Classroom Management – How To Install Rules and Routines

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Another school year is beginning and you need to plan your school year rules and routines. Perhaps last years rules and routines didn’t work very smoothly. You’re thinking of starting over with your rules and routines, but think twice before you do. Here are some guide lines for writing rules and routines that you might not have used. Maybe all you need is to change your approach to routines and the wording of your rules.

General rules are rules that help you teach students what is expected everyday in class. For example :

  • these are classroom behavior rules
  • use rules are stated in a positive language and not negative
  • there should be no more than five to eight rules

  • instill only rules that you are willing to in force
  • these rules should be clear and simple to understand
  • they should always be posted
  • these rules should be discussed and modeled at the beginning of school year
  • when possible write classroom rule as a class

Specific rules teach routines and procedures for activities in and out of the classroom. For example how to walk down the hallway.

  • teach students specific ways how something must be done
  • teachers teach routines for everyday activities so the class becomes more efficient
  • when taught thoroughly it will save valuable time during the school day

For teachers of the upper grades this is one of the most neglected activities. You should think of this as a Proactive teacher activity of high importance. When no taught teachers pay dearly during the year.

When teaching a routine say for instance how to walk down the hallway quietly. Make sure that you have pre-taught the non-verbal signals that you will use to let students know if they didn’t accomplish the required routine as explained by the teacher.

Have the students repeat the routine step by steps until they can do it without much supervision. You may have to repeat the activity many times. Remember don’t settle for any activity that doesn’t meet your specific required behavior. Make them start the activity over as many times as it takes. Stay calm and don’t show emotions.

When you use this method of teaching your class specific routines you are showing them that you feel that this activity is important to you. This is reinforced by the time and energy that you invest in that particular activity. When you stick to your expectations each new routine taught will move along faster because students have learned that you mean what you say.

Happy teaching.



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