How do you develop an effective behavior management plan?
Page 4: Rules
|Specific||Rules should be stated in precise, jargon-free terminology.
|Observable and measurable||Behaviors should be evident and measurable, if necessary.
|Stated positively||Rules should be stated in positive rather than negative terms.
|Convey expected behavior||Teachers often have rules involving respect for others, following directions, and aspects of work such as being prepared and completing assignments.
Because teachers should create rules based on realistic, age-appropriate behavioral expectations, it’s normal for rules to differ somewhat for elementary, middle, and high school students. Regardless what grade level they’re created for, however, classroom rules should be specific, observable, positively stated, and convey expected behavior. Additionally, teachers should limit the number of rules to five or fewer. Below are some sample rules for a middle school classroom.
Teachers typically arrange their rules in order of priority to address those behaviors that are most problematic within a given age group. For example, elementary school students often have difficulty understanding that it is not acceptable to use others’ belongings without asking. By the time students enter middle school, however, they have come to understand this concept but tend to struggle with following teacher directions. For students in high school, arriving to class on time becomes a predominant issue. The table below highlights the first rule in each of the sample lists for elementary, middle, and high school.
|Grade Level||Behavior of Concern||Rule to Address Behavior|
|Elementary||Using other students’ belongings without asking permission||Ask permission before using others’ materials|
|Middle||Not following directions||Follow teacher directions the first time they are given|
|High||Arriving to class late||Arrive on time|
Lori Jackman describes how the posting of classroom rules allowed her to more efficiently address behavioral issues (time: 0:53).
Lori Jackman, EdD
Assistant Professor of Special Education
Now it’s your turn to create your own set of rules. You can develop them for the fifth-grade classroom described in the Challenge or for the grade level that you currently teach or intend to teach someday. Click here to develop your own set of rules.