Friday, September 12, 2014

Setting the Tone with High Behavioral Expectations

It doesn't happen overnight, but rather over several years: your classroom rules can begin to feel stale and not all that relevant any more. At least that is what happened to me! This fall I revamped my classroom rules to reflect positive behavior in line with the new expectations set in the school. This visual list has been making all the difference in setting a good tone with all my classes. We begin and end each class with this list. When the expectation has been met I make a big check mark next to it, an expectation somewhat met receives a half circle, and for an expectation that is not met I make an open circle so we know what we have to work on. Setting high behavioral expectations in the beginning of the year is so important.

A bright, new list of expectations will get your students' attention and help you throughout the school year.

If you're interested in creating specific expectations/rules list for each class try Class Dojo. Class Dojo is a tool I pull out for classes that need help staying on track behaviorally in the later part of the school year. The class brainstorms positive and negative behaviors and chooses icons to go with it. It is amazing how spot-on and honest young kids will be about their behavior! 

"Act safely in the art room" was a positive behavior given by a kid who just ran around the art room and jumped off a chair. Kids often know what they need and will tell us adults how to do it. Listen.

What classroom management techniques are your favorites? Do you have your kids help generate the behavioral expectations?

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