So, I've got my rules, got my consequences. But how do you know if your rules are too strict? For example, I really really really hate talking. When I'm teaching it's zero tolerance. But I'm finding I am avoiding group work and partner work (which is unacceptable, I know) because I just like my room quiet. Now I'm thinking of cutting out the interactive notebook because they have a tendency to get chatty while they cut and paste. I am trying to think back to when I was a student, and I know I chatted when I cut and pasted, so I assume chatty is normal during cut and paste, which is not when I am talking. My students can and will work quietly for me, but they talk whenever there's an opportunity (such as cut and paste). My question is: am I going overboard on the hatred of talking? Or is it normal and reasonable to expect silence during the entire class period? I don't want to be so draconian that the kids are so used to the consequences and getting them all of the time, that they don't take the punishment system seriously---and that's when someone loses complete control of the classroom--when the kids do not take the consequences seriously. I just feel like it's a fine line and it's one that I want to tread on the correct side of. I want my classroom to be a tight ship, with minimal disturbances and disruptions. How do you ensure that that you aren't too draconian with your management plan? I feel like this year I'm being overly cautious of that given my new age group I am teaching, so at the same time I don't want to be to lenient either! Grrrrr! My 4th graders were easy, my alternative class was very easy---that was a school-mandated behavior system. But a normal, middle school class. Not so sure about.