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Establishing Classroom Rules

Professional Development Resources, Recommended Reading, and Classroom Activities

Found In: Classroom Management

Appropriate behavior fosters a positive classroom environment. Engaging students on the first day of school in creating of a set of rules helps ensure their investment. The following professional development resources, articles, and activities offer different approaches to this common start of school task.

Professional Development

Welcome to Classroom Management Online Training (Grades K-5)
Online classroom management program. Four modules designed to assist elementary teachers address behavior problems in an effective manner. Module One is Establishing Classroom Rules. All modules include pre-tests and post-tests.

Career & Technical Education ( PDF, 5.5 MB, 1 pg with 42 slides) (Grades K-12)
The “Establishing Classroom Rules and Procedures” presentation includes audio and slides, which provide an outlined summary of Chapter 6 from The Art and Science of Teaching by Robert Marzano. It identifies proven techniques for developing classroom rules and procedures.

Effective Classroom Practices (Grades K-12)
This series of eight mini modules on essential classroom practices includes “Classroom Expectations and Rules.” Modules have Power Point presentations, fact sheets, writing examples and activities, worksheets, and more.

Recommended Reading

Series on Highly Effective Practices: Establishing & Teaching Classroom Expectations
In this literature review, part 3 of a 9-part series covers the creation of classroom rules and recommends proven strategies.

Establishing & Teaching Classroom Expectations ( PDF, 112 KB, 5 pgs.)
Considers different approaches and recommends proven strategies.

Establishing Classroom Rules and Procedures. From The Art and Science of Teaching ( PDF, 73 KB, 11 pgs.)
This is the full text transcript of an audio recording and PowerPoint presentation of “Establishing Classroom Rules and Procedures.” It includes a printable rules and procedures worksheet.

Establish Rules & Consequences
Provides PDF versions of guidelines for crafting effective rules, elementary and secondary consequences that work, and a plan to teach and invest students in rules and consequences.

Creating Classroom Rules Together
Provides a list of rules to adapt and expand to meet the needs of each class and grade level.

Everyday Rules That Really Work! (Grades K-5)
A practical six-point plan for establishing classroom rules and routines.

Establishing Classroom Rules and Consequences ( PDF, 487 KB, 6 pgs.) (Grades K-5)
Recommends developing a cooperative approach to establishing classroom rules and lists practical and impractical discipline strategies, three steps for teaching classroom procedures, procedures to rehearse with students, and 50 tips for motivating students.

Establishing Rules in the Classroom (Grades K-5)
Makes general recommendations and suggests rewards and consequences.

Teachers Need to Clearly Delineate and Consistently Enforce Rules (Grades K-5)
Provides sample teacher established rules and tools for assigning consequences, monitoring student behavior, and contacting parents.

Lessons & Activities

Elementary School

Classroom Rules: A Tale of the Lion and the Mouse: The Golden Rule (Grades PreK-K)
A song and printables to teach the importance of the Golden Rule in the classroom.

Back-to-School: Our First Six Weeks (Grades PreK-K)
This 3-lesson unit is aimed at building a caring classroom environment.

Ages & Stages: Helping Children Adjust to Rules & Routines (Grades PreK-1)
Clarifies classroom rules and offers routines to create a harmonious classroom.

Early Childhood Winning Ideas Contest: Top 5 Ideas for Creating Classroom Rules (Grades PreK-2)
Winning ideas for creating classroom rules.

Creating Classroom Rules (Grades K-2)
In this lesson, students learn about developing classroom rules when a group comprises many different people.

Exercise 6: Classroom Rules (Grades K-2)
Lists key principles for establishing classroom rules and includes videos of teacher student interaction.

Teacher Tips: Creating Classroom Rules (Grades K-2)
Teacher tips (10) for creating classroom rules.

Our Classroom Rules (Grades 1-2)
Students use critical-thinking and writing skills to develop a set of classroom rules. The entire program can be downloaded in 4 PDFs.

Middle & High School

Making Classroom Rules (Grades 5-8)
This lesson plan is based on the premise that inherently rebellious adolescents might respect rules they help create.

Establishing Class Rules 1 ( PDF, 9 KB, 1 pg.) (Grade 6-12)
Printable student workshop for use in a large group discussion about developing classroom rules.

Establishing Classroom Rules (Grade 6-12)
A 35-45 minute activity designed for higher education students but applicable for high school students.



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Tomorrow's Teachers

Establishing Authority in the Classroom

By Tim Walker, NEA Sr. Writer

Getting off to a good start in the classroom requires establishing authority early.