Your Guide to Behavior Rubrics for Elementary School Students

Learn how to create a behavior rubric that focuses on positive reinforcement, clear expectations, and consistency.
By 
Jordan Pruitt
 | 
January 25, 2023

From the moment you enter the building, you're greeted by your adoring fans. The car rider line is literally lined up around the block to get into your building every day. 

Hundreds of your admirers are waiting on the edge of their seats as you make your morning declarations.

Getting to eat square pizza at lunch with you is seen as the highest symbol of status, and every Halloween Spiderman dresses up as you.

But with all of that celebrity status comes a great deal of responsibility. 

As an elementary school leader, you are tasked with creating an environment that is conducive to success for our youngest students. 

The academic, social, and emotional foundation they set in your building will be the building blocks on which they begin to shape into the people they are destined to become. 

That's why creating school-wide expectations and establishing a behavior rubric based on those expectations is a critical part of creating a safe and effective learning environment for students.

Elementary School Behavior

Elementary school student behavior is different than older grades because of the range of ages and developmental stages present within the classroom. Elementary school students range from ages 5-11 and are still developing the skills to understand and process social cues, emotions, and consequences. 

Young children are still learning the rules, routines, and expectations of the classroom and school environment, and may not yet have the ability to self-regulate or control their emotions or behaviors. As students progress through elementary school, they are able to better understand the rules and expectations and thus are able to control their emotions and behaviors more effectively.

They are more susceptible to peer pressure and may not yet have the skills to properly evaluate the consequences of their actions. Elementary school students may also be more likely to engage in behaviors to gain attention from their peers or teachers, which can certainly be disruptive in the classroom.

Overall, the different developmental stages, the influence of their peers, and the ability to understand and process social cues and consequences all contribute to the difference in behavior between elementary school students and older grades. 

That’s why it is so important to set clear behavior expectations, keep reading to learn how to set expectations that work.

How to Set Elementary School Behavior Expectations

  1. Clearly communicate expectations to students in a consistent manner.

Why it’s important: It’s very difficult to fault a student for not adhering to expectations they weren’t taught or that they have noticed aren’t being enforced consistently.

  1. Model expected behaviors and provide positive reinforcement when students meet the expectations.

Why it’s important: By making a point of praising students you see meeting expectations you are reinforcing the behavior to all of your other students.

  1. Review the expectations frequently and provide reminders as needed.

Why it’s important: Review behavior expectations to both preserve clarity and provide opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate positive behaviors.

  1. Establish a consistent system of consequences when expectations are not met.

Why it’s important: It’s important that students know what the consequences are and that they will be applied consistently if they do not meet expectations.

  1. Allow teachers to have some autonomy in molding expectations to fit their classroom.

Why it’s important: Schoolwide expectations are ideal for creating consistency but it’s important to provide some autonomy to teachers when applying those expectations to their classrooms. 

  1. Gather feedback from students to ensure expectations are appropriate and reasonable.

Why it’s important: Even young students can benefit from participating in dialogues around what is appropriate and safe in their school. By participating in those conversations they will feel more ownership of the school and take more pride in adhering to the expectations.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the expectations and modify them as needed.

Why it’s important: Your school never stays stagnant year to year. The people in the school will change and the expectations that are necessary to succeed will need to be changed as well over time.

Now that you know the general process around creating those expectations, let's take a look at some examples commonly found in other elementary schools.

Example Behavior Expectations for Elementary Schools

The goal of your expectations should be to focus on the behaviors you want to see more of in your school. Or better yet, the behaviors that lead to success in your school. 

Here are some examples that any student could benefit from

Respect: Students demonstrate respect for themselves, teachers, and fellow students.

Responsibility: Students take responsibility for their own learning by completing assignments on time and participating in class.

Cooperation: Students work well with others, share materials and ideas, and help their peers.

Self-Control: Students remain calm and focused in the classroom, follow instructions, and stay on task.

Attitude: Students demonstrate positive attitudes and enthusiasm toward learning.

Integrity: Students demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness in their words and actions.

Participation: Students actively participate in classroom discussions and activities.

Organizing Your Behavior Rubric for Elementary School

Even if your expectations are very clear and direct it can be helpful to organize them in a way that makes them easy to remember and easy to use for teachers and students alike. 

Here are 4 tips to organize your expectations:
1. Use Clear and Concise Language:
When constructing a behavior rubric, make sure to use language that is easy to understand and doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. 

2. Provide Examples: When creating a behavior rubric, provide examples of the different levels of behavior so that it will be easier for students to understand what is expected of them. 

3. Make it Easy to Provide Feedback: Include examples of appropriate, desired behavior on the rubric so your staff can easily give positive feedback that reinforces good behavior. This will help students understand the expectations and help them make better choices in the future.

4. Modify by it fit All Locations: Does your school have certain locations that seem to attract chaos? Consider organizing your rubric by area: give each location a set of specific behavior expectations. Here are some examples of location-based categories and behaviors:

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

This structure is accessible and easy to understand, especially for younger grades. 

Example Behavior Rubrics for Elementary School

Many schools choose to use an acronym to organize the rubric in a way that is easy to follow and utilize for everyone. 

CHAMPS

The most common is CHAMPS which stands for Consequences, Help, Activity, Materials, Praise, and Signals. 

Consequences refer to the consequences of a student’s disruptive behavior, such as removal from the classroom or loss of privileges. 

Help refers to any assistance the teacher can provide to help the student understand and modify their behavior. 

Activity refers to any activities that are used to keep the student engaged and focused. Materials refer to any materials the student may need to complete an activity. 

Praise refers to any positive reinforcement the teacher can provide to encourage desired behavior. 

Signals refer to any visual or verbal cues the teacher can use to remind the student of the expectations.

Example elementary school behavior rubric

The Three R’s

Or you could shorten the verbiage and go with the tried and true 3 R’s that task kiddos to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient.

Respect: Showing consideration for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others. 

Responsibility: Being accountable for one's actions and taking ownership of one's decisions. 

Resilience: The ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

R.O.A.R.

Start by brainstorming words that are associated with your school mascot. These could include adjectives, verbs, and nouns that you think reflect the mascot's characteristics. 

For example, if your school mascot is a lion, you might come up with words that match the acronym “ROAR” like Responsible, Organized, Accepting, and Respectful. You could also use “SOAR” if you were the Eagles. The possibilities are endless, be creative and really lean into the verbiage that makes your school a special place.

Now you have an easy-to-remember acronym that can now be used to describe the behaviors you value in your school and one that can be used to create some great signage. 🦁

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

Home-to-School Communication

It is essential for teachers and parents to work together to create a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, grow, and develop. 

Through positive reinforcement, clear expectations, and consistent consequences, your staff can help students understand and practice behavior that will lead them to academic success.

It’s also important to note that parents also play an essential role in monitoring and reinforcing the lessons their children are learning in the classroom. 

