Creating Classroom Rules for Multiple Classes


Every school year I give students an opportunity to help create our classroom expectations/rules.  Many teachers use this same strategy. I feel like having students as part of this process is important and often encourages additional ownership since their input is being valued.  The expectations that are created are referenced through the school year.

This year I went with a different strategy for creating our classroom expectations.   After exchanging a few Tweets with William, I was inspired to create one set of expectations for all of my classes.  Keep in mind I teach multiple classes with different students.

To start, I gave each student a Post-it note.  Students were then asked to create two or more rules/expectations that they felt were necessary.  Some students had a huge list while others barely came up with two.  I used this strategy for all of my classes on Tuesday.  All of the responses were collected and compiled.

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This is about 1/4 of the total amount

During that evening I put together all the suggestions in a Google Doc.  I had to combine some of the responses because they were so similar. (click image to enlarge)

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Student ideas

All of the classes voted and came to a consensus.  In the end I tallied up the votes and the class expectations were shown to the students the very next day.  I displayed a graph and the class discussed the importance of the top five expectations. This was also an opportunity to discuss why expectations are needed in schools.

Reviewing student responses

After a classroom discussion, the top five expectations were chosen.  Students then placed their signatures around the expectations list.

Post-It NotesThe class then created anchor charts that gave clear examples of the different expectations.  I’m planning on keeping the charts up throughout the year and reference them as needed.

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This strategy seemed to work well.  I’m going to put it in my toolbox for future use.  How do you create expectations in the classroom?

Author: Matt Coaty

I've taught elementary students for the past 14 years. I enjoy reading educational research and learning from my PLN. Words on this blog are my own.

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