What are five major classroom rules for toddlers and elementary school age children?

Expert Answers
marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here's my classroom rules:

1) Don't talk or make noise when the teacher is talking.

2) Raise your hand if you have something to say.

3) Keep your hands and feet to yourself.

4) Follow the school rules.

5) No back talking or disrespect to anyone!

These pretty much cover the basic Christian tenets, "Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you," and "Love thy neighbor as thyself." 

A classroom is a theater of learning, not a babysitting session. If a teacher is busy disciplining, he/she is losing valuable teaching time. Most of the desirable behavioral traits and characteristics teachers expect are things the children should be learning or should have already learned at home. But, even if they have learned them, it's a whole different story when they rub elbows with other children their age.  When kids get together they want to play and fool around; they want to test the boundaries of established limits and restrictions. What one won't think of another one will. That's why strict classroom rules have to be established and enforced. 

kmarvinusf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Whole Brain teaching implements an entire classroom management plan that explains the 5 rules that cover every possible behavior issue you could encounter and how to deal with it.  The rules are:

1.  Follow directions quickly.

2.  Raise your hand for permission to speak.

3.  Raise your hand to leave your seat.

4.  Make smart choices.  

5.  Keep your dear teacher happy.

I have used these rules all year long and rules 4 and 5 are your safety-nets that encompass any potential rule-disputes your children might conjure up.  A parent has never had an issue with the "dear teacher" part, either.  In the past I have used rules such as "hands and feet to yourself" and "walk quietly in line" but these are too specific.  

With the whole-brain system, challenging behaviors are eliminated almost immediately and the students self-monitor their own and each other's behavior.


readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What a great question. There will be some differences of opinion, because all teachers have different pedagogical methods and educational convictions. Here are my top five rules.

First, if there is ever an emergency, they need to let a teacher know right away.

Second, when the teacher is talking, students need to be quiet and listen. Students also need to learn the distinction between teachers and students.

Third, students need to respect their peers. This means treating them as they want to be treated.

Fourth, students need to raise their hands if they want the attention of a teacher.

Fifth, no pushing or shoving or being physical with any of the other students.


pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that #3 from the first post is the most important for kids that age (and maybe for any age).  Students need to feel safe (as we know from Maslow) if they are going to be able to thrive intellectually.  So I think that "respect your peers" would be my first rule.

Since there are a million rules you could have, I think I'd boil it down to four ambiguous rules.  Respect your peers, respect the teacher, respect the school, respect yourself.

This would be more for older elementary kids like 4th or 5th graders who could handle the ambiguity.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I personally think that #4 makes an excellent observation regarding the abiding need for respect in every aspect of life for toddlers. Essentially, you want these children to learn to value themselves as individuals, to value their peers as individuals and respect them, to learn to value their teacher and the school, and finally to respect and value the world around them. In a sense, all the other rules that are suggested above stem from these four key areas of respect and valuing.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the five rules you select for students this age need to reflect the practices you wish to establish throughout the school career, and the above postings do this. My choices would be

* Keep hands and feet to yourself

*treat others as you want to be treated

*be the best you can be

*ask permission to leave the room

*respect and listen to the views of others

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here would be mine:

1.  Listen when others are speaking.

2.  Use your words to express your feelings instead of physical tactics like pushing, biting, or just taking something.

3.  Take turns and share.

4.  Do what the teacher asks -- the first time.

5.  Help clean up your own messes, lunch, toys and activities.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All good posts and contributions so far, and those rules, in different wordings, are no different later in school and in life.  You might add:

1)  Don't say things you would not say to Grandma

2) Respect the property and privacy of others

3) Listen when anyone else is speaking

4) Pick up after yourself

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In today's increasingly violent and disorderly and disrespectful society, one rule critical for any who enter within school walls is that verbal and physical violence is absolutely forbidden, even if it is under the guise of "goofing around" or "having fun."

lafresa | Student
What are five major classroom rules for toddlers and elementary school age children?

What are five major classroom rules for toddlers and elementary school age children?

 It is not developmentally appropriate to tell a toddler "Don't Hit" or even to keep telling them to share ...and actually that goes for any child . It annoys me when I hear teachers say "Share this , Share that." Let me ask you something , do you share everything you own ? I highly doubt it . The message you actually tell a child when you tell them to literally share everything is well to share everything and let's face there's things that you just don't share with others or that you shouldn't . I get that you're trying yo enforce positive behaviour but telling them to take turns using something is much better than telling them to share . I could go on about these rules forever but I won't . Back to the topic , when making rules for toddlers remember they're still young and there's a lot they still don't understand . In my classroom , my only rules are : 1. Smile when you walk into the classroom 2. Have Fun 3. Love Everyone . If I was teaching an older group let's say Grade 1 or 2 , I would still keep my rules simple and would have three main rules : 1. I will not allow you to harm yourself 2. I will not allow you to harm others. 3. I will not allow you to harm the environment. And I think this would pretty much sum up everything . Respecting others, the environment and themselves . These are the main rules any teacher should have in their classroom rather than No this No that and having 500 rules children will never remember.

sspicer | Student

keep it simple and respectful and easy to understand and enforce

Always use listening ears

Always use gentle hands

Always use walking feet indoors

Always use indoor voices inside

I am an early childhood teacher for toddler and young preschool age children.  So the thought of expecting children to raise hands, sit still, be quiet.. blah blah blah. mortifies me. It just isn't developmentally appropriate and honestly  I feel the same about sharing, I would much rather teach children that sometimes you have to wait to get what you want,  You can ask the other child if she can give it to you when she is done using it.  Give them realistic tools to help them get through life.