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Lesson Plan

Building a Learning Community: Crafting Rules for the Classroom

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Marjorie Bernhardt

Newark, Delaware


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Empower students academically and socially by allowing them to participate in setting up the expectations for classroom behavior throughout the year. Supported by teacher modeling and coaching, students consider what behaviors and manners are necessary for the classroom to function successfully and collect the opinions of other community members on the subject. After collecting data, students summarize and present their findings to the class. The class then compiles a list of the most important behaviors for their learning community. Students also participate in deciding how the classroom rules will be published and how compliance will be monitored.

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ReadWriteThink Printing Press: This tool makes it easy for students to create their own list of classroom rules and regulations.

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Pransky, K., & Bailey, F. (2002). To meet your students where they are, first you have to find them: Working with culturally and linguistically diverse at-risk students. The Reading Teacher, 56(4), 370383.

  • Learning is fundamentally a social and cultural process in which students make meaning based on previous experience.

  • Students of diverse backgrounds are more comfortable and less confused when the classroom accommodates differences, recognizes strengths, and helps all students work confidently, productively, and successfully.

  • Students gain confidence and work more productively when they know the expectations for learning.


Taylor, B.M., Peterson, D.S., Pearson, P.D., & Rodriguez, M.C. (2002). Looking inside classrooms: Reflecting on the "how" as well as the "what" in effective reading instruction. The Reading Teacher, 56(3), 270279.

  • Effective teaching includes high levels of pupil engagement (active versus passive involvement), coaching over telling, and stressing higher level thinking skills

  • Effective teacher practices correlate with student literacy gains.

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