Classroom Rules & Brag Tags

When I first started teaching, I didn't really know which classroom rules I needed to have.  So, I shopped on TPT and just purchased a cute set of rules and used those.  However, all the sets of rules I found had about a dozen rules and, while all the rules were important, it was impossible for my students to learn them all and for me to remember them, too.

So, after a couple of years, I developed my own set of classroom rules. I came up with 6 essential rules which are simple, (mostly) 2-word phrases.  These 6 rules encompass just about any expectation, rule, or infraction you could possibly think of.

My 6 classroom rules are:
1.  Work Hard
2.  Listen Well
3.  Show Respect
4.  Work & Play Safely
5.  Practice Kindness
6.  Act Responsible

Go ahead, think of something a student might need correction on and see which rule covers that. 

Running in the classroom?  Work & Play Safely
Didn't return homework?  Act Responsible
Not sharing?  Practice Kindness
Talking?  Listen Well, Show Respect, Work Hard - all of those might apply

Seriously, I've used these 6 rules for three years now and I don't need any others - literally everything falls under those categories.

Having 6 simple rules makes it so easy for my students to learn them.  In fact, every day I hear my students quoting the rules to each other. 

This happens a lot:  two students having a dispute over who goes first or who got in line first, etc.  A third student will say to them, "Who's going to practice kindness?"  I don't even need to get involved.  Magic!

I keep these rules in 2 places... I have them stapled to a wall so everyone can see them. 

I also have them on binder rings near my teaching area.  We might flip to a rule we are going to concentrate on that day. 

At the beginning of the year, I teach students the 6 rules and we brainstorm what each of them means and what we can do to follow them.  We focus on one rule each day.  Then, after discussing, brainstorming, etc. my students will write one way they will work to follow the rule.  I made student booklets that we use for this.  They simply complete the prompt "I will...." and draw a picture to go with it.  When the booklet is complete it goes home for parents to see.  Everyone is now fully aware of our rules and expectations.

I've uploaded my Classroom Rules to TPT for you so that you can use them in your own classroom.  The Student Booklets are also included.  (Be sure to click on "PREVIEW" to see what they look like.)  You can find that resource here.

Classroom Rules & Brag Tags

Now, let me switch gears a bit and talk about Brag Tags.  By now I'm sure you've heard of brag tags - if you haven't, get with the program!  Just kidding.  Sort of.

I began using brag tags this past January.  We came back from winter break and I thought I would try them for the 2nd semester.  People, my students L-O-V-E-D them!  I give them out on Friday afternoon and make a huge deal over them.  I'm not going to go into too much detail about them because they are literally all over the place and you can find them on blogs and TPT by doing a simple search.

What I do want to tell you is that my students love them and started asking me if they could earn them for following our Classroom Rules.  For instance, they asked if they could earn a "Practicing Kindness" brag tag.  Well, I didn't have those.  I only had brag tags I'd purchased from other TPT sellers.  So, you know what comes next.... of course I made some!

So now I have 6 coordinating Brag Tags to go with each of the 6 Classroom Rules.  Ta-dah!

Go grab them now!
Classroom Rules & Brag Tags
Classroom Rules & Brag Tags on TPT

>>>TEACHER TIP #1<<<
Many teachers keep their students' brag tags on a ball and chain necklace.  This is what I've done in the past and they do love them.  What's difficult for my 1st graders is getting the necklace open and closed... it's just tough hand coordination for them, so I ended up having to help most of them.

Next year, I thought I might try binder rings.  They won't be able to wear them; however, we can still hang them up and display them.

>>>TEACHER TIP #2<<<
Many teachers store their brag tags in nifty plastic boxes.  I chose to store mine in a binder using these plastic baseball card protectors.  I can easily flip through the binder to find what I'm looking for.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today to check out my classroom rules and brag tags.  Hopefully you picked up a tip or two you can use in your own classroom!

Have an awesome day!

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