This module continues to explore Design Question 6: What will I do to establish or maintain classroom rules and procedures? Classroom rules and procedures are fundamental and essential to building a productive learning community within the classroom. An essential goal for teachers should be to promote student understanding and ownership of the rules and procedures necessary to maximize learning. In addition, students should be encouraged to periodically revisit classroom operating principles, providing input about how those principles might be changed and how the class as a whole might improve their attention to classroom rules and procedures.
We suggest that teachers minimize the number of rules and procedures to ensure student understanding, adherence, and buy-in. Teachers should begin by establishing general classroom rules and then work toward procedures for more specific areas such as the beginning and end of the school day or period, transitions, and the efficient use of materials and equipment. The following generalizations should guide the design and implementation of classroom rules and procedures:
- Although rules and procedures should be established at the beginning of the school year, students need reminders of when rules and procedures must be added or altered.
- Rules establish general expectations or standards regarding student behavior.
- Procedures describe those behaviors that will help students realize the rules.
- The utility of rules and procedures is enhanced if students have input into their design, especially if the teacher facilitates periodic discussions via classroom meetings.
Reflecting on Your Current Beliefs and Practices