One Class Rule and It Starts With R!

on creating a caring classroom.
The start of a new school year is full of promises and potential!
Those activities in the first few days of school can set the tone for the rest of the school year.

Creating a caring classroom will be a high priority for many teachers.
One of the early days activities in my classroom like in many others is to establish the class rules. Many years ago I simplified the rules.

I wanted to put a more positive spin on our class rules and simplify them so I settled for one rule which was one word.

One Class Rule and It Starts With R

At the start of each year I tell students that we will only have one rule in our class and it is one word. Sometimes I ask them to guess what it might be and tell them that it starts with R. One year I had them discuss it with their parents overnight and let then let them share their suggestions with the class.

Another year I gave them the letters in a scrambled form and had them unscramble them to make the word. C-E-T-E-P-S-R (This is a fun word puzzle for them!)
Have you got it yet? You probably have! RESPECT! That's our rule.

Once we have the word respect we discuss the meaning of the word. I then ask, 'What is it that we well need to respect?' Eventually after much discussion we usually come up with two things
Respect Others - We discuss who this means - their peers, teachers, adults, voluteers etc.
Respect Property and Things - We discuss what this means - furniture, gardens, others belongings and their own belongings.

But then I tell them that there is one other that belongs with these. Sometimes they get it and sometimes the need help.
Respect Yourself - We discuss what this means and what you do if you are respecting yourself.

So now we have our rule and next we have our fun! The students create and share skits showing what you might do if you are respecting others, respecting property and respecting ourselves. They can also do skits that show how it might look if we aren't doing these things.

One rule that is positive and all encompassing! RESPECT

You'll find that almost every inappropriate behavior can be refered back to the one rule. RESPECT When this is done well, it can be one of the most important lessons that they learn all year.

If you'd like to try this you can download the letters and Respect posters here.
Wishing you all the best with the start of your school year!


  1. I LOVE this. If everyone followed just ONE rule, the Golden rule, wouldn't that be a world-changer? Appreciate the freebies!

    The Corner On Character

    1. Thanks Barbara! Hope you find them useful! Maybe we can change the world! We just might need to do it one class at a time :)

  2. Hi Teresa,
    I’m one of your new followers. I am a Newbie Blogger, so I appreciate all of the sharing of advice and ideas. Come on over for a visit sometime.
    Corinna :)
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

    1. Hi Corinna,
      Thanks for stopping by!
      I visited your blog and am following you! Looking forward to more!
      Happy Blogging!

  3. Hey Teresa,
    Love the RESPECT rules! I'm thinking I would have to play the song when I introduce it:-) I'm you're newest follower:-)