Monday, June 24, 2013

Management Monday: Classroom Rules and Procedures

Oh boy, the summer heat is getting to me!  We still have one more month of summer vacation, but I can't seem to get my mind off the upcoming school year.  Do you ever get so overwhelmed that you just stay idle and don't know where to start?  I'm feeling a little bit like that right now!  

Anyway, I wanted to share with you how I set up my classroom rules.  I always start the first day of school with introducing my class rules.  It is very important to let your students know your expectations from the very first day they step into your classroom.  

Each morning I have the class recite each rule aloud and use gestures to represent each one.  By the end of the first week of school, almost all of my students can recite my rules by heart.  This helps a ton when you have to discipline your students for misbehavior.  You can have them self reflect on what they did wrong, identify which rule they broke, and what they will do differently next time.  

Here are my classroom rules with gestures:  

Say:  "Rule number 1, Follow directions quickly."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with one finger (to represent #1), then pretend like you are marching (use your arms only) at a steady pace.  Then when you say the word quickly, move your arms faster.  

Say:  "Rule number 2, Listen to the speaker."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with two fingers (to represent #2), then put your hands to your ear, and then put your hands in front of you and pretend like your hands are talking.  

Say:  "Rule number 3, Raise your hand to speak."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with three fingers (to represent #3), then raise one hand swaying it left to right, and then put your hands in front of you and pretend like your hands are speaking.  

Say:  "Rule number 4, Be a caring friend."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with four fingers (to represent #4), then use your arms to hug yourself and twist your torso from left to right. 

Say:  "Rule number 5, Make good choices."
Gesture:  Put one hand in the air with 5 fingers (to represent #5), then give two thumbs up while nodding your head up and down.  

You can get these classroom posters on my TPT store or Teacher's Notebook store.  

Right now I use the traffic light system for behavior management.  In addition to this, I will be using my blogging friend Mrs. Pauley's kindergarten behavior management system.  Click here to see her post on this topic.  It looks very easy to use and kindergarten friendly.  

Click Here or the picture below for my rules letter to parents for FREE! 


  1. If you have students who act silly, giggle,make an inappropriate comment, just acting goofy during instruction time- would you consider having them move #2 sticks for breaking #2 rules... (#2) LISTEN TO SPEAKER
    and (#5) MAKE GOOD CHOICES ? or would you just have them move #1 stick for #1 rule?
    This silliness was something I had to deal with all year in my class last year.
    Like the idea that students are aware of the rule that they broke, and good idea for remembering which rule for writing notes to parents. THANKS!!!!! Diana

  2. @ C.Pratt

    Hi Diana,

    Thats a great question! I run into that problem too and depending on the group of students I have that year, it can happen regularly. I guess being silly and goofy during instructional time can technically fall under all three of those rules. Here's how I would deal with it: if you are actually teaching and speaking, then I would consider it breaking rule #2 Listen to the speaker. If they were suppose to be on task and doing a project then I would consider it breaking rule #1 Follow directions quickly. I usually use rule #5 when the students actions don't fall under rules #1-4. I usually use rule #5 when students are at recess and they come up with not so good choices that don't fall under rule #1-4. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!