students to see, and send a copy of them home for parents to review and sign off on.
Why it's Best to Only Have Three to Five Rules
Have you ever noticed that your social security code is written in groups of three, four, or five numbers? How about your credit card and license number?
This is because people find it easier to remember numbers when they are grouped in three to five. With this mind, it's important to limit the amount of rules you set in your classroom from three to five.
- Try not to set more than five rules at a time. If you find it necessary that you need more than five, then post them in groups of three to five.
- Feel free to replace a rule once it has has been learned. The students must still abide by this rule, it is just now known as an "unwritten rule."
- When writing the rules, state the rules in the positive instead of starting with "Do Not."
What Should My Rules Be?
Every teacher should have their own set of rules. Try to refrain from using other teacher's rules.Here is a list of some general rules that you can tweak to fit your personal class expectations:
Sample List of Rules
- Come to class prepared
- Listen to others
- Follow Directions
- Raise your hand before speaking
- Respect yourself and others
Specific List of Rules
- Complete morning work at your seat
- Wait for further directions once a task is completed
- Keep your eyes on the speaker
- Follow directions the first time it is given
- Change tasks quietly