Classroom Expectations

Back to School Tip #3:

Classroom Expectations

Another very important part of classroom management at the beginning of the year is making sure your students know and understand your classroom expectations. When classroom expectations are clearly communicated from the start, it helps create a positive environment where all students can learn and grow. When students know exactly what is expected of them with regards to behavior and academics, they can more easily meet these expectations.

Behavioral Expectations:

A positive classroom environment must have clear behavior expectations from the first day that students walk in. Students need to be taught these expectations with specific targeted lessons that show what the expected behavior looks like and what it doesn't look like. It is important to teach, model, and practice. Then, reteach, model and practice again. This needs to continue to happen until students are demonstrating a clear understanding of the expectation and what they need to do. A good behavior management system is also key. Teachers use a variety of systems in their classrooms: PBIS, Class Dojo, Color Coded Charts, Behavior Logs, etc. There are pros and cons to all systems but most systems can work effectively. The key is consistency and reinforcement. I found that a clip chart system with rewards and consequences worked well in my classroom. The Discipline Management Packet below includes a 5 poster chart, incentive punch cards, certificates for great behavior and much more. These posters can be hung in the classroom and clothespins with student names or numbers are clipped initially to the Beautiful Behavior card.  If students have infractions, their clips move down the chart and consequences will take place.  For students who go above and beyond with good behavior that day, they can be moved to Outstanding and receive special rewards or recognition.


In addition to the clip chart, it is very important to provide students with rewards and positive incentives.  Punch cards can be used to collect punches for great behavior each day.  The completed punch card can be traded in for a trip to the treasure chest, lunch with the teacher or some other reward the student finds valuable.  Certificates can even be given out at the end of the week, grading period or at other intervals for students who show good behavior.

Academic Expectations: 

Research shows that having high academic expectations will result in higher student achievement. If your students know you expect them to turn in their work and will accept nothing less, they will turn in their work. If students know you expect every paper to have a heading, you will have less papers with no name on them. If students know you expect them to participate in the class discussion, they will be more likely to contribute their thoughts and ideas. The key to successful high expectations is the consistency and reinforcement in making sure 100% of students meet them. For example, if all students are expected to participate in classroom discussions, sometimes a student may not want to answer and says, "I don't know" when called upon to answer a question. Instead of letting that student off the hook by going on to the next student to answer, make sure the student knows you will come back to him for the answer. "OK, Tom, let's see if someone else can help you out." Call on another student for the answer. Then go back to Tom. Ask the question again so he can repeat what the other student said. Be consistent with this strategy. Once students know they cannot get away without answering, they will be more likely to pay attention, participate and meet your expectations. They also know they will get the support of help with an answer when they truly do not know.

If you clearly teach your behavioral and academic expectations at the beginning of the year, you will have a classroom environment where all students can thrive.  Remember that consistency is the key.

For other Back to School Teacher Tips click the link below:

Until Next Time.......

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