One of the best books for everything you need to know about setting up a classroom is Wong's The First Days of School. Give it a peek.
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I just recieved some good advice in this area. First, don't confuse procedures with rules and second, don't restate rules that are school rules. Procedures are specific ways in which a task is carried out. Rules are general expectations for behavior. The school has a rule about cheating for example, so you don't have to have this included in your classroom rules. Also, you should only have two to four classroom rules. It is best to a reason for each rule, so students understand it is about their safety and education, not all about making your day easy.
A great way to do that is brainstorm them with your students.
I agree with Jennifer AND Erin!
If I may put my 2 cents in, I have learned that regardless of what rules you have established, there's nothing more important than following them through and this means having students go through the consequences of their actions. There are 2 approaches to the establishment of rules, one that works for you or if you're the collaborative type, one that works for both the teacher and the student. I'm still on the 1st one so to establish rules, I would think of things that annoy me. Case in point, turning in of homework late or not at all. What regulation should you want the students to follow regarding this contentious matter? Does it annoy you that they're not turning work in? I know it really aggravated the delivery of my instruction. Consequence, student are denied of certain privilege. That made more sense to me but of course the student may not necessarily liked it but I followed through by making sure that the student indeed go through the consequence. I am learning that I come up with rules based on what's annoying me. I'm hoping to change from there so it's a win-win. The other way is to pick teacher's ideas like what your doing now and adopting it until you realize what makes more sense for you and/or your students.
I would also HIGHLY recommend the responsive classroom books, "The First 6 Weeks of School", and "Classroom Discipline
Guiding Adolescents to Responsible Independence"
by Linda Crawford and Christopher Hagedorn. Both of these have great ideas for setting up a shared system of rules and agreements with your students.
All of these books are wonderful suggestions! I think the most important thing for setting up rules is to keep them at a minimum and make sure they work for you. One of my favorite rules that I will always include in my "four" is "treat others as you want to be treated." This is an important "rule" for life in general and in the classroom it can go a long way. Good luck on developing your rules!
See the Pax good Behavior Game. Easiest way you will ever learn to set up rules for you and your students. Here is the key: ask the kids what a happy classroom looks, sounds and acts like! Ask what things make a class unhappy. Instead of happy/unhappy use Pax for peace, productivity, health, and happiness; and Spleem (trademarked) for anythy that reduces Pax. Pax GBG proven to reduce disruptions by 90%, increase grades, and improve self-control. reduces special education and ADHD. Google it!
Developing classroom rules is a collaborative process between a teacher and his/her students. Once students buy into the rules and accept them as the guiding principles for classroom success they will uphold them. When this process is carried out thoroughly there is hardly any need for written rules since the rules would have been embedded in the students minds from the point where they were conceptualized.
When we explain the consequences behind the rules in such a way that the students will understand. Then it will be a better way to develop the classroom rules.
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