Principle 3 Teacher Tips: Setting Classroom Rules - Mindsteps Inc.

Principle 3 Teacher Tips: Setting Classroom Rules

Honestly, most classroom rules I have seen range for unnecessary to downright silly.  Do you really need to make it a rule that students bring their books to class?  If they don’t, is lunch detention really going to solve the problem?  Wouldn’t it be easier to just give them a book and move on?

Decide on three to five classroom rules.  Any more than that and the students (and you for that matter) will have a hard time remembering them.

Principle Three Tip Sheet: Setting Classroom Rules

  • Callie says:

    I must point out that I prefer them not to be called ‘rules’ to begin with. Doesn’t it sound so top-down and
    authoritative? Since the classroom is a community that is built and equally shared among all of its
    inhabitants, these guidelines should be something that the class buys into. Each year I begin by teaching my
    second graders the meaning of the word commitment and explain how a commitment is a promise. After
    multiple days of brainstorming what we want our classroom community to be like, we narrow the list down to
    the four most cumulative items. These ‘Class Commitments’ are posted on the wall year around. At the
    bottom of the commitments, I write these words “Icommit to do these things to keep my class fun and
    safe.” Each student raises his/her right and and repeats this vow then we each (yes, me too) trace our
    hands on paper then cut them out, decorate them with our names, and post them around the commitments.
    As the year progresses, students commonly speak to one another by bringing up the commitments that need
    to be restored.

  • […] English.”School rules are stupid. Across all grade levels (k-12) students complained about school rules. This wasn’t the normal teen-aged rebellion against order here. Students complained about […]

  • Jean says:

    Okay, what to do about not bringing books when the school does not allow the teacher to keep extra books in the classroom?? Also, “Tip Sheet” uses “alright,” — not a word — it is ALWAYS “all right.” These kinds of errors label teachers as dumb.

    • Mindsteps Inc says:

      We could offer you a pat solution but we believe in understanding the root problem before rushing in with a strategy. First you have to understand why students aren’t bringing their textbooks to class before you can determine a solution. If students aren’t bringing their books to class because their backpacks are too heavy, then that’s a very different problem than students not bringing their books because they don’t see the value in doing so. So, first determine why students aren’t bringing their books. Then, once you fully understand the reason, we can help you will come up with a solution that will actually work.

      By the way, there is an interesting debate about the usage of “alright” going on right now. Check out this from the Merriam-Webster dictionary website “The one-word spelling alright appeared some 75 years after all right itself had reappeared from a 400-year-long absence. Since the early 20th century some critics have insisted alright is wrong, but it has its defenders and its users. It is less frequent than all right but remains in common use especially in journalistic and business publications. It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing .” Still, we’ll make sure to use “all right” on future tip sheets, just in case ;-).

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