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Exercise for Establishing Classroom Rules

With or without a district wide or school building policy, name calling can be controlled within the classroom using the following exercise:

● Have students brainstorm names they have heard others called.
● List all suggestions on the board.
● Discuss the following categories: racial, religious, ethnic or sexual bias. Then categorize the brain stormed names accordingly.
● Describe how all name calling involves prejudice and is equally harmful.
● Have students suggest rules and consequences for classroom behavior, such as: None of the listed names in the brainstorming is acceptable in the classroom. No form of name calling will be tolerated. Consequences for failure to adhere to this rule will be _______.
● Affirm and reward positive interactions that begin to build a safe, inclusive, comfortable environment.

Behavior in your classroom can be controlled by reacting immediately and consistently to any violation of the rule. The verbally attacked students understand and feel safe in the classroom.

Source: Alone No More, Minnesota Department of Education