Classroom Rule Ideas That Actually Work

Establishing classroom rules is important for maintaining order and encouraging the best from your students. Rules set a foundation for a positive learning environment where students learn, grow, and thrive.

But how do you make classroom rules that students will follow? Consider involving your students in the process. When they take part in making the rules, they’ll be less likely to complain about them.

9 Examples of Classroom Rules to Integrate in Your Classroom

Here are a few classroom rules to consider for your classroom . Use this list as a starting point to create your own set of adaptable rules with student involvement.

1. Be on time

Punctuality is a great habit to learn at school. Students should know that being on time is essential to keep the classroom running smoothly. The same rule should be followed after lunch or recess breaks.

2. Be respectful

Treat others the way you want to be treated. We’ve all heard it, but do students always practice it in the classroom?

Respect for teachers and peers should be practiced until it becomes second nature. There should be a zero-tolerance policy for impolite behavior or bullying.Encourage kindness and extending a helping hand to others. Does a student witness a peer being bullied? They should be taught to stand up for others. Does someone need extra supplies? Sharing is quite literally caring in the classroom.

3. Finish work on time

Unless any extension is provided by the teacher, all work or assignments should be submitted on time. This is how students learn to respect deadlines. It’s an essential skill that will serve them well into adulthood.

4. Keep the classroom tidy

Students are responsible for keeping their classroom neat and clean. Remind them to use trash cans (and recycling bins!) properly. At the end of the period, students should work together to put supplies back where they belong and clean up any messes they spot.

5. Don’t disturb others

While it’s tempting to chat with peers, it’s disrespectful to other students (and the teacher). Students should know that they must devote their full attention to the lesson.

Raising one’s hand when one needs to ask something is one of the basic rules that your students should follow in school.

6. Ask permission before leaving class

If students must leave your class to use the restroom or visit their locker, they should politely ask for your permission and/or use a hall pass.

7. Line up quietly and wait your turn

Students should be advised to stand politely in the queue and patiently await their turn for anything (e.g., leaving class for lunch). Students should also be taught to respect each other’s personal space.

8. Participate in classroom activities

Activities in the classroom are also an essential part of the learning process. Every student should take part. This is when students realize their potential and learn to take responsibility for their own actions. Plus, team activities can build leadership skills.

9. Respect each other’s property

Each student must care not only for their own property, but also for the property of their peers and the school. Students should ask for permission before borrowing another student’s belongings and should take good care of them.

Set Classroom Rules That Are Best for Your Class

These are some general rules that can help students succeed in your classroom. It may be difficult for students to remember this long list of rules, so to make it easier, you could hang posters around your room to remind them of the expectations. Alternatively, you could select only a few rules and make them as clear and specific as possible.

With the help of students, decide what the consequences will be for breaking rules. Emphasize that rules make the classroom a safer and more enjoyable place for everyone.

This article was adapted from a blog post initially developed by the education technology company Classcraft, which was acquired by HMH in 2023. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.


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