When teachers and parents work together, they can help students develop into responsible, respectful citizens.

Being an elementary school principal is very similar to being the most interesting person in the world.

From the moment you enter the building, you're greeted by your adoring fans. The car rider line is literally lined up around the block to get into your building every day. 

Hundreds of your admirers are waiting on the edge of their seats as you make your morning declarations.

Getting to eat square pizza at lunch with you is seen as the highest symbol of status, and every Halloween Spiderman dresses up as you.

But with all of that celebrity status comes a great deal of responsibility. 

As an elementary school leader, you are tasked with creating an environment that is conducive to success for our youngest students. 

The academic, social, and emotional foundation they set in your building will be the building blocks on which they begin to shape into the people they are destined to become. 

That's why creating school-wide expectations and establishing a behavior rubric based on those expectations is a critical part of creating a safe and effective learning environment for students.

Elementary School Behavior

Elementary school student behavior is different than older grades because of the range of ages and developmental stages present within the classroom. Elementary school students range from ages 5-11 and are still developing the skills to understand and process social cues, emotions, and consequences. 

Young children are still learning the rules, routines, and expectations of the classroom and school environment, and may not yet have the ability to self-regulate or control their emotions or behaviors. As students progress through elementary school, they are able to better understand the rules and expectations and thus are able to control their emotions and behaviors more effectively.

They are more susceptible to peer pressure and may not yet have the skills to properly evaluate the consequences of their actions. Elementary school students may also be more likely to engage in behaviors to gain attention from their peers or teachers, which can certainly be disruptive in the classroom.

Overall, the different developmental stages, the influence of their peers, and the ability to understand and process social cues and consequences all contribute to the difference in behavior between elementary school students and older grades. 

That’s why it is so important to set clear behavior expectations, keep reading to learn how to set expectations that work.

How to Set Elementary School Behavior Expectations

  1. Clearly communicate expectations to students in a consistent manner.

Why it’s important: It’s very difficult to fault a student for not adhering to expectations they weren’t taught or that they have noticed aren’t being enforced consistently.

  1. Model expected behaviors and provide positive reinforcement when students meet the expectations.

Why it’s important: By making a point of praising students you see meeting expectations you are reinforcing the behavior to all of your other students.

  1. Review the expectations frequently and provide reminders as needed.

Why it’s important: Review behavior expectations to both preserve clarity and provide opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate positive behaviors.

  1. Establish a consistent system of consequences when expectations are not met.

Why it’s important: It’s important that students know what the consequences are and that they will be applied consistently if they do not meet expectations.

  1. Allow teachers to have some autonomy in molding expectations to fit their classroom.

Why it’s important: Schoolwide expectations are ideal for creating consistency but it’s important to provide some autonomy to teachers when applying those expectations to their classrooms. 

  1. Gather feedback from students to ensure expectations are appropriate and reasonable.

Why it’s important: Even young students can benefit from participating in dialogues around what is appropriate and safe in their school. By participating in those conversations they will feel more ownership of the school and take more pride in adhering to the expectations.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the expectations and modify them as needed.

Why it’s important: Your school never stays stagnant year to year. The people in the school will change and the expectations that are necessary to succeed will need to be changed as well over time.

Now that you know the general process around creating those expectations, let's take a look at some examples commonly found in other elementary schools.

Example Behavior Expectations for Elementary Schools

The goal of your expectations should be to focus on the behaviors you want to see more of in your school. Or better yet, the behaviors that lead to success in your school. 

Here are some examples that any student could benefit from

Respect: Students demonstrate respect for themselves, teachers, and fellow students.

Responsibility: Students take responsibility for their own learning by completing assignments on time and participating in class.

Cooperation: Students work well with others, share materials and ideas, and help their peers.

Self-Control: Students remain calm and focused in the classroom, follow instructions, and stay on task.

Attitude: Students demonstrate positive attitudes and enthusiasm toward learning.

Integrity: Students demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness in their words and actions.

Participation: Students actively participate in classroom discussions and activities.

Organizing Your Behavior Rubric for Elementary School

Even if your expectations are very clear and direct it can be helpful to organize them in a way that makes them easy to remember and easy to use for teachers and students alike. 

Here are 4 tips to organize your expectations:
1. Use Clear and Concise Language:
When constructing a behavior rubric, make sure to use language that is easy to understand and doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. 

2. Provide Examples: When creating a behavior rubric, provide examples of the different levels of behavior so that it will be easier for students to understand what is expected of them. 

3. Make it Easy to Provide Feedback: Include examples of appropriate, desired behavior on the rubric so your staff can easily give positive feedback that reinforces good behavior. This will help students understand the expectations and help them make better choices in the future.

4. Modify by it fit All Locations: Does your school have certain locations that seem to attract chaos? Consider organizing your rubric by area: give each location a set of specific behavior expectations. Here are some examples of location-based categories and behaviors:

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

This structure is accessible and easy to understand, especially for younger grades. 

Example Behavior Rubrics for Elementary School

Many schools choose to use an acronym to organize the rubric in a way that is easy to follow and utilize for everyone. 

CHAMPS

The most common is CHAMPS which stands for Consequences, Help, Activity, Materials, Praise, and Signals. 

Consequences refer to the consequences of a student’s disruptive behavior, such as removal from the classroom or loss of privileges. 

Help refers to any assistance the teacher can provide to help the student understand and modify their behavior. 

Activity refers to any activities that are used to keep the student engaged and focused. Materials refer to any materials the student may need to complete an activity. 

Praise refers to any positive reinforcement the teacher can provide to encourage desired behavior. 

Signals refer to any visual or verbal cues the teacher can use to remind the student of the expectations.

Example elementary school behavior rubric

The Three R’s

Or you could shorten the verbiage and go with the tried and true 3 R’s that task kiddos to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient.

Respect: Showing consideration for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others. 

Responsibility: Being accountable for one's actions and taking ownership of one's decisions. 

Resilience: The ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

R.O.A.R.

Start by brainstorming words that are associated with your school mascot. These could include adjectives, verbs, and nouns that you think reflect the mascot's characteristics. 

For example, if your school mascot is a lion, you might come up with words that match the acronym “ROAR” like Responsible, Organized, Accepting, and Respectful. You could also use “SOAR” if you were the Eagles. The possibilities are endless, be creative and really lean into the verbiage that makes your school a special place.

Now you have an easy-to-remember acronym that can now be used to describe the behaviors you value in your school and one that can be used to create some great signage. 🦁

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

Home-to-School Communication

It is essential for teachers and parents to work together to create a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, grow, and develop. 

Through positive reinforcement, clear expectations, and consistent consequences, your staff can help students understand and practice behavior that will lead them to academic success.

It’s also important to note that parents also play an essential role in monitoring and reinforcing the lessons their children are learning in the classroom. 

When teachers and parents work together, they can help students develop into responsible, respectful citizens.

