This lesson provides information on organizing the classroom through the establishment and maintenance of classroom rules and procedures. Rules and procedures add both consistency and structure to daily classroom activities. The paraeducator often plays an important role in helping students learn both rules and procedures. Once learned, rules and procedures promote an efficient and effective classroom.
Rules communicate expectations and form the basis for catching students being good.
The following are suggestions for establishing classroom rules:
Rules should be relevant, they should be clear and they should be concise.
The paraeducator should be prepared to use the classroom rules effectively. This includes reaching agreement with the teacher on descriptions of what type of behavior complies with the rules and what type of behavior breaks the rules. It also includes reaching agreement with the teacher on what consequences or procedures should be used when rules are followed and when they are not followed. Finally, you should familiarize yourself with the school district policies.
Classroom rules must be specifically taught to students. Particularly during the first part of the school year, the teacher and the paraeducator should spend time teaching the rules to the students. This will include explaining the rules and behavior that meets the rules, modeling and practicing these behaviors, providing corrective feedback and providing praise and reinforcement when students follow the rules.
The following also support the classroom rules:
The teacher and the paraeducator should also find ways to monitor how consistent they are in applying the rules. Strategies might include completing a self-check questionnaire, recording of interactions with students regarding the rules and observation by the teacher.
The following three rules are examples which meet our criteria for good rules.
These examples are simple and concise. They are stated positively. They allow you to identify when a student is following the rule.
Most activities in the classroom occur on a regular basis. Getting materials and starting lessons, asking the teacher or paraeducator for assistance, and moving from one activity to another are example of activities which occur on a daily basis. Classrooms which establish procedures for accomplishing these activities are more effective and efficient. To create procedures, the teacher outlines the steps in the activity and creates rules for carrying out the procedure. The procedure is then explained to students and practiced. The teacher and the paraeducator provide cues to students, model correct behaviors and reinforce students for following identified procedures.
Procedures also promote consistent behaviors from teachers and paraeducators.
The following are further examples of activities for which the teacher might define procedures: