Setting expectations in your classroom is extremely important, no matter what grade you teach. Students want to know what the expectations of them are so they know how to achieve them and feel successful, and we definitely want our students to feel successful! I use the What Our Room Looks Like, Sounds Like, and Feels Like chart in my class since expectations are normally dependent on what is happening in the class. The great thing about this chart is that you can change it to fit the needs of you and your students.
When the students are working in partners (which happens quite often) We post the The room LOOKS like Partner Work, and depending on the lesson The room SOUNDS like varies. It could be a Level 1 or a Level 2 depending on your students or your preference. With The room FEELS like option, this really depends on your preference and what works best for your students. I tend to use the COLLABORATIVE option with partner work. So all I have to do is edit the table and project it on the screen or smart board! It will look something like this:When we are working independently either on independent reading time or assessment time the chart will look like this:
The chart is also great to use at centers around the room. The chart can be printed out on card stock and then laminated. Use small pocket charts at each center to clearly state the expectations for the students. This way they are very aware of your expectations and there is no guessing on their part.
In the beginning of the year, I always revisit the whole chart every day, that way the students become familiar with all of the different options and the differences within the options.
By the end of the year, my chart tends to only have the title of each option since it has become a routine in the class throughout the year. I still always have a copy of the main chart available for reference.
I have found that using this system helps my students understand the flow of the room. We don’t have students getting up during independent reading time to go “throw something away” anymore. Students understand that even if they are just whispering to someone to ask for an eraser, they are still disturbing that student and preventing that student from achieving their goal. During Freedom options, students have the opportunity to ask someone else for help. I also like the rule to “Ask three before me.” This is especially great at centers where the students need to work together to complete the objective. This usually happens when the students are working at a center during Group Work.
This Classroom Expectations chart has changed the dynamics in my classroom immensely. Students get to have a choice in the expectations as well. Sometimes they choose to have the room at a Level 0 because they want to focus on their work. This chart allows the freedom of choice in the classroom while setting clear expectations for behaviors. It is important for our students to take an ownership in not only their learning, but the environment that thy learn in!