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Establishing classroom rules using social studies benchmarks

In the elementary grades, establishing and teaching your classroom rules can help you address some of the social studies benchmarks. Using the following questions, mentors and beginning teachers can evaluate the process used to create rules in their classrooms. Then they can consider any changes they may want to make in order to take full advantage of this opportunity to address some of the state standards in social studies.

  • What benchmarks from my grade level relate to rules?

      Example--All students will identify the purposes of local, state and federal governments.

  • What benchmarks from my grade level relate to conflict resolution or classroom problem solving?

      Example--All students will describe the process used to reach consensus and make decisions.

  • When our class established our rules, did we fulfill the benchmarks for my grade level?

  • How did our classroom discussion promote ideas related to the Core Democratic Values?

  • How will I continue the conversations that we've started and keep the ideas included in the benchmarks in my students' minds and actions?

For more on having students establish their own rules (including a sample list), see the Classroom management rubric.