From the moment you enter the building, you're greeted by your adoring fans. The car rider line is literally lined up around the block to get into your building every day. 

Hundreds of your admirers are waiting on the edge of their seats as you make your morning declarations.

Getting to eat square pizza at lunch with you is seen as the highest symbol of status, and every Halloween Spiderman dresses up as you.

But with all of that celebrity status comes a great deal of responsibility. 

As an elementary school leader, you are tasked with creating an environment that is conducive to success for our youngest students. 

The academic, social, and emotional foundation they set in your building will be the building blocks on which they begin to shape into the people they are destined to become. 

That's why creating school-wide expectations and establishing a behavior rubric based on those expectations is a critical part of creating a safe and effective learning environment for students.

Elementary School Behavior

Elementary school student behavior is different than older grades because of the range of ages and developmental stages present within the classroom. Elementary school students range from ages 5-11 and are still developing the skills to understand and process social cues, emotions, and consequences. 

Young children are still learning the rules, routines, and expectations of the classroom and school environment, and may not yet have the ability to self-regulate or control their emotions or behaviors. As students progress through elementary school, they are able to better understand the rules and expectations and thus are able to control their emotions and behaviors more effectively.

They are more susceptible to peer pressure and may not yet have the skills to properly evaluate the consequences of their actions. Elementary school students may also be more likely to engage in behaviors to gain attention from their peers or teachers, which can certainly be disruptive in the classroom.

Overall, the different developmental stages, the influence of their peers, and the ability to understand and process social cues and consequences all contribute to the difference in behavior between elementary school students and older grades. 

That’s why it is so important to set clear behavior expectations, keep reading to learn how to set expectations that work.

How to Set Elementary School Behavior Expectations

  1. Clearly communicate expectations to students in a consistent manner.

Why it’s important: It’s very difficult to fault a student for not adhering to expectations they weren’t taught or that they have noticed aren’t being enforced consistently.

  1. Model expected behaviors and provide positive reinforcement when students meet the expectations.

Why it’s important: By making a point of praising students you see meeting expectations you are reinforcing the behavior to all of your other students.

  1. Review the expectations frequently and provide reminders as needed.

Why it’s important: Review behavior expectations to both preserve clarity and provide opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate positive behaviors.

  1. Establish a consistent system of consequences when expectations are not met.

Why it’s important: It’s important that students know what the consequences are and that they will be applied consistently if they do not meet expectations.

  1. Allow teachers to have some autonomy in molding expectations to fit their classroom.

Why it’s important: Schoolwide expectations are ideal for creating consistency but it’s important to provide some autonomy to teachers when applying those expectations to their classrooms. 

  1. Gather feedback from students to ensure expectations are appropriate and reasonable.

Why it’s important: Even young students can benefit from participating in dialogues around what is appropriate and safe in their school. By participating in those conversations they will feel more ownership of the school and take more pride in adhering to the expectations.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the expectations and modify them as needed.

Why it’s important: Your school never stays stagnant year to year. The people in the school will change and the expectations that are necessary to succeed will need to be changed as well over time.

Now that you know the general process around creating those expectations, let's take a look at some examples commonly found in other elementary schools.

Example Behavior Expectations for Elementary Schools

The goal of your expectations should be to focus on the behaviors you want to see more of in your school. Or better yet, the behaviors that lead to success in your school. 

Here are some examples that any student could benefit from

Respect: Students demonstrate respect for themselves, teachers, and fellow students.

Responsibility: Students take responsibility for their own learning by completing assignments on time and participating in class.

Cooperation: Students work well with others, share materials and ideas, and help their peers.

Self-Control: Students remain calm and focused in the classroom, follow instructions, and stay on task.

Attitude: Students demonstrate positive attitudes and enthusiasm toward learning.

Integrity: Students demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness in their words and actions.

Participation: Students actively participate in classroom discussions and activities.

Organizing Your Behavior Rubric for Elementary School

Even if your expectations are very clear and direct it can be helpful to organize them in a way that makes them easy to remember and easy to use for teachers and students alike. 

Here are 4 tips to organize your expectations:
1. Use Clear and Concise Language:
When constructing a behavior rubric, make sure to use language that is easy to understand and doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. 

2. Provide Examples: When creating a behavior rubric, provide examples of the different levels of behavior so that it will be easier for students to understand what is expected of them. 

3. Make it Easy to Provide Feedback: Include examples of appropriate, desired behavior on the rubric so your staff can easily give positive feedback that reinforces good behavior. This will help students understand the expectations and help them make better choices in the future.

4. Modify by it fit All Locations: Does your school have certain locations that seem to attract chaos? Consider organizing your rubric by area: give each location a set of specific behavior expectations. Here are some examples of location-based categories and behaviors:

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

This structure is accessible and easy to understand, especially for younger grades. 

Example Behavior Rubrics for Elementary School

Many schools choose to use an acronym to organize the rubric in a way that is easy to follow and utilize for everyone. 

CHAMPS

The most common is CHAMPS which stands for Consequences, Help, Activity, Materials, Praise, and Signals. 

Consequences refer to the consequences of a student’s disruptive behavior, such as removal from the classroom or loss of privileges. 

Help refers to any assistance the teacher can provide to help the student understand and modify their behavior. 

Activity refers to any activities that are used to keep the student engaged and focused. Materials refer to any materials the student may need to complete an activity. 

Praise refers to any positive reinforcement the teacher can provide to encourage desired behavior. 

Signals refer to any visual or verbal cues the teacher can use to remind the student of the expectations.

Example elementary school behavior rubric

The Three R’s

Or you could shorten the verbiage and go with the tried and true 3 R’s that task kiddos to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient.

Respect: Showing consideration for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others. 

Responsibility: Being accountable for one's actions and taking ownership of one's decisions. 

Resilience: The ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

R.O.A.R.

Start by brainstorming words that are associated with your school mascot. These could include adjectives, verbs, and nouns that you think reflect the mascot's characteristics. 

For example, if your school mascot is a lion, you might come up with words that match the acronym “ROAR” like Responsible, Organized, Accepting, and Respectful. You could also use “SOAR” if you were the Eagles. The possibilities are endless, be creative and really lean into the verbiage that makes your school a special place.

Now you have an easy-to-remember acronym that can now be used to describe the behaviors you value in your school and one that can be used to create some great signage. 🦁

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

Home-to-School Communication

It is essential for teachers and parents to work together to create a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, grow, and develop. 

Through positive reinforcement, clear expectations, and consistent consequences, your staff can help students understand and practice behavior that will lead them to academic success.

It’s also important to note that parents also play an essential role in monitoring and reinforcing the lessons their children are learning in the classroom. 

When teachers and parents work together, they can help students develop into responsible, respectful citizens.

quote icon

From the moment you enter the building, you're greeted by your adoring fans. The car rider line is literally lined up around the block to get into your building every day. 

Hundreds of your admirers are waiting on the edge of their seats as you make your morning declarations.

