Mrs. Spears' 10th Grade English Language Arts

Classroom Rules and Consequences
THESE RULES RULE!! google images

  • The following classroom rules and consequences are thoughtfully designed to instill students with a sense of respect, integrity, and personal responsibility necessary to a productive learning environment, and arguably, for success in the larger world.
  • These rules and consequences should be considered as supplemental and subject to all edicts issued by the school.

The Rules
  • My classroom will be governed by the following six basic and observable rules.
  • These rules apply to all instructional modes.
  • These will be permanently posted on our Wall of Information.


* Although it is repetitious, I will also adhere this poster on my door to greet students, as I believe that they must forgo texting in the classroom.
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  • I will teach these rules during the first few weeks of the school year, using the following methods:
    • Direct instruction
      • I will briefly discuss plagiarism in these initial lessons, but we will go into greater detail as we prepare for our first research paper. Plagiarism can be a difficult concept for students to grasp due to the communal nature of technology and modern learning environments, but I will give them plenty of instuction and practice to learn about this form of theft.
    • Modeling: Various students and I will demonstrate each rule.
    • Role-playing by students: Small groups of students will be assigned one of the rules, then create scripts demonstrating both the correct way to follow the rule, and a way or ways to break the rule. They will shoot a 1-2 minute video of their script, which I will screen for the class, and post on our website. (This will be completed in league with the same requirement for my expectations.)
    • Prompting at teachable moments: IE, when students break one of the rules during the initial instruction phase, I will direct their attention to the rule in question.
  • I will reteach these rules if necessary, such as after Christmas break.
  • Prior to leveling any consequences, I will formally assess students' knowledge of the rules, as well as my expectations.

Intervention: Correcting Early Stage Misbehavior
  • Once students have been apprised of, and assessed on the classroom rules, I will begin issuing warnings for noncompliance. These warnings will take the following forms, (as discussed in Randall S. Sprick's Discipline in the Secondary Classroom .)
    Simon Cowell (google images)
    • Proximity: I will move around the room during class, and position myself beside students who are off task /not following directions. My presence will often alert the student(s) in question to modify their unacceptable behavior. This measure allows me and the class to continue our learning activity without further disruption, as well as allows the misbehaving student to save face. This measure will be followed by eye contact with the student(s,) or "The Look."
    • Gentle verbal reprimand: As needed, I will quietly remind students to observe the rules. I will implement this strategy both in early stage misbehavior , and when kids who usually do not misbehave, have an occasional slip with the rules. (such as on following directions.)
    • Discussion: I will talk to the misbehaving student in private, be it in the hallway, or inside the classroom, yet at a time after the infraction. I will discuss the misbehavior and offer alternate desired behaviors.
    * The
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    Magic Clipboard: This method, as modeled by Dr. Lee Meadows, has a very strong effect on most early stage misbehaviors. I will periodically check students' participation and behavior by using printed forms held on a clipboard. (For more information, see my page on Grading.) Students will quickly be acclimated to this, so whenever I pick up the clipboard, and start to make a mark on it while looking at a student, they will magically self-correct any misbehavior. This will be my stealth classroom Excalibur. For added effect, I will utilize this .. ..method in unison with Proximity.
  • Other methods to be determined according to school and departmental guidelines.

The Consequences
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After we have completed the needed training, assessment, and trial period of learning the classroom rules and consequences, I will alert students of a shift in the procedure. They will be advised, that from that point forward, I will consistently level the stated consequences for violation of our classroom rules. The consequences are detailed below:
  • Rule 1: Follow directions the first time they are given.
    • Consequence for breaking rule: I will always repeat instructions and/or directions for clarification purposes; I want students to be clear, and feel free to ask questions if they are not. However, if I have asked students to put their books and papers away, I expect them to do so. Failure to do so will result in the loss of a class participation point for the day. (For more information on how I grade behavior, please see my page on Grading.)
      • I will give the student a total of 3 chances to comply, for a loss of 3 participation points for the day.
      • If the student chooses not to comply, I will send them to the office for defiance. (This is subject to school rules.)
  • Rule 2: No communication devices are allowed.
    • Consequence for breaking rule: If a student is caught texting, face booking, or the like, they will lose 5 participation points for the day.
      • Further consequences for repeat offenders will determined by school edicts.
  • Rule 3: Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
    • Consequence for breaking rule: These infractions will fall
      Norman Rockwell's "Shiner" (google images)
      under 3 levels: minimal, medium, and maximum.
      • Minimal infractions include: throwing paper, sitting in someone's lap, kissing, and petting. The consequence for this is the loss of 3 participation points for the day. (subject to school edicts)
      • Medium infractions include: throwing books, projectiles, or other potentially harmful objects, and horseplay. The consequence for this is the loss of 5 participation points for the day, plus after school detention, where they will clean my desks. (subject to school edicts)
      • Maximum infractions include: tripping someone, hitting someone with a non-paper object, and fighting. The consequences will be determined by school edicts.
  • Rule 4: No cheating (this includes plagiarism.)
    • Consequence for breaking rule: To be determined by school edicts.
      • Note: I will defer to my department head on how to penalize for plagiarism, as it is a very contentious area. I will give students tons of instruction and practice on defining and avoiding plagiarism.
  • Rule 5: Take care of all personal business, including trips to the restroom, before or after class. (Note: Students will be given 3 passes per grading period to be used for trips to their locker or the restroom. Students must ask permission to use the pass, and initial the checked pass. These passes will be recorded in a section of their individual file, kept at my desk.)
    • Consequence for breaking rule: If students have used their passes, yet need to use the restroom, they will lose 2 participation points. Repeat offender's parents will be notified, as well as the front office. (subject to school edicts)
    • No passes will be allowed for the locker, and students will be penalized for late work, as per assignment guidelines.
  • Rule 6: If any student misses class, they are responsible for getting their assignments.(Note: I will post assignments on my/our classroom website. Notes and other in-class work can be collected via the discussion page of our website or by other means from fellow students. I will work with any student who has a long-term illness or other extenuating circumstance.)
    • Consequence for breaking rule: Students will forfeit points for missed assignments. Late assignments will only be accepted with a valid excuse, and possibly with loss of a percentage of a grade, as noted per assignment. (subject to school edicts)