What are some Classroom Management Techniques that I can use to clarify expectations?

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There are several classroom management techniques that can help you promote learning in the classroom and decrease distractions. Putting expectations in writing is one effective way of communicating with your students. The clarity provided by written expectation, more effectively, spells out the task for all learners and may even be essential to students who are not strong auditory learners (second language learners too!).

Be careful not to assume that written directions alone are sufficient to clarify and support one’s expectations. When words are conspicuously displayed in class, students will read them many times over. However, if actions do not support the words, then even the most dramatic and catchy posters quickly become invisible. This is true for both task directions and for broad behavioral expectations.

If we were to examine two groups of students who were given a task where one group had written directions and the other did not, who would you predict would do a better job of the task? The answer may seem obvious, yet how often do we trust verbal directions when written directions would have saved a great deal of misguided effort, the need to repeat what was said, and frustration for both teacher and students?

In this way, classroom management techniques are a lot more effective when written directions have been given, as it eliminates the possibility of misunderstandings.

For early grades, putting directions at work centers and/or on the board is a very effective practice. For upper grades, giving assignment task sheets and rubrics to individual students or groups will result in a much higher level end-product as well as a more focused process along the way.

Other ideas for using the written word to clarify expectations:

  • Use the walls to help convey messages.
  • Display student work early. Let them know it is their space.
  • Use bulletin boards to make a statement or provide information.
  • Put up favorite sayings/quotes/messages.

How can you embrace the use of written directions in your classrooms?

Learn more…Take this course: Transformative Classroom Management

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