Classroom management is all about setting the standard of behaviour that you wish to see from your students. A clear set of rules and procedures that students can base their actions around ensures a higher level of learning and engagement, with fewer distractions from inappropriate conduct, and a greater amount of mutual respect.
What is the difference between rules and procedures in classroom management?
A rule is a set of guidelines, drawing the line firmly as to acceptable and unacceptable standards of behaviour for your class: i.e., students must act with respect to one another and the teacher. Rules are broader than procedures and can encompass a range of behaviours.
A procedure specifies an action or routine, the behaviour itself, and is often in response to something: i.e., what a student should do when they have finished their work early. This is a clear guideline for students to follow, removing ambiguity and classroom-disrupting questions or wasted time.
- Arrive at class on time.
- Have all mobile devices packed away in bags unless told otherwise.
- Treat the teacher and fellow classmates with respect (this can be broken down into more specific rules such as raise your hand to speak, and listen to others when they are talking).
- What to do upon entering and exiting the classroom.
- How to request a toilet break.
- What to do if you feel ill in class.
- How to request shared class resources and how to properly return them after use.
Why are they important?
While their name may sound harsh or strict, rules and procedures help to create a more harmonious classroom environment. They form a clear agreement between student and teacher that creates a level of trust. Consequences for breaking that trust should be communicated clearly and doled fairly. Consistency and openness are crucial for creating and maintaining the benefits of these classroom management staples.
What can I do to establish and maintain rules and procedures?
For rules that promote a greater sense of community in your classroom, it’s good to get the class involved in the creation-process. Ask students what sort of behaviour they like to see in others and create a mind-map of their answers. Break down broader rules into more defined rules and procedures. The infinite canvas of the Promethean Whiteboard App means you can edit and build on your map however you need.
Agreeing with the class on the consequences of rule-breaking also helps maintain a sense of fairness when punishment is given. Of course, as behaviour has varying degrees of appropriateness, so too will consequences. A colour-coded chart is easy to create, and clearly links improper actions with their corresponding levels of penalty.
Reward systems are just as important (if not more) than punishments in maintaining rules and procedures. Think of aspirational behaviour and inbuild them into your class rules. Then keep track with activities such as this fun flipchart or this compliment jar.
For displaying your classroom rules and procedures there are plenty of eye-catching flipcharts in Promethean Resource Library free for download. Or use these as inspiration to create your own. No longer do you need to make a chart by hand and find space on the wall to display it. With split screen capabilities on the ActivPanel, you can have your classroom rules presented front-of-class whenever you need alongside your lesson content.
For more teaching content and inspiration, why not check out Learn Promethean? This valuable professional development resource hosts a range of free courses, videos and articles developed and delivered by Promethean’s educator team.