The personal learning network for educators
I found a short Youtube link that demonstrated a class working together to create their class rules. The teacher started off by having her students brainstorm a list of rules that they thought would be important to follow in the classroom. After they created their list, the teacher challenged them to place each of the rules into larger categories (such as "safety" or "respect"). Having the students categorize them improves children's understanding and ownership of these rules.
I would then take this activity a step further and create posters for each category of rules to post around the room. Since the class all contributed to coming up the rules, it is a nice reminder for the students to be able to see their ideas and remember to follow them.
Having students work together to create classroom rules definitely helps to create a sense of community in the classroom. Students are definitely more likely to feel inclined to follow rules that they participated in creating.
This would be a great activity to recreate in my own classroom!