Thursday, August 6, 2015

Class Rules Activity

It's important to go over the class rules on the first day of class, but there's nothing that makes students check out quicker. After several class periods, it just sounds like so much blah, blah, blah.

Here's an activity that involves students in the process. Not only does it require their attention and participation, I find that students understand and follow the rules better since they feel at least partial ownership.

First, lay out the non-negotiable rules. The fewer, the better. Mine are: Be Respectful, Be Prepared, and Understand and Follow Class Policies.

Ask students to write down their expectation for the class, including for academics, the instructor, and classmates. Then put them in groups of 4 -5 to share and consolidate their ideas. Then have the groups share with the whole class. Decide, as a class, what the rules should be (of course you have veto power, but it's surprising how fair and thorough the students usually are).

You can then prepare a printed version of the rules and add other class policies.

Good luck, and happy first day!

If you want more detailed instructions, a poster, graphic organizers, a template for class policies, and a fun quiz regarding the rules, I have a prepared packet for purchase here:

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