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Classroom Rules Poster

Rules.  Classroom rules.  These fall under the category of classroom management that I just haven’t quite figured out yet.  My big things to work on for 2014-2015 are classroom management / effective group work.  These actually go hand-in-hand because the reason my group work has never been effective is that I lack classroom management skills.  I start off the year too nice, too friendly.  I overlook things, thinking they’ll go away.  They don’t.  They just get worse.  I make threats.  Empty threats.  And, the kids know it.  This certainly doesn’t help.  I get strict.  Then, I relax my rules.  There is no consistency.  And, I know consistency is key.  So, I’ve been spending time this summer coming up with a classroom management plan that I can stick with Day 1 – Day 180.

My first year of teaching, I had 2 rules.  Work Hard.  Be Nice.  These were NOT specific enough.  My second year of teaching, I didn’t post any rules.  This was not a good choice either.

classroom rules poster

As part of this process, I re-read Harry Wong’s The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher.  In this book, Wong suggests that a teacher should have no more than five rules for their classroom.  After spending a lot of time thinking about what I want my classroom to look like, I settled on these five rules.  

Classroom Rules

1.  Be in your seat with all necessary supplies when the bell rings.  

I hate wasting class time.  My students love to come waltzing into class minutes after the bell rings.  My school has no consequence for tardies, so I’m going to make my own.  I value my class time.  My rules should reflect that.

classroom rules poster

2.  Follow directions the first time they are given.  

I shouldn’t have to repeat my directions a million times because students are doing their own thing and not paying attention.  Once again, it comes down to valuing class time.

classroom rules poster

3. No cursing or teasing.  

My school has a major bullying problem.  I need to be better at watching for these things and taking disciplinary action.

classroom rules poster

4.  No Distractions: No Grooming | No Food Or Drinks | No Electronics

This year, I had a pair of students who thought that Algebra 2 was time for applying make up.  No.  I now see why my 9th grade English teacher had the rule of no grooming in class.  For the past 2 years, I’ve let students have food and drinks in my classroom though it is technically against school policy.  A few teachers enforce this.  Most of the rest of us let it slide.  But, I’m getting tired of students not throwing away their trash or spilling the giant Sonic drinks on my carpet.  No more.  The kids will probably hate me, but it will make my life better.  No electronics.  This year, I will not tolerate cell phones unless I have specifically told students that they may use them for an activity.  My kids can’t focus on me with an electronic device in front of them.  We are not a BYOD school.  Students are not supposed to have their cell phones out during class.  If I enforce this from Day 1, I think the year will go a lot smoother.

classroom rules poster

5.  Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.  

I shouldn’t have to make this a rule.  But, I teach freshmen.  And, freshmen boys tend to have some maturity issues.  I’ve had students try to cut another’s hair.  I’ve had students draw on other students.  I had one boy put glue on another boy’s head.  Yeah, I need this rule.

classroom rules poster

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Classroom Rules 14-15 (PDF) (535 downloads)

Want more posters? Check out my posters page!

Unknown

Friday 15th of August 2014

Hi Sarah! I love your posters and already have many up in my classroom. However, I can't seem to download these in a way that I can edit them. Is it possible for you to send them to me as a Word document lfrazee79[at]gmail.com?

Jan Lichtenberger

Thursday 10th of July 2014

Our school has three R's: Respect, Responsibility and Readiness. All of the rules for my class fall under these three. We are a PBIS school so the first week is spent teaching the students specific behaviors in all areas of the building. Teaching the students what the expectations are has been wonderful. Everyone is on the same page as far as expectations. Readiness is whereI have my tardy policy. Everyone gets one free tardy pass per quarter. After that if they do not have a pass from a teacher they have a detention with me. I am very strict with this at the beginning and it does make a difference later in the year. Some years I have not been strict with this and have paid the price later in the year. I am also lucky that my room is in a dead zone so there is no cell service. I am in an inside room on the lower level. So no problems with cell phone usage:)

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Friday 8th of August 2014

LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous

Sunday 27th of July 2014

I use the "Three Re's" also! I love them. I also have a list of procedures and expectations and on the first day they categorize them into one of the Three Re's they think each one belongs. It's really fun to see them realize that I am not kidding when I say that everything you can do correctly or INcorrectly will fall under one of the three categories.

Jan Lichtenberger

Friday 11th of July 2014

Hi Nancy, PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Here is the website: https://www.pbis.org/ It is an entire school initiative. It has been very successful at my school. Most of the schools in my district are PBIS schools. Jan

Nancy in Indiana

Thursday 10th of July 2014

Hi Jan, What is PBIS? Thanks, Nancy

Kathryn Laster

Thursday 10th of July 2014

Thanks for another great set of posters! I'm a huge fan of Harry Wong, and I re-read parts of his "First Days..." and I've been teaching many years. I love that he makes the distinction between procedures vs. classroom management, and the need to have procedures and routines for EVERYTHING. I recently attended a classroom management session at a conference and a new a-ha for me was to create visuals (photographs) and rubrics for procedures (and I blogged about it here: https://www.nolimitsonlearning.com/2014/07/classroom-management-and-ascdcte14.html.) Thanks again for sharing!

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Friday 11th of July 2014

Oooh! I love the rubric idea! Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. S

Wednesday 9th of July 2014

These rules look great! I just finished my first year teaching and I feel I have some of the same problems as you do - lack of consistency and being too nice!

Have you given any thought to what your consequences for breaking these rules will be? The only rule I was able to consistently reinforce in my classroom was the cell phone ban as it is relatively easy to confiscate a phone for an hour.

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Friday 11th of July 2014

Thanks! I've started thinking about consequences - mainly lunch or after school detention. But, I haven't finalized anything yet. I'm terrible about handing out consequences. It's just a pain to make sure that students follow through with every detention, etc. I need to make me some sort of tracking sheet or something for this year.

We will master this classroom management thing!

Nancy in Indiana again

Wednesday 9th of July 2014

P.S. I had 3 rules last year: 1. Come to class ready to learn. (No digital devices is included in this.) 2. Raise your hand before speaking or getting up. 3. Treat others with kindness and respect. They worked pretty well, so I'm keeping them for this year. They are a bit broad, so I do need to address specific behaviors as they come up and explain what's acceptable and what's not.

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Friday 11th of July 2014

I like these rules! I hope that I can eventually move to less specific rules. Thanks for sharing!