Getting to eat square pizza at lunch with you is seen as the highest symbol of status, and every Halloween Spiderman dresses up as you.

But with all of that celebrity status comes a great deal of responsibility. 

As an elementary school leader, you are tasked with creating an environment that is conducive to success for our youngest students. 

The academic, social, and emotional foundation they set in your building will be the building blocks on which they begin to shape into the people they are destined to become. 

That's why creating school-wide expectations and establishing a behavior rubric based on those expectations is a critical part of creating a safe and effective learning environment for students.

Elementary School Behavior

Elementary school student behavior is different than older grades because of the range of ages and developmental stages present within the classroom. Elementary school students range from ages 5-11 and are still developing the skills to understand and process social cues, emotions, and consequences. 

Young children are still learning the rules, routines, and expectations of the classroom and school environment, and may not yet have the ability to self-regulate or control their emotions or behaviors. As students progress through elementary school, they are able to better understand the rules and expectations and thus are able to control their emotions and behaviors more effectively.

They are more susceptible to peer pressure and may not yet have the skills to properly evaluate the consequences of their actions. Elementary school students may also be more likely to engage in behaviors to gain attention from their peers or teachers, which can certainly be disruptive in the classroom.

Overall, the different developmental stages, the influence of their peers, and the ability to understand and process social cues and consequences all contribute to the difference in behavior between elementary school students and older grades. 

That’s why it is so important to set clear behavior expectations, keep reading to learn how to set expectations that work.

How to Set Elementary School Behavior Expectations

  1. Clearly communicate expectations to students in a consistent manner.

Why it’s important: It’s very difficult to fault a student for not adhering to expectations they weren’t taught or that they have noticed aren’t being enforced consistently.

  1. Model expected behaviors and provide positive reinforcement when students meet the expectations.

Why it’s important: By making a point of praising students you see meeting expectations you are reinforcing the behavior to all of your other students.

  1. Review the expectations frequently and provide reminders as needed.

Why it’s important: Review behavior expectations to both preserve clarity and provide opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate positive behaviors.

  1. Establish a consistent system of consequences when expectations are not met.

Why it’s important: It’s important that students know what the consequences are and that they will be applied consistently if they do not meet expectations.

  1. Allow teachers to have some autonomy in molding expectations to fit their classroom.

Why it’s important: Schoolwide expectations are ideal for creating consistency but it’s important to provide some autonomy to teachers when applying those expectations to their classrooms. 

  1. Gather feedback from students to ensure expectations are appropriate and reasonable.

Why it’s important: Even young students can benefit from participating in dialogues around what is appropriate and safe in their school. By participating in those conversations they will feel more ownership of the school and take more pride in adhering to the expectations.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the expectations and modify them as needed.

Why it’s important: Your school never stays stagnant year to year. The people in the school will change and the expectations that are necessary to succeed will need to be changed as well over time.

Now that you know the general process around creating those expectations, let's take a look at some examples commonly found in other elementary schools.

Example Behavior Expectations for Elementary Schools

The goal of your expectations should be to focus on the behaviors you want to see more of in your school. Or better yet, the behaviors that lead to success in your school. 

Here are some examples that any student could benefit from

Respect: Students demonstrate respect for themselves, teachers, and fellow students.

Responsibility: Students take responsibility for their own learning by completing assignments on time and participating in class.

Cooperation: Students work well with others, share materials and ideas, and help their peers.

Self-Control: Students remain calm and focused in the classroom, follow instructions, and stay on task.

Attitude: Students demonstrate positive attitudes and enthusiasm toward learning.

Integrity: Students demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness in their words and actions.

Participation: Students actively participate in classroom discussions and activities.

Organizing Your Behavior Rubric for Elementary School

Even if your expectations are very clear and direct it can be helpful to organize them in a way that makes them easy to remember and easy to use for teachers and students alike. 

Here are 4 tips to organize your expectations:
1. Use Clear and Concise Language:
When constructing a behavior rubric, make sure to use language that is easy to understand and doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. 

2. Provide Examples: When creating a behavior rubric, provide examples of the different levels of behavior so that it will be easier for students to understand what is expected of them. 

3. Make it Easy to Provide Feedback: Include examples of appropriate, desired behavior on the rubric so your staff can easily give positive feedback that reinforces good behavior. This will help students understand the expectations and help them make better choices in the future.

4. Modify by it fit All Locations: Does your school have certain locations that seem to attract chaos? Consider organizing your rubric by area: give each location a set of specific behavior expectations. Here are some examples of location-based categories and behaviors:

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

This structure is accessible and easy to understand, especially for younger grades. 

Example Behavior Rubrics for Elementary School

Many schools choose to use an acronym to organize the rubric in a way that is easy to follow and utilize for everyone. 

CHAMPS

The most common is CHAMPS which stands for Consequences, Help, Activity, Materials, Praise, and Signals. 

Consequences refer to the consequences of a student’s disruptive behavior, such as removal from the classroom or loss of privileges. 

Help refers to any assistance the teacher can provide to help the student understand and modify their behavior. 

Activity refers to any activities that are used to keep the student engaged and focused. Materials refer to any materials the student may need to complete an activity. 

Praise refers to any positive reinforcement the teacher can provide to encourage desired behavior. 

Signals refer to any visual or verbal cues the teacher can use to remind the student of the expectations.

Example elementary school behavior rubric

The Three R’s

Or you could shorten the verbiage and go with the tried and true 3 R’s that task kiddos to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient.

Respect: Showing consideration for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others. 

Responsibility: Being accountable for one's actions and taking ownership of one's decisions. 

Resilience: The ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

R.O.A.R.

Start by brainstorming words that are associated with your school mascot. These could include adjectives, verbs, and nouns that you think reflect the mascot's characteristics. 

For example, if your school mascot is a lion, you might come up with words that match the acronym “ROAR” like Responsible, Organized, Accepting, and Respectful. You could also use “SOAR” if you were the Eagles. The possibilities are endless, be creative and really lean into the verbiage that makes your school a special place.

Now you have an easy-to-remember acronym that can now be used to describe the behaviors you value in your school and one that can be used to create some great signage. 🦁

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

Home-to-School Communication

It is essential for teachers and parents to work together to create a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, grow, and develop. 

Through positive reinforcement, clear expectations, and consistent consequences, your staff can help students understand and practice behavior that will lead them to academic success.

It’s also important to note that parents also play an essential role in monitoring and reinforcing the lessons their children are learning in the classroom. 

When teachers and parents work together, they can help students develop into responsible, respectful citizens.

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About the Event

From the moment you enter the building, you're greeted by your adoring fans. The car rider line is literally lined up around the block to get into your building every day. 

Hundreds of your admirers are waiting on the edge of their seats as you make your morning declarations.

Getting to eat square pizza at lunch with you is seen as the highest symbol of status, and every Halloween Spiderman dresses up as you.

