How to Set Rules in Your Classroom and Stick to Them

Check out our list of tips for setting rules in your classroom.

Spend time introducing class rules by explaining, modeling, and practicing the rules. Learners need to gain an under- standing of the rules by practicing until the rules become routine. For example, learners need to practice lining up for recess, walking to an assembly, waiting for the educator to dismiss them, and asking for help. Class misbehavior is less likely to occur when the learners know what the rules are and how they need to act.

If rules are stated, take time to make the rules concrete by asking learners what “Remain respectful” looks, feels, and sounds like. Do the same with “Remain a thinker” or “Remain prepared.” Learners must translate the words into observable actions, words, and feelings to understand what is expected.

Disseminate rules positively to show students how to behave instead of stating how not to behave. A negative indicates that learners are doing something wrong.

Carry the number of rules short. Instruct Educators and learners won’t be able to remember more than five rules. If no one can recall the rules, how can they follow the rules?

Once establishing rules, develop the consequences if the rule is not followed. Hold learners accountable for their behavior with reliable consequences. If you are not consistent, you lose your integrity, and students will try to “beat the system.”

Once appropriate, involve learners in establishing rules. Some educators find that learners involved in making the rules refrain from violating them because of their ownership in crafting them.

Place the class rules on the wall near the designated area where you will talk to learners who misbehave. You can describe the rules as you talk to learners because reminders positively redirect behavior.

Put a “brag box” in your room and have learners write on a piece of paper when they see educators or learners doing good things. Casually read the brag notes to the class to reinforce good behavior.

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