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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tips for Developing Classroom Rules and Free Banner Printable

Classroom rules are necessary but can be tricky to develop. Ideally, you and your students would sit down on the first day of school and develop class rules as a group. However, if you teach kids with disabilities, this can be nearly impossible.

Yes, in a perfect world, I would love for my kids to help come up with the rules, but it's just flat out not going to happen. The majority of my kiddos are non-verbal and all of them need a consistent and regular schedule. Instead of having the craziness of trying to develop goals as a group, we will discuss the rules the first day of school and talk about examples and non-examples of the rules. To further review the rules, we will use picture symbols to chart what behaviors for each rule look like. I like to follow a few simple steps when setting classroom expectations. 

4 Easy Tips for Developing Classroom Rules:
1. Stick to 3-5 rules- Having too many rules will be hard to keep track of for you and the kiddos. Stick to 3-5 rules that are general enough to cover many scenarios and will carry over to all locations in the school (lunch room, PE, playground, etc). 

2. Use kid friendly words- Don't use words like respect, responsibility, and cooperate! Instead, use shorter words that young students and kids with disabilities will understand and relate to.

3. Post the rules in your class and review them frequently- Posting rules is important so that students (and staff) can refer to the rules when needed. For example, if a kid is throwing toys, you can point to the rules and say, "One of our class rules is that we use our hands for helping. Will you help me pick the toys up?" You should also review the rules frequently with the kiddos, probably daily for the first few weeks of school. 

4. Keep them in positive terms- Instead of a rule that says, "Don't say bad words" or "Don't hit your friends" say "We use nice words" or "We use our hands for helping." Kids don't hear the "don't," instead they just hear "say bad words" or "hit your friends." Keep it in positive terms of what you want the kid to do!

I made a banner with our classroom rules. I cut them out, laminated them, and attached them to a ribbon. You can download these for free here.  

Note: If you want to use these banners but change the rules, leave your email address in the comment area and I will email you the Powerpoint that will let you edit the banners!


  1. Great idea! Can I have the power point???

  2. Great rules! Can I get the power point?


    Can I use the Powerpoint?

  4. Please email me the powerpoint when you can :) Thank you~!~Chloe

  5. Love this idea. Please email me the powerpoint!

    Thank you!!!

  6. Could I please have the powerpoint? Love the idea

  7. Could you send me the powerpoint?

    Thank you!!!!

  8. Hi! This is great!! Can you please e-mail me an editable version?