But with all of that celebrity status comes a great deal of responsibility. 

As an elementary school leader, you are tasked with creating an environment that is conducive to success for our youngest students. 

The academic, social, and emotional foundation they set in your building will be the building blocks on which they begin to shape into the people they are destined to become. 

That's why creating school-wide expectations and establishing a behavior rubric based on those expectations is a critical part of creating a safe and effective learning environment for students.

Elementary School Behavior

Elementary school student behavior is different than older grades because of the range of ages and developmental stages present within the classroom. Elementary school students range from ages 5-11 and are still developing the skills to understand and process social cues, emotions, and consequences. 

Young children are still learning the rules, routines, and expectations of the classroom and school environment, and may not yet have the ability to self-regulate or control their emotions or behaviors. As students progress through elementary school, they are able to better understand the rules and expectations and thus are able to control their emotions and behaviors more effectively.

They are more susceptible to peer pressure and may not yet have the skills to properly evaluate the consequences of their actions. Elementary school students may also be more likely to engage in behaviors to gain attention from their peers or teachers, which can certainly be disruptive in the classroom.

Overall, the different developmental stages, the influence of their peers, and the ability to understand and process social cues and consequences all contribute to the difference in behavior between elementary school students and older grades. 

That’s why it is so important to set clear behavior expectations, keep reading to learn how to set expectations that work.

How to Set Elementary School Behavior Expectations

  1. Clearly communicate expectations to students in a consistent manner.

Why it’s important: It’s very difficult to fault a student for not adhering to expectations they weren’t taught or that they have noticed aren’t being enforced consistently.

  1. Model expected behaviors and provide positive reinforcement when students meet the expectations.

Why it’s important: By making a point of praising students you see meeting expectations you are reinforcing the behavior to all of your other students.

  1. Review the expectations frequently and provide reminders as needed.

Why it’s important: Review behavior expectations to both preserve clarity and provide opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate positive behaviors.

  1. Establish a consistent system of consequences when expectations are not met.

Why it’s important: It’s important that students know what the consequences are and that they will be applied consistently if they do not meet expectations.

  1. Allow teachers to have some autonomy in molding expectations to fit their classroom.

Why it’s important: Schoolwide expectations are ideal for creating consistency but it’s important to provide some autonomy to teachers when applying those expectations to their classrooms. 

  1. Gather feedback from students to ensure expectations are appropriate and reasonable.

Why it’s important: Even young students can benefit from participating in dialogues around what is appropriate and safe in their school. By participating in those conversations they will feel more ownership of the school and take more pride in adhering to the expectations.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the expectations and modify them as needed.

Why it’s important: Your school never stays stagnant year to year. The people in the school will change and the expectations that are necessary to succeed will need to be changed as well over time.

Now that you know the general process around creating those expectations, let's take a look at some examples commonly found in other elementary schools.

Example Behavior Expectations for Elementary Schools

The goal of your expectations should be to focus on the behaviors you want to see more of in your school. Or better yet, the behaviors that lead to success in your school. 

Here are some examples that any student could benefit from

Respect: Students demonstrate respect for themselves, teachers, and fellow students.

Responsibility: Students take responsibility for their own learning by completing assignments on time and participating in class.

Cooperation: Students work well with others, share materials and ideas, and help their peers.

Self-Control: Students remain calm and focused in the classroom, follow instructions, and stay on task.

Attitude: Students demonstrate positive attitudes and enthusiasm toward learning.

Integrity: Students demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness in their words and actions.

Participation: Students actively participate in classroom discussions and activities.

Organizing Your Behavior Rubric for Elementary School

Even if your expectations are very clear and direct it can be helpful to organize them in a way that makes them easy to remember and easy to use for teachers and students alike. 

Here are 4 tips to organize your expectations:
1. Use Clear and Concise Language:
When constructing a behavior rubric, make sure to use language that is easy to understand and doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. 

2. Provide Examples: When creating a behavior rubric, provide examples of the different levels of behavior so that it will be easier for students to understand what is expected of them. 

3. Make it Easy to Provide Feedback: Include examples of appropriate, desired behavior on the rubric so your staff can easily give positive feedback that reinforces good behavior. This will help students understand the expectations and help them make better choices in the future.

4. Modify by it fit All Locations: Does your school have certain locations that seem to attract chaos? Consider organizing your rubric by area: give each location a set of specific behavior expectations. Here are some examples of location-based categories and behaviors:

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

This structure is accessible and easy to understand, especially for younger grades. 

Example Behavior Rubrics for Elementary School

Many schools choose to use an acronym to organize the rubric in a way that is easy to follow and utilize for everyone. 

CHAMPS

The most common is CHAMPS which stands for Consequences, Help, Activity, Materials, Praise, and Signals. 

Consequences refer to the consequences of a student’s disruptive behavior, such as removal from the classroom or loss of privileges. 

Help refers to any assistance the teacher can provide to help the student understand and modify their behavior. 

Activity refers to any activities that are used to keep the student engaged and focused. Materials refer to any materials the student may need to complete an activity. 

Praise refers to any positive reinforcement the teacher can provide to encourage desired behavior. 

Signals refer to any visual or verbal cues the teacher can use to remind the student of the expectations.

Example elementary school behavior rubric

The Three R’s

Or you could shorten the verbiage and go with the tried and true 3 R’s that task kiddos to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient.

Respect: Showing consideration for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others. 

Responsibility: Being accountable for one's actions and taking ownership of one's decisions. 

Resilience: The ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

R.O.A.R.

Start by brainstorming words that are associated with your school mascot. These could include adjectives, verbs, and nouns that you think reflect the mascot's characteristics. 

For example, if your school mascot is a lion, you might come up with words that match the acronym “ROAR” like Responsible, Organized, Accepting, and Respectful. You could also use “SOAR” if you were the Eagles. The possibilities are endless, be creative and really lean into the verbiage that makes your school a special place.

Now you have an easy-to-remember acronym that can now be used to describe the behaviors you value in your school and one that can be used to create some great signage. 🦁

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

Home-to-School Communication

It is essential for teachers and parents to work together to create a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, grow, and develop. 

Through positive reinforcement, clear expectations, and consistent consequences, your staff can help students understand and practice behavior that will lead them to academic success.

It’s also important to note that parents also play an essential role in monitoring and reinforcing the lessons their children are learning in the classroom. 

When teachers and parents work together, they can help students develop into responsible, respectful citizens.

Register Now

About the Event

From the moment you enter the building, you're greeted by your adoring fans. The car rider line is literally lined up around the block to get into your building every day. 

Hundreds of your admirers are waiting on the edge of their seats as you make your morning declarations.

Getting to eat square pizza at lunch with you is seen as the highest symbol of status, and every Halloween Spiderman dresses up as you.

But with all of that celebrity status comes a great deal of responsibility. 

As an elementary school leader, you are tasked with creating an environment that is conducive to success for our youngest students. 

