7th and 8th grade temporary hallway installation with paper scraps

Your classroom management plan (RULES/CONSEQUENCES/ETC.) is the most important piece of the puzzle at the beginning of the year (especially if you teach elementary or middle school)!

If you have been focusing a lot of time and energy into getting your new room and curriculum ready, please, please, please take some time before school starts to think about your classroom management plan. 

The beginning of the year is your BEST opportunity to train the kids about how to behave. Teach them that the rules and procedures exist to protect them and their right to learn - not to punish them! If you set the stage now, it will make your classroom a much more peaceful place later. Who can really learn well in a chaotic environment?

What behaviors would prevent them and their peers from learning? What behaviors would drive you up the wall and prevent you from having an effective lesson? 

If you haven't already done so, write 3 - 5 rules that would cover every possible misbehavior you can think of. Then, think about some effective consequences appropriate for the grade level you teach so that you can consistently hold students accountable for their actions.

The classroom management plan is like a contract, a promise, that you will protect every student and their right to a peaceful learning environment!
Michael Linsin (author of Dream Class and smartclassroommanagement.com) has some terrific resources for setting up a great classroom management plan at the elementary or middle school level:

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