Classroom Rules

I have gotten a few emails lately about my classroom rules and whenever I get a few emails on the same topic – I figure it makes sense to turn it into a post. Setting up clear, visual, and understandable classroom rules is a must in any successful classroom. You want to set up expectations right off the bat. We can’t expect our kiddos to guess how to act appropriately. Many students with autism do not understand embedded social rules – so we need to be explicit. 

There are a lot of theories of how to state classroom rules and there are COUNTLESS adorable ideas and systems on pinterest. Now, I am all for cutesy but you must make sure the creativity doesn’t outweigh the functionality of your rules. I get asked a lot about making sure all rules are stated in the positive form (ie. saying sit down instead of don’t stand). This is important – the reasoning behind this concept is that we want to tell our students what TO do instead of only what NOT to do. However  – I think it is okay to have some rules stated in the negative because sometimes we do need to clearly tell our students to stop doing something.  Sometimes you do need to specify what not to do in order to be as clear and concrete as possible. But – you need to have both. 

I use these visual rules – to specify ‘good’ behavior and ‘bad’ behavior since often our students don’t necessarily know what is good or bad. I find this helps to refer back to when they have a ‘bad’ behavior – to see where it is on the chart. I like using picture even for my higher students because sometimes (and especially when they are upset) the language or written text is still challenging so the pictures help. 

The Autism Helper - Class Rules

I also have a sorting task in some of my students’ morning binder to practice sorting behaviors as either good or bad.

sorting good and bad behavior

These can be purchased as part of my Ultimate Packet of Behavior Management Visuals along with a multitude of versions or other useful behavior visuals. Because – when it comes to behavior management – sometimes we need all the help we can get!

11 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I definitely going to be picking up those visuals and using them next year. I have a couple of kids specifically in mind that I think this will help them out A LOT!
    Kate

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  2. I love these! I use something similar, however, your Boardmaker visuals are so much better than mine! Do you have an add-on set of visuals or something? I know those icons aren’t available on Boardmaker Studio. Let me know, thanks again for sharing all of your ideas 🙂

    Reply
  3. You are very welcome! Glad this helps! 🙂

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  4. I don’t think I have an add on! I think these are from the original boardmaker but I’m not sure!

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  5. I love it thanks for your advice

    Reply
  6. Thanks for reading!

    Reply
  7. my class does not listen

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  8. I am helping in a reception class an autistic boy. He is very very wild and not focused on anything . I am starting to be very demotivated. Can anybody suggest anything that would help me? He layers on the floor and shouts “no way”kicks and has little tantrums. Please I would appreciate any suggestions. Marisa

    Reply
  9. Step 1: find reinforcers! What does he like? Make those items/activities contingent on compliance!

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  10. These are great, I am excited to get them mounted. One question, are they to be printed only on A4 paper or can the good behaviour/bad behaviour chart be enlarged?

    Reply
  11. They are regular paper size but you could definitely enlarge! 🙂

    Reply

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