Establishing rules and consequences in the classroom is extremely important. Rules are for the safety of the students and every student has the right to a safe learning environment.
Rules in the Classroom
Ideally, you should have 3-5 rules for your classroom. Your rules should be clear and concise so your students understand them. Next, you also keep them broad enough so most infractions fall under the rules. Almost any “rule” you could think of would fall under something as simple as:
- Respect Yourself
- Be Respectful of Others
- Respect Materials
Consequences in the Classroom
By determining the consequences ahead of time makes it easier than having to think about a consequence when misbehavior arises. Consequences should be natural to the rule broken. If a student misuses a material, they lose the privilege to use it. If a student disrupts group work, they lose the privilege to work with the group.
When I first started teaching, my biggest problem was that I gave out too many warnings and never followed through. So how did I fix it?
Restate the Expectation
If a student is blurting out…the first thing you should do is ignore the behavior and remind everyone of the procedure. You might say something like “I like the way Tyler is raising his hand” This allows the student who is blurting out to hear the correct way to answer but also rewards Tyler for doing the right thing.
Remind of the Consequence
If the blurting out continues, you might say “remember if we don’t raise our hands before we speak, we will have to lose a Dojo Point (or whatever the consequence you have decided)”
Give Consequence without Explanation
If the blurring out continues again, just take the point or give the tally, whatever the procedure you decided. Don’t say anything. Don’t say…that’s it…now you are losing a point. Just give the consequence and go back to teaching.
If a more severe rule has been broken, you should have a conversation with the student in private. Always remember to praise students publicly and correct students privately.
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