Responsive Classroom suggests creating classroom rules using students 'Hopes and Dreams' for the year. I've found it to be a fun and effective method. This year I decided to use ThinkBlocks and the Patterns of Thinking to help us.
I shared my hope for the year and gave the students time to think about theirs and to talk with a friend. Then, as students shared their hopes I wrote each one on a big ThinkBlock. The next day we returned to our ThinkBlocks. I grabbed the medium sized ones and began sharing the parts of my hope. I talked about the things I would do in order to make my hope happen and the things I would need others to do. Students then shared the parts of their hopes. (They felt especially motivated to do so in order to get some medium ThinkBlocks. It's amusingly impressive.)
Finally, the next day we discussed how we can help each other successfully complete our hopes. The list was fairly short and surprisingly focused. In the end our class rules are: Be Kind and Help Others.
We did talk about being kind to people and to things (furniture, walls, supplies, etc.).
Be Kind and Help Others. I can live with that.