I'm looking at articles about establishing rules and consequences for my class next year, and I'm torn on how to go about this. Everywhere I've looked says to limit to 3-5 rules; I agree with that, that's easy to do. I'm also seeing a lot that say to make very specific rules, which I feel limits what I'm hoping to accomplish and potentially leaves room for students to counter with "But that's not in the rules!" However, I do understand that specificity removes the guesswork about whether something is or is not misbehavior. My school has "Tiger Pride" expectations that I really like, but may be too vague. Be safe, responsible, respectful, and caring. We recite the Tiger Pride pledge every/most mornings. I used these as my rules last year and had a class discussion about what each of those looked like, and for the most part (when I was good about enforcing it), it seemed to work. I guess my question is.... is it better to use the school-wide "vague" expectations and clarify as a class, or to set 3-5 specific rules for my classroom (and then have to additionally explain how we show Tiger Pride)? I think I answered my own question in writing this, but I'm still curious about what others think. Along with that, how do I make my consequences clear when there may be different consequences for different behaviors (rather than the "warning, timeout, call home" I'm seeing everywhere online)? I hate clip charts, and I'm hesitant to use a reward system because I know I will forget to use it. But I also want to be sure that I'm not relying solely on negative consequences to enforce behavior. Basically the first day of school terrifies me and I don't want to repeat last year's incidents of taking several MONTHS to really get my footing with classroom management.