For the first five years of my teaching career, I hit the rules HARD during the first few weeks of school and then kind of forgot about them as the year continued.
As the years passed by, I realized the importance of hitting the rules often THROUGHOUT the year. We now review the rules every day while referring to our class posters. My kids also have hand signals for each of them. I try to have the kids say them three times per day but no less than once per day.
When I began to do this, it transformed my classroom management. By the end of the second week my kids know the rules so well that when they see someone breaking a rule, they correct the behavior. Talk about a timer saver for me!
I use these presentations to introduce and go over our rules:
These slides go over our rules explicitly. This is important. If the kids don’t know or understand the rules, they legitimately cannot follow them. When my students know and understand the rules, they are much more likely to follow them.
I use this slideshow a lot during the first month of school and right after every long break. I’ll also go over them when I see that we need a touch up on management (crazy times of the year like Halloween).
For daily use, we refer to these posters:
They are placed in the front of the classroom where we can all refer to them easily. As I said earlier, we refer to these every day. I make sure to go over them at the beginning of our day. It’s super quick. The kids helped me make up hand gestures for each of them. Ideally, we will go over them each time we return to the classroom like after specials, lunch, and recess. The kids know that this is part of our daily routine.
When I correct behavior (or better yet, when the kids help me correct behavior) I try not to use an accusatory tone. I just use a reminder such as “class, what’s rule number 1?” All the kids say it and no one has to get scolded. My kids get super good about doing this too. If they see a friend breaking a rule, they call their friend’s attention and say something like “Andy, rule number 3.” They say the rule together and the situation is taken care of. Most of the time, my kids take care of these small situations. It’s a direct result of the class knowing the rules so well.
If you would like to get a set of my PowerPoint slideshow, just click below:
This presentation has completely editable text so you can customize as needed for your kids!
If you’d like a set of my posters, those are available here:
These posters have editable text as well 🙂