One of the keys to having a successful school year is to establish classroom rules or expectations and routines. Our students will not know what is expected of them unless we tell them and show them.
Rules/Expectations and Routines allow for smooth sailing in the classroom because everyone knows what to do. Handle this from the beginning and you will have fewer problems and you class will operate more efficiently.
Rules and Expectations
First determine your expectations and then create your rules. Many teachers are leaning more towards creating a list of expectations and not rules because rules imply an attitude of ‘do this or else’ while expectations illustrate the type of behavior that is expected of all students. Rules are punitive and can be counterproductive in creating a learning community within your classroom. Expectations foster responsibility. Discussing expectations, courtesies and manners is more effective than posting rules.
Your list of rules/expectations should reflect your philosophy of education. For example, you want class discussions so you want students to be allowed to talk to each but not when you are talking or when another student is presenting. If you want students to be quiet and in their seats during class discussions, your rule/expectation might be:
- Listen and stay seated when someone is speaking.
Always phrase rules in a positive not negative manner, for example:
Do say — This is a beverage-free classroom.
Don’t say — Do not bring beverages to class.
You must establish consequences for unwanted behavior. Students should be rewarded for displaying the correct behavior but there must be punitive measures taken when students exhibit unwanted behavior.
- Be in your assigned seat and prepared to work when the final bell rings.
- Concerns and/ or appeals must be discussed with teacher privately before/ after class or submitted to teacher in writing after class.
- Raise your hand and wait to be recognized before speaking.
- Respect the rights and property of others.
- Be courteous to your teacher and your classmates.
1st Offense: A verbal warning will be given when a minor classroom or school rule is broken,.
2nd Offense: A 2nd verbal warning will be given accompanied by a telephone call to the parent/ guardian.
3rd Offense: If the problem persists after a verbal warning, students will be given a detention, which will be accompanied by another telephone call to the parent/ guardian.
4th Offense: If the problem persists a discipline referral will be issued.
Routines and procedures
Routines and procedures allow for the classroom to run smoothly and efficiently. Teach students the procedures that you want them to follow.
- Pass papers to the front of the classroom
- Sharpen pencils when entering room
- Take out journal and workbook when entering room
- Enter the classroom quietly and begin Do Now
- When using the activity center put things back in their slots
- Teaching Assistant will distribute supplies to each row, etc.
A successful classroom has routines and procedures, which give organization and structure to learning.
Visuals are a great way to let the students know what your expectations and routines are. If you want them to come into class and pull out their notebook, workbook and textbook, show them.
Let them see/read what it is you want them to have for the day’s assignments. In this picture of a whiteboard, they are required to have their binder, pen/pencil, worksheet and brain. They know exactly what is expected of them. Teach procedures. They help to make your expectations possible.
Communicate high expectations and teach procedures to facilitate them.