The academic, social, and emotional foundation they set in your building will be the building blocks on which they begin to shape into the people they are destined to become. 

That's why creating school-wide expectations and establishing a behavior rubric based on those expectations is a critical part of creating a safe and effective learning environment for students.

Elementary School Behavior

Elementary school student behavior is different than older grades because of the range of ages and developmental stages present within the classroom. Elementary school students range from ages 5-11 and are still developing the skills to understand and process social cues, emotions, and consequences. 

Young children are still learning the rules, routines, and expectations of the classroom and school environment, and may not yet have the ability to self-regulate or control their emotions or behaviors. As students progress through elementary school, they are able to better understand the rules and expectations and thus are able to control their emotions and behaviors more effectively.

They are more susceptible to peer pressure and may not yet have the skills to properly evaluate the consequences of their actions. Elementary school students may also be more likely to engage in behaviors to gain attention from their peers or teachers, which can certainly be disruptive in the classroom.

Overall, the different developmental stages, the influence of their peers, and the ability to understand and process social cues and consequences all contribute to the difference in behavior between elementary school students and older grades. 

That’s why it is so important to set clear behavior expectations, keep reading to learn how to set expectations that work.

How to Set Elementary School Behavior Expectations

  1. Clearly communicate expectations to students in a consistent manner.

Why it’s important: It’s very difficult to fault a student for not adhering to expectations they weren’t taught or that they have noticed aren’t being enforced consistently.

  1. Model expected behaviors and provide positive reinforcement when students meet the expectations.

Why it’s important: By making a point of praising students you see meeting expectations you are reinforcing the behavior to all of your other students.

  1. Review the expectations frequently and provide reminders as needed.

Why it’s important: Review behavior expectations to both preserve clarity and provide opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate positive behaviors.

  1. Establish a consistent system of consequences when expectations are not met.

Why it’s important: It’s important that students know what the consequences are and that they will be applied consistently if they do not meet expectations.

  1. Allow teachers to have some autonomy in molding expectations to fit their classroom.

Why it’s important: Schoolwide expectations are ideal for creating consistency but it’s important to provide some autonomy to teachers when applying those expectations to their classrooms. 

  1. Gather feedback from students to ensure expectations are appropriate and reasonable.

Why it’s important: Even young students can benefit from participating in dialogues around what is appropriate and safe in their school. By participating in those conversations they will feel more ownership of the school and take more pride in adhering to the expectations.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the expectations and modify them as needed.

Why it’s important: Your school never stays stagnant year to year. The people in the school will change and the expectations that are necessary to succeed will need to be changed as well over time.

Now that you know the general process around creating those expectations, let's take a look at some examples commonly found in other elementary schools.

Example Behavior Expectations for Elementary Schools

The goal of your expectations should be to focus on the behaviors you want to see more of in your school. Or better yet, the behaviors that lead to success in your school. 

Here are some examples that any student could benefit from

Respect: Students demonstrate respect for themselves, teachers, and fellow students.

Responsibility: Students take responsibility for their own learning by completing assignments on time and participating in class.

Cooperation: Students work well with others, share materials and ideas, and help their peers.

Self-Control: Students remain calm and focused in the classroom, follow instructions, and stay on task.

Attitude: Students demonstrate positive attitudes and enthusiasm toward learning.

Integrity: Students demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness in their words and actions.

Participation: Students actively participate in classroom discussions and activities.

Organizing Your Behavior Rubric for Elementary School

Even if your expectations are very clear and direct it can be helpful to organize them in a way that makes them easy to remember and easy to use for teachers and students alike. 

Here are 4 tips to organize your expectations:
1. Use Clear and Concise Language:
When constructing a behavior rubric, make sure to use language that is easy to understand and doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. 

2. Provide Examples: When creating a behavior rubric, provide examples of the different levels of behavior so that it will be easier for students to understand what is expected of them. 

3. Make it Easy to Provide Feedback: Include examples of appropriate, desired behavior on the rubric so your staff can easily give positive feedback that reinforces good behavior. This will help students understand the expectations and help them make better choices in the future.

4. Modify by it fit All Locations: Does your school have certain locations that seem to attract chaos? Consider organizing your rubric by area: give each location a set of specific behavior expectations. Here are some examples of location-based categories and behaviors:

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

This structure is accessible and easy to understand, especially for younger grades. 

Example Behavior Rubrics for Elementary School

Many schools choose to use an acronym to organize the rubric in a way that is easy to follow and utilize for everyone. 

CHAMPS

The most common is CHAMPS which stands for Consequences, Help, Activity, Materials, Praise, and Signals. 

Consequences refer to the consequences of a student’s disruptive behavior, such as removal from the classroom or loss of privileges. 

Help refers to any assistance the teacher can provide to help the student understand and modify their behavior. 

Activity refers to any activities that are used to keep the student engaged and focused. Materials refer to any materials the student may need to complete an activity. 

Praise refers to any positive reinforcement the teacher can provide to encourage desired behavior. 

Signals refer to any visual or verbal cues the teacher can use to remind the student of the expectations.

Example elementary school behavior rubric

The Three R’s

Or you could shorten the verbiage and go with the tried and true 3 R’s that task kiddos to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient.

Respect: Showing consideration for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others. 

Responsibility: Being accountable for one's actions and taking ownership of one's decisions. 

Resilience: The ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

R.O.A.R.

Start by brainstorming words that are associated with your school mascot. These could include adjectives, verbs, and nouns that you think reflect the mascot's characteristics. 

For example, if your school mascot is a lion, you might come up with words that match the acronym “ROAR” like Responsible, Organized, Accepting, and Respectful. You could also use “SOAR” if you were the Eagles. The possibilities are endless, be creative and really lean into the verbiage that makes your school a special place.

Now you have an easy-to-remember acronym that can now be used to describe the behaviors you value in your school and one that can be used to create some great signage. 🦁

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

Home-to-School Communication

It is essential for teachers and parents to work together to create a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, grow, and develop. 

Through positive reinforcement, clear expectations, and consistent consequences, your staff can help students understand and practice behavior that will lead them to academic success.

It’s also important to note that parents also play an essential role in monitoring and reinforcing the lessons their children are learning in the classroom. 

When teachers and parents work together, they can help students develop into responsible, respectful citizens.

About the Presenter

Jordan resides in Lexington, Kentucky. He has experience in Public Education as an Administrator, Science Teacher, and as a Coach. He has extensive experience with School Discipline, PBIS, SEL, Restorative Practices, MTSS, and Trauma-Informed Care.

Being an elementary school principal is very similar to being the most interesting person in the world.

From the moment you enter the building, you're greeted by your adoring fans. The car rider line is literally lined up around the block to get into your building every day. 

Hundreds of your admirers are waiting on the edge of their seats as you make your morning declarations.

