The first day of the school year brings lots of new information and procedures for students to learn. For example, each teacher has a set of classroom rules for students to learn and obey. Teachers look for creative ways to teach the rules. Teaching the rules in fun ways helps students learn and remember them faster and perhaps be more willing to accept them.
In preschool through second grade, students may comprehend the rules better than they can read them. Ask the students to help you by illustrating the rules. For example, if one of your rules is to treat others with respect or as they would like to be treated, have the students draw a picture of what that looks like. Use some of the students’ illustrations beside your rules chart to remind them of what you are looking for. Alternatively, have each student illustrate each rule and make her own class rule book.
My Class Rules
Encourage your elementary and middle school students to participate in the rule-making process. Put them in small groups of three or four students and have them create prospective rules for the class. Limit the rules to four per group, and have each group explain why they chose the rules on their list. Invite students to act out obeying the rules. Compile a list of the best rules after you eliminate the duplicates. Vote on the top ten rules and the consequences. Alternatively, have students create a rap song to teach the rules.
Rules Word Games
Write rules in short segments on index cards, such as “I will treat,” “others as I want” and “to be treated” on three separate cards. Scramble several of the rules together and have your elementary students construct each rule correctly. Another option leaves one or more words out of each rule and places the missing words in a crossword puzzle or a word search puzzle. Alternatively, place the words in a maze where the correct order of the words gets you through the maze.
Rules Match Games
In a grid, lay out cards with rules spelled out and a companion card with your elementary class rule illustrated. Shuffle the cards and lay them out on the grid and have students find the matching cards. Alternatively, list the rules in categories such as acceptable classroom behaviors, how to properly lay out your assignment papers (name, date, subject) or opening and ending class behaviors. Have students match the rule with the appropriate category.
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