Setting the rules in the classroom
Setting rules in your classroom is a key way to establish boundaries with your pupils, ensuring that your lessons are focused on learning and not wasted by your having to manage behavior around the room.
To engage your pupils with your classroom rules, it’s important to have them play a part in their creation. This will increase your pupils' awareness of why the rules are important, and the likelihood of your students then respecting and adhering to your rules.
Here are some fun, creative ideas on how to set rules in the classroom:
1. Keep them simple
Ask your students what they feel would help them when they come to school get the most out of their day, so that they have fun in class and lots to talk about when they go home.
Try to keep your list to 10 rules or fewer - whilst you need to ensure you have a way of managing behaviour and participation in your classroom, you also want to keep the space open and productive, to help your pupils learn in a free, supportive environment.
2. Make them fun
If you’re teaching a young age group, it will be important to make the rules as fun as possible to gain the interest of each one of your students.
If one of your rules is that coats and bags need to be hung up each morning on pegs, you could encourage your pupils to create little pictures to stick by their pegs, which will serve as a reminder each day to follow that rule. Your children can let their creativity run free and use anything from gel pens to oil pastels to personalise their peg with images and a name tag.
3. Keep them clear
Make sure that every one of your pupils has had an opportunity to hear, read, digest, and clarify the rules before you start enforcing them. You need to display the rules prominently, ideally in a fun, colourful way. For example, you could use flip chart paper to make an image chart displayed on part of your wall or door that the children can get involved with making.
Be open to clarification with your pupils about exactly what the rules mean and ensure you enforce them consistently, so that people are clear about respecting them.
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