Monday, June 8, 2015

Class rules and procedures - laying down the law.

Recently, the topic of classroom management came up and I was asked, "What are your class rules?"

These are the rules and procedures I gave my students in the first lesson of this academic year April 2015, for 9th graders (14-15 years old). The copy I gave the students also had a third column with a translation in their 1L. I have all students glue this sheet into the front cover of their textbooks during the first lesson of the year so it's always there and I can have them to refer to it when necessary.

After going through the rules, I had each class come up with their own rewards and punishments. The most commonly desired reward was to watch a movie, and punishment was extra homework. One class requested a "boring talk" from Ms. Kuiper as a punishment. I'm sure I could come up with something boring, like my sock collection or all the different kinds of cheeses I enjoy and can they name any more types of cheese ...

NB: the bell that starts and finishes class in Japan is called the 'chime', so I just use that word.


  1. Put your textbook, worksheets file, iPad and pencil case on your AB pairwork desk.
  2. Push the desk together with your partner’s desk so you can talk easily.
  3. Sit down before the chime rings.
  1. Silence when the chime goes. The leaders stands and does the greeting.
  2. Once the chime has sounded, you MAY NOT go and get your stuff (unless you have permission from the teacher).
  1. Write the goal down on your learning log.
  1. Ask your partner the questions in English. Help them to answer using English.
  1. Listen without speaking when the teacher is talking.
  2. Raise your hand to ask a question.
  3. Encourage your partner.
  4. Keep the conversation in English - unless you’re explaining an activity to a classmate who doesn’t understand.
  5. Look up new words in the dictionary app, or ask a classmate or teacher.
  6. Pass things. We do not throw anything, ever, either before or after the chime.
  7. Ask permission to leave your seat, raise your hand & ask, 'Please can I... ?
  8. Keep your hands to yourself.
  9. Do not repair broken pens, stationery or any other broken items of any kind during the lesson.


I also gave my students the following criteria for peer evaluations which will make up a small part of their grade. The idea is to encourage good study skills, and the sheet I gave out said:

Working well in a pair is very important in this class. Once or twice a semester, instead of a test with a teacher, your partner will score you on your pair work skills. You can get a good score if you:

  • always trying to speak in English                                       
  •  encourage your partner                                                          
  • seek help when necessary                                                
  • seek to extend your pair work if you finish   

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