Behavior Expectations

During the first few weeks of the new school year, it so important to set expectations for behavior and to establish routines.  This last week, it took my group of 6th graders three tries before they got to walk all the way to the library to check out their textbooks.  I turned them around again and again.  Our campus security aide (retired military veteran), gave me the nod and a smile when they finally got it right.

In the past I have been really good about things like that, but have often wavered in classroom procedures.  I get panicked about how many lessons my neighbor is ahead of me in math, and how we haven't started Social Studies, and give in.  The demands of curriculum win, and I plow ahead without being really happy with where they are in classroom procedures.

Then sometime after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, instead of a minor flare-up, it implodes.  And I am back to square one, frustrated with 6th graders because I didn't take enough time to train them.  This year I vowed to do better, to be more explicit, and to be willing to go back and try again - in the classroom.

Before school started, I saw several different pins on Pinterest regarding Independent and Group work expectations, and they got me thinking.  One in particular caught my eye, it was pinned by Brooke Taylor (click here to see it, because for the life of me, I cannot get it to embed!).  So I pinned it, and pondered it.  Eventually, I revised it to fit my classroom.

I used my favorite frames from Krista Wallden to make them.  I know what you are thinking...did she put them on magnets?  Of course I did!

 This is from the first day of class.  They were all displayed on the board.
This is from my Classroom Tour post.
This last week, I was very careful to go over them for each phase of the assignment, and the only one on the board is the one we are referring to for expected behavior.  I use one of the pennants from Amanda Zanchelli's freebie as a pointer.  When they are getting a little off task, I simply go over to the board and say, "1, 2, 3, eyes on me," and tap the sign.  It seems to working, and we did a pretty messy art project in the first few days.  

Now the challenge is to keep it up and stay consistent!  If you are interested in my little signs, click here to download them for free at my TPT store!  My Read 180 rotation signs are included in the folder, and you are going to have to apply your own magnets...oh who am I kidding!  If it were possible, I would be happy to put the magnets on and clean out your cupboards:)!

Happy Saturday!


  1. The '6 inch voice' concept had me chuckling! Never heard it put that way before. Mind you, I'd need to ask the kids to have '15 cm voices'.
    And I could see a few of my year eight boys being quite interested in 5cm voices if they were partnered with a girl...

  2. I love the signs! Thanks for sharing. I will be posting and sharing in my class on Tuesday (our first day in MI)

  3. I love the signs! Thanks for sharing. I will be posting and sharing in my class on Tuesday (our first day in MI)