How to Survive in Mrs. Ruff’s Class

I have learned that students want to know what you expect. Some students want to know so that they can NOT do everything you want them to, but some most students want to know your expectations so they can meet them.

I start my school year off with setting the expectations and routines. We talk about them. I model them. We practice them. And practice them…And practice them.

This year I have created a presentation to focus my attention to the procedures I want to establish right away. Things like how to go to the bathroom, where to line up, and what to do about a broken pencil (y’all already know my obsession with pencils).

Procedures Presenation

Students need to know how to survive in my room. After a short time, it won’t feel like surviving, but instead thriving.

Let me walk you through each slide.

Give Me 5

I immediately teach the class my favorite way to gain their attention. “Give me 5!” Most of you, I’m sure, know what it means to give me five, but I simply explain that when I say it they stop, look, and listen. We practice this several times. I ask the students to talk and say it. I may say it softly one of the times we are practicing. I want it to be a fast and sharp end to noise.

Morning Routine

I then go over the morning routine. I have specific tasks that must be done first thing in the morning and students need to know what order to do them in, where to put their back packs and coats, and what I expect of them the next morning. You may want to tweak this page for your own routine, but make sure you specifically tell the students your expectations, show them the location everything should be in, and make them say it back to you. I do not normally practice this one, but can see a need to in the younger grades (remember, I’m a third grade teacher!).


We have breakfast in the classrooms each day, so there are expectations of how that will work. This is the time where I lay them out loud and clear. I do not like a mess and breakfast makes a mess. This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT procedures to me. Just some ideas for you if you also serve breakfast in the classrooms:

  • students eat at tables, not their desks (now the mess is contained)
  • all of the breakfast trash goes in one trash can, and the trash can goes into the hallway as soon as the announcements are over
  • when the announcements begin, breakfast is over so throw your trash away
  • assign a morning cleaner who will wipe down your tables every morning after breakfast
  • if a student spills something simply have them clean it up (there is no need for having breakfast accidents equal discipline consequences)


Each student in my room has a Twitter board (half of a laminated sentence strip) to tell me something on. I got this idea from pinterest and have discovered that it keeps students from wanting to talk my ear off when I am in my morning routine (attendance, lunch money, excuse notes, homework, etc.). I only allow students to update them during homeroom after their morning routine is complete or during in door recess.

We go over bathroom procedures which you can read more about on a previous blog entry.

Pencils can also be found on a previous blog entry.


We discuss homework expectations, rewards, and consequences. I found this great idea of pinterest which was similar to Ron Clark’s idea from The Essential 55. Students can earn letters as a whole class to spell out homework by all turning in the homework. Each letter is one day everyone turned in homework, and the days have to be consecutive. When HOMEWORK is spelled completely the class gets a treat! You can download my letter banners here, or another teacher’s here (they are pretty much the same, just different colors).

Turn In

I talk about where and how to turn in assignments to me.


I also talk about how to treat the drawers in my classroom. Each student has a drawer to keep their notebooks and folders in and they have to be taught how to respectfully treat each item in your classroom. If you set the expectation now you can hold them accountable later.

Groups Line Up

I explain how to line up and the names of my groups to the class. I use the operations for my groups names (sorry I’m a math teacher). When I taught reading and ELA I used the times of punctuation.


I discuss how my line should look and how to walk in the hallways (single file, silent, still, and smiling!).

Individual Reward Class Reward

We talk about getting compliments from other people and how that earns a link (make a chain from the ceiling to the floor and get a class reward). We also talk about how to get individual awards (Terrific Tickets- aka T-Tickets, and Canes Cash-school money system).

And lastly we talk about the class rules. It is simple and easy to use.

Please feel free to download the power point here and edit it to suit your classroom needs.

If you want any more details on practices I use please leave a comment and I will get back to you! I love to share and don’t mind explaining myself (sometimes I don’t communicate clearly


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s