Classroom Management: Setting Expectations

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To convey expectations and explain procedures to students, teachers should use a three-step process, according to renowned educator Harry Wong (1991, p. 176). The first step is to state your expectations clearly and simply to the students. Then, explain the procedure by stating, modeling, and demonstrating it.


The teacher should explain to the students that, when they see the teacher's hand in the air, or hear a bell being sounded, they should first stop all movement, and then turn to the teacher. Next, they should be ready to hear what the teacher says. The teacher then repeats all the steps to the students and looks at them to make sure they understand. The class practices the procedure, and the teacher then reinforces the procedure by using it all the time, offering praise when the procedure is followed, and correction when it is not (Wong, 1991, p. 183).
Another in-class activity for which procedures are necessary is making up work after an absence. The procedure for this involves using a Make-Up Work folder that contains detailed instructions about how to turn in assignments and get necessary notes or other materials from that day. Upon entering the class after an absence, the student brings a note for the teacher to sign, then looks at the folder to find handouts and/or instructions about what was missed. The student has 3 school days following an absence to get all make-up work turned it. Explanation, rehearsal, and reinforcement at the beginning of the school term will help students understand the purpose of each procedure and allow them to practice the procedure.
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