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1 or 2 periods


Primary / Junior / Intermediate


Paper, pencils, sentence strips, chart paper, markers, tape


To establish norms as a group and to identify what matters to students as a group/classroom


  • Independently, students make a list of classroom expectations (e.g., trying new things, attentive listening, keeping the room clean, etc.).


  • In pairs, each student shares their list and identifies ideas they find important.
  • The pair selects their top four or five expectations and joins another pair.
  • In small groups, repeat the process.
  • The small groups select their top four or five expectations and write these clearly on sentence strips.


  • Groups present their sentence strips.
  • As a class, students select the top five or six most important norms.
  • The selected norms are written on chart paper, so they are visible for everyone.
  • To be done at the beginning of the school year or the start of a new group project.
  • Ask students what classroom norms are important to them by using Wordle.
  • Create a class prayer that incorporates some/all of the class norms, asking God/Jesus/Holy Spirit to help the class put them into practice.
  • Discuss connections that can be made between the class norms and the Catholic graduation expectations.

Establishing explicit classroom norms of inclusion, respect for diversity, compassion, and collaboration will help create a classroom with a positive and safe emotional climate, in which students can effectively engage in learning (Brackett, Reyes, Rivers, Elbertson, & Salovey, 2011; Rivers, Brackett, Reyes, Elbertson, & Salovey, 2013).

Brackett, M. A., Reyes, M. R., Rivers, S. E., Elbertson, N. A., & Salovey, P. (2011). Classroom emotional climate, teacher affiliation, student conduct. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 46(1), 27-36.

Rivers, S. E., Brackett, M. A., Reyes, M. R., Elbertson, N. A., & Salovey, P. (2013). Improving the Social and Emotional Climate of Classrooms: A Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial Testing the RULER Approach. Prevention Science, 14(1), 77-87. doi:10.1007/s11121-012-0305-2

Building community with one another allows us to put our faith into action. We are called to live out the gospel daily, by finding ways to appreciate, accept and forgive as Jesus taught us.

(5a) A collaborative communicator who works effectively as an interdependent team member.

Belonging and contributing: to develop students’ contributions as part of a group