Some good rules for an elementary school classroom include arriving at school on time, listening to the teacher, working hard and for pupils to keep their hands and feet to themselves. It has been observed by many elementary school teachers that brainstorming rules with students on their first day helps to ensure that the rules will be followed.
When brainstorming rules with students, it is a good idea to start with the basic goal of going to school — learning — in order to help students understand why the rules exist in the first place. It is also good practice to rephrase any negative commands suggested by students as positive commands. In other words, if a student suggests the rule, "Don't be late for school," this may be rephrased as, "Come to school on time."
To make the rules more concise and easier to follow, the ideas from the brainstorming session can be summarized. For example, the following rules may have been suggested:
- Listen to the teacher
- Follow directions
- Be kind to others
- Use good manners
These can be grouped under the single rule: Be respectful. Other summary rules might be as follows:
- Be prepared (being on time and bringing what is needed)
- Be productive (working hard and doing one's best)
- Be safe (keeping one's hands to oneself and following the rules of the playground).