Classroom rules are important to your class community. When students have rules, they know what your expectations are for them. They know what you want them to do, and they know that there are consequences for failing to follow the rules.
Making Classroom Rules
When it comes to creating classroom rules, consider including your students in the process. Get feedback from your students and ask them about their expectations for classroom behavior. As students take part in making the rules, they take ownership in the rules. They’ll work to follow them and make sure that their classmates are following them, too.
Of course, you can guide students in certain directions or sway them to choose rules that encompass the foundation you’ve deemed necessary for fostering a healthy and respectful learning environment in your classroom. Think about some of the top classroom rules to help you.
Be sure to model your expectations for the students. Let them see what you expect of them, and provide them with opportunities to practice following the rules you create together.
Top Classroom Rules
Although you should stick to 4 or 5 rules, here are the top 10 classroom rules for elementary schools for your consideration:
- Be on time at the beginning of the day and after lunch or recess breaks.
- Come prepared with supplies and completed homework.
- Be kind, polite, and courteous to others.
- Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
- Be respectful of classmates, teachers, and property.
- Listen to the teacher and classmates, and follow directions.
- Work hard, and always do your best.
- Be safe!
- Raise your hand when you would like to speak in class or if you need to leave the classroom for any reason (e.g., going to the bathroom, visiting the nurse, etc.)
- Obey all school rules.
Click the image below to download a free customizable PDF your students can use to create their own classroom rule lists:
Tips to Consider
When choosing from the top 10 classroom rules, try to cover every behavioral issue that could come up on any given day. Some of the common classroom management issues include talking out of turn, bothering classmates, failing to stay on task, or failing to follow directions. Ask yourself, “do our rules cover these problems and others that students might struggle with this year?” If not, you might want to rethink them.
Also, write the rules as clear and specific as possible. Then, discuss them with your students in order to set classroom expectations. They should understand exactly what the rules are, how they apply, and what the consequences are for failing to follow them.
Work with students to outline classroom rules and expectations on the first day of class. It would also be wise to communicate your expectations to their parents. Consider sending students home with a list of the rules for parents to review, sign off on, and return to you.