Getting to eat square pizza at lunch with you is seen as the highest symbol of status, and every Halloween Spiderman dresses up as you.

But with all of that celebrity status comes a great deal of responsibility. 

As an elementary school leader, you are tasked with creating an environment that is conducive to success for our youngest students. 

The academic, social, and emotional foundation they set in your building will be the building blocks on which they begin to shape into the people they are destined to become. 

That's why creating school-wide expectations and establishing a behavior rubric based on those expectations is a critical part of creating a safe and effective learning environment for students.

Elementary School Behavior

Elementary school student behavior is different than older grades because of the range of ages and developmental stages present within the classroom. Elementary school students range from ages 5-11 and are still developing the skills to understand and process social cues, emotions, and consequences. 

Young children are still learning the rules, routines, and expectations of the classroom and school environment, and may not yet have the ability to self-regulate or control their emotions or behaviors. As students progress through elementary school, they are able to better understand the rules and expectations and thus are able to control their emotions and behaviors more effectively.

They are more susceptible to peer pressure and may not yet have the skills to properly evaluate the consequences of their actions. Elementary school students may also be more likely to engage in behaviors to gain attention from their peers or teachers, which can certainly be disruptive in the classroom.

Overall, the different developmental stages, the influence of their peers, and the ability to understand and process social cues and consequences all contribute to the difference in behavior between elementary school students and older grades. 

That’s why it is so important to set clear behavior expectations, keep reading to learn how to set expectations that work.

How to Set Elementary School Behavior Expectations

  1. Clearly communicate expectations to students in a consistent manner.

Why it’s important: It’s very difficult to fault a student for not adhering to expectations they weren’t taught or that they have noticed aren’t being enforced consistently.

  1. Model expected behaviors and provide positive reinforcement when students meet the expectations.

Why it’s important: By making a point of praising students you see meeting expectations you are reinforcing the behavior to all of your other students.

  1. Review the expectations frequently and provide reminders as needed.

Why it’s important: Review behavior expectations to both preserve clarity and provide opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate positive behaviors.

  1. Establish a consistent system of consequences when expectations are not met.

Why it’s important: It’s important that students know what the consequences are and that they will be applied consistently if they do not meet expectations.

  1. Allow teachers to have some autonomy in molding expectations to fit their classroom.

Why it’s important: Schoolwide expectations are ideal for creating consistency but it’s important to provide some autonomy to teachers when applying those expectations to their classrooms. 

  1. Gather feedback from students to ensure expectations are appropriate and reasonable.

Why it’s important: Even young students can benefit from participating in dialogues around what is appropriate and safe in their school. By participating in those conversations they will feel more ownership of the school and take more pride in adhering to the expectations.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the expectations and modify them as needed.

Why it’s important: Your school never stays stagnant year to year. The people in the school will change and the expectations that are necessary to succeed will need to be changed as well over time.

Now that you know the general process around creating those expectations, let's take a look at some examples commonly found in other elementary schools.

Example Behavior Expectations for Elementary Schools

The goal of your expectations should be to focus on the behaviors you want to see more of in your school. Or better yet, the behaviors that lead to success in your school. 

Here are some examples that any student could benefit from

Respect: Students demonstrate respect for themselves, teachers, and fellow students.

Responsibility: Students take responsibility for their own learning by completing assignments on time and participating in class.

Cooperation: Students work well with others, share materials and ideas, and help their peers.

Self-Control: Students remain calm and focused in the classroom, follow instructions, and stay on task.

Attitude: Students demonstrate positive attitudes and enthusiasm toward learning.

Integrity: Students demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness in their words and actions.

Participation: Students actively participate in classroom discussions and activities.

Organizing Your Behavior Rubric for Elementary School

Even if your expectations are very clear and direct it can be helpful to organize them in a way that makes them easy to remember and easy to use for teachers and students alike. 

Here are 4 tips to organize your expectations:
1. Use Clear and Concise Language:
When constructing a behavior rubric, make sure to use language that is easy to understand and doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. 

2. Provide Examples: When creating a behavior rubric, provide examples of the different levels of behavior so that it will be easier for students to understand what is expected of them. 

3. Make it Easy to Provide Feedback: Include examples of appropriate, desired behavior on the rubric so your staff can easily give positive feedback that reinforces good behavior. This will help students understand the expectations and help them make better choices in the future.

4. Modify by it fit All Locations: Does your school have certain locations that seem to attract chaos? Consider organizing your rubric by area: give each location a set of specific behavior expectations. Here are some examples of location-based categories and behaviors:

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

This structure is accessible and easy to understand, especially for younger grades. 

Example Behavior Rubrics for Elementary School

Many schools choose to use an acronym to organize the rubric in a way that is easy to follow and utilize for everyone. 

CHAMPS

The most common is CHAMPS which stands for Consequences, Help, Activity, Materials, Praise, and Signals. 

Consequences refer to the consequences of a student’s disruptive behavior, such as removal from the classroom or loss of privileges. 

Help refers to any assistance the teacher can provide to help the student understand and modify their behavior. 

Activity refers to any activities that are used to keep the student engaged and focused. Materials refer to any materials the student may need to complete an activity. 

Praise refers to any positive reinforcement the teacher can provide to encourage desired behavior. 

Signals refer to any visual or verbal cues the teacher can use to remind the student of the expectations.

Example elementary school behavior rubric

The Three R’s

Or you could shorten the verbiage and go with the tried and true 3 R’s that task kiddos to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient.

Respect: Showing consideration for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others. 

Responsibility: Being accountable for one's actions and taking ownership of one's decisions. 

Resilience: The ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

R.O.A.R.

Start by brainstorming words that are associated with your school mascot. These could include adjectives, verbs, and nouns that you think reflect the mascot's characteristics. 

For example, if your school mascot is a lion, you might come up with words that match the acronym “ROAR” like Responsible, Organized, Accepting, and Respectful. You could also use “SOAR” if you were the Eagles. The possibilities are endless, be creative and really lean into the verbiage that makes your school a special place.

Now you have an easy-to-remember acronym that can now be used to describe the behaviors you value in your school and one that can be used to create some great signage. 🦁

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

Home-to-School Communication

It is essential for teachers and parents to work together to create a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, grow, and develop. 

Through positive reinforcement, clear expectations, and consistent consequences, your staff can help students understand and practice behavior that will lead them to academic success.

It’s also important to note that parents also play an essential role in monitoring and reinforcing the lessons their children are learning in the classroom. 

When teachers and parents work together, they can help students develop into responsible, respectful citizens.

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All Event Ideas for Schools

All Free Reward Ideas for Schools

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Meet the Teacher
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Game of Thrones
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Be a Comedian.
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Extra Recess
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Student Messenger
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Tech Time
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Podcast

All Reward Ideas for High School Students

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Be a Comedian.
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Music Fest
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Sports Tickets
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School Dance
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Books
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Being an elementary school principal is very similar to being the most interesting person in the world.

