Elementary School Classroom Rules and Procedures

Instructor: Marquis Grant
Rules and procedures are an important part of any classroom environment. This lesson will highlight ways in which you can successfully implement and reinforce rules at the elementary school level. A short quiz will follow to test your knowledge.

Elementary School Classroom Rules & Procedures

Creating classroom rules and expectations should be done with same mindset as planning a unit lesson. What do you really want students to be able to do in the classroom? How will students be monitored and rewarded to support the continuation of positive behavior? Are certain rules flexible, or are they all etched in stone? You will need to know what you are going to do prior to the first day of school so that you can immediately begin teaching rules and procedures to your students.

When establishing rules and procedures for younger students, it is important to be clear and concise without overwhelming them with too many details. Little minds are more prone to forgetting huge bundles of information, so the more specific, the better. There are several ideas that can be used to get classroom rules and procedures across to the little ones without completely losing them in the process.


Modeling is an explicit instructional strategy that involves a demonstration of what the teacher expects of each student. The use of modeling will give students the chance to see the teacher perform the expected behaviors. This way, there will leave little question in their minds about what their roles in the classroom are. Also, it might be a good idea to have a couple of students model in order to increase the likelihood that they will remember rules and procedures. This will give them an opportunity to take part in the process.

Social Story Scripts

Social story scripts can be created by the teacher to address problem behaviors and offer ways in which those behaviors can be resolved
Social Stories

Social story scripts are stories that are used to encourage appropriate behaviors. For example, if bullying is an issue that you want to address, you may want to create a scenario where two or more characters are involved in a bullying incident. You can create text blocks similar to those used in the example above and in each block create a sequence of events. You would start with the problem (perhaps one character bullying the other) and end with a solution (maybe the bully apologizes). To really get your students engaged and reinforce rules and procedures at the same time, you may also have your students create their own social story scripts (maybe integrate it into language arts).

Visual Representations

Consider using pictures or symbols along with your rules so that students will have a visual reminder of your expectations
Visual Chart for Rules and Procedures

It is always a good idea to have rules and procedures posted somewhere in the classroom that students can use as a reference for expected behaviors. It may be a good idea to include a picture or symbol beside each rule so that the students will have a quick reference without having to do a lot of reading. Pictures and symbols are great for students with disabilities and those with language barriers. However, all children can benefit from visual reminders.

Using Acronyms

Some teachers use acronyms as part of their behavior strategy. This often helps students remember what they are supposed to do during certain times of the class period.


One program that comes to mind is CHAMPS, a classroom management model used in many schools to help maintain positive behavior.

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