Setting Expectations

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SWBAT define expectations for the year.

Big Idea

Let's expect to have a great year together!


45 minutes

I like to do this activity on the first or second day of school just to set the stage for what the students and I expect from each other.  

You will need 5 large pieces of paper.  Write a question like the ones below on each of the pieces and also post the questions on the board.

1.  Everyday our classroom should be...

2.  In order to be successful this year, I need to....

3.  This year I hope to learn...

4.  I need my teacher to....

5.  The students in this class should...

Give each student 5 post it notes.  Have them number then 1-5 and then write the answer to the corresponding question on the post it.  

As they finish, students can get up and a post their answers on the correct poster.  

When everyone has finished, divide the students into 5 groups.  Each group is responsible for a poster.  Their task is to categorize the responses and summarize the results.  This part of the process does take awhile.  I find that my students really get into the task of reporting out what the class thinks.  They will spend time discussing, moving the notes, changing their minds, and reorganizing.  During this time, I walk around and observe the way they are interacting with each other.  I encourage every student to take on an active role.  

I ask each group to stand up and present their poster to the class.  I remind the class that this is what they have said, so if something doesn't seem to represent them as a whole, they need to speak up.  

As the students share out the results, I take notes on their summaries.  I type up their responses and post them in our classroom for everyone to see. 

The students always like doing this activity because it is a more active way of discussing "rules" at the beginning of the year.  I always have my expectations in mind, and most of the time, they say exactly what I would want them to say.  

Our school has a campus wide set of expectations that all of the students are familiar with, but I like to take the time during the first week of school to define our classroom expectations and norms.  This helps create a buy in with students and helps them feel ownership of the classroom.  I will also refer to these expectations throughout the year.  If the class gets loud, I might say, "Remember you wanted a quiet learning environment." to get them back on track.