From the moment you enter the building, you're greeted by your adoring fans. The car rider line is literally lined up around the block to get into your building every day. 

Hundreds of your admirers are waiting on the edge of their seats as you make your morning declarations.

Getting to eat square pizza at lunch with you is seen as the highest symbol of status, and every Halloween Spiderman dresses up as you.

But with all of that celebrity status comes a great deal of responsibility. 

As an elementary school leader, you are tasked with creating an environment that is conducive to success for our youngest students. 

The academic, social, and emotional foundation they set in your building will be the building blocks on which they begin to shape into the people they are destined to become. 

That's why creating school-wide expectations and establishing a behavior rubric based on those expectations is a critical part of creating a safe and effective learning environment for students.

Elementary School Behavior

Elementary school student behavior is different than older grades because of the range of ages and developmental stages present within the classroom. Elementary school students range from ages 5-11 and are still developing the skills to understand and process social cues, emotions, and consequences. 

Young children are still learning the rules, routines, and expectations of the classroom and school environment, and may not yet have the ability to self-regulate or control their emotions or behaviors. As students progress through elementary school, they are able to better understand the rules and expectations and thus are able to control their emotions and behaviors more effectively.

They are more susceptible to peer pressure and may not yet have the skills to properly evaluate the consequences of their actions. Elementary school students may also be more likely to engage in behaviors to gain attention from their peers or teachers, which can certainly be disruptive in the classroom.

Overall, the different developmental stages, the influence of their peers, and the ability to understand and process social cues and consequences all contribute to the difference in behavior between elementary school students and older grades. 

That’s why it is so important to set clear behavior expectations, keep reading to learn how to set expectations that work.

How to Set Elementary School Behavior Expectations

  1. Clearly communicate expectations to students in a consistent manner.

Why it’s important: It’s very difficult to fault a student for not adhering to expectations they weren’t taught or that they have noticed aren’t being enforced consistently.

  1. Model expected behaviors and provide positive reinforcement when students meet the expectations.

Why it’s important: By making a point of praising students you see meeting expectations you are reinforcing the behavior to all of your other students.

  1. Review the expectations frequently and provide reminders as needed.

Why it’s important: Review behavior expectations to both preserve clarity and provide opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate positive behaviors.

  1. Establish a consistent system of consequences when expectations are not met.

Why it’s important: It’s important that students know what the consequences are and that they will be applied consistently if they do not meet expectations.

  1. Allow teachers to have some autonomy in molding expectations to fit their classroom.

Why it’s important: Schoolwide expectations are ideal for creating consistency but it’s important to provide some autonomy to teachers when applying those expectations to their classrooms. 

  1. Gather feedback from students to ensure expectations are appropriate and reasonable.

Why it’s important: Even young students can benefit from participating in dialogues around what is appropriate and safe in their school. By participating in those conversations they will feel more ownership of the school and take more pride in adhering to the expectations.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the expectations and modify them as needed.

Why it’s important: Your school never stays stagnant year to year. The people in the school will change and the expectations that are necessary to succeed will need to be changed as well over time.

Now that you know the general process around creating those expectations, let's take a look at some examples commonly found in other elementary schools.

Example Behavior Expectations for Elementary Schools

The goal of your expectations should be to focus on the behaviors you want to see more of in your school. Or better yet, the behaviors that lead to success in your school. 

Here are some examples that any student could benefit from

Respect: Students demonstrate respect for themselves, teachers, and fellow students.

Responsibility: Students take responsibility for their own learning by completing assignments on time and participating in class.

Cooperation: Students work well with others, share materials and ideas, and help their peers.

Self-Control: Students remain calm and focused in the classroom, follow instructions, and stay on task.

Attitude: Students demonstrate positive attitudes and enthusiasm toward learning.

Integrity: Students demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness in their words and actions.

Participation: Students actively participate in classroom discussions and activities.

Organizing Your Behavior Rubric for Elementary School

Even if your expectations are very clear and direct it can be helpful to organize them in a way that makes them easy to remember and easy to use for teachers and students alike. 

Here are 4 tips to organize your expectations:
1. Use Clear and Concise Language:
When constructing a behavior rubric, make sure to use language that is easy to understand and doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. 

2. Provide Examples: When creating a behavior rubric, provide examples of the different levels of behavior so that it will be easier for students to understand what is expected of them. 

3. Make it Easy to Provide Feedback: Include examples of appropriate, desired behavior on the rubric so your staff can easily give positive feedback that reinforces good behavior. This will help students understand the expectations and help them make better choices in the future.

4. Modify by it fit All Locations: Does your school have certain locations that seem to attract chaos? Consider organizing your rubric by area: give each location a set of specific behavior expectations. Here are some examples of location-based categories and behaviors:

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

This structure is accessible and easy to understand, especially for younger grades. 

Example Behavior Rubrics for Elementary School

Many schools choose to use an acronym to organize the rubric in a way that is easy to follow and utilize for everyone. 

CHAMPS

The most common is CHAMPS which stands for Consequences, Help, Activity, Materials, Praise, and Signals. 

Consequences refer to the consequences of a student’s disruptive behavior, such as removal from the classroom or loss of privileges. 

Help refers to any assistance the teacher can provide to help the student understand and modify their behavior. 

Activity refers to any activities that are used to keep the student engaged and focused. Materials refer to any materials the student may need to complete an activity. 

Praise refers to any positive reinforcement the teacher can provide to encourage desired behavior. 

Signals refer to any visual or verbal cues the teacher can use to remind the student of the expectations.

Example elementary school behavior rubric

The Three R’s

Or you could shorten the verbiage and go with the tried and true 3 R’s that task kiddos to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient.

Respect: Showing consideration for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others. 

Responsibility: Being accountable for one's actions and taking ownership of one's decisions. 

Resilience: The ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

R.O.A.R.

Start by brainstorming words that are associated with your school mascot. These could include adjectives, verbs, and nouns that you think reflect the mascot's characteristics. 

For example, if your school mascot is a lion, you might come up with words that match the acronym “ROAR” like Responsible, Organized, Accepting, and Respectful. You could also use “SOAR” if you were the Eagles. The possibilities are endless, be creative and really lean into the verbiage that makes your school a special place.

Now you have an easy-to-remember acronym that can now be used to describe the behaviors you value in your school and one that can be used to create some great signage. 🦁

Example Elementary School Behavior Rubric

Home-to-School Communication

It is essential for teachers and parents to work together to create a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, grow, and develop. 

Through positive reinforcement, clear expectations, and consistent consequences, your staff can help students understand and practice behavior that will lead them to academic success.

It’s also important to note that parents also play an essential role in monitoring and reinforcing the lessons their children are learning in the classroom. 

When teachers and parents work together, they can help students develop into responsible, respectful citizens.

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Want more ideas?

Rewards that Rock 🎸 has 100+ rewards, incentives, and event ideas to build your school culture.
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