Norms vs Rules


Creating norms in the classroom is the first step to establishing a collaborative student-led classroom.

Above is a video created by a staff member on my campus that articulates the Norms of the art room.

It is important for all students to have a voice and to understand what types of ‘normal’ classroom behaviors will need to occur to be successful.  The first question you ask students is …

“What do you need from your peers to be successful this school year?”

These answers create your NORMS.  These are behavior expectations that will need to occur every single day to make sure ALL students are successful.

The most important thing to remember when establishing norms is that THEY ARE NOT FOLLOWED UP WITH CONSEQUENCES! If a student does not reach these norms, they are not given a consequence.  This is the time to sit with a student and remind them about NORMS and how they are just expected behaviors that the students in the class decided would help all students succeed.


These are the nonnegotiable expectations set forth by the teacher, campus or district.  These are posted in the classroom before students even show up on the first day.

The most important difference is that Rules = consequences. 



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