No Series: Setting the Tone from Day One

Setting the Tone from Day One

Lesson Objective: Communicate clear expectations
All Grades / All Subjects / Expectations
2 MIN

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. What is the relationship between tone and expectations?
  2. Mr. Romagnolo says, "Your expectations are what you allow them to do, not what you say." How could you apply this distinction in your own class?
  3. What could you do if a positive tone wasn't set on the first day?

244 Comments

  • Private message to Rachel Brownlee Kurita
  1. What is the relationship between tone and expectations? The tone is the attitude and atmosphere you establish with your way of addressing the students and your voice. If it does not match what you tell the students your expectations are, then the students will not understand that you are serious.

  2. Mr. Romagnolo says, "Your expectations are what you allow them to do, not what you say." How could you apply this distinction in your own class? I can let the students know from when they first enter my classroom that respectful and safe behavior are the only behaviors accepted. 

  3. What could you do if a positive tone wasn't set on the first day? It is hard to go backwards to become more strict, but it is possible to allow for fun in the classroom while still expecting students to respond to the teacher and stay focused and on-task. If a positive tone wasn’t set the first day, it can be developed as the students meet expectations.

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  • Private message to Haley Wallace
  1. What is the relationship between tone and expectations?
  2. Mr. Romagnolo says, "Your expectations are what you allow them to do, not what you say." How could you apply this distinction in your own class?
  3. What could you do if a positive tone wasn't set on the first day?

1. Your tone is the inflection and way your voice sounds when talking and giving instruction. Your tone needs to be firm and show the students that you're in charge. Expectations are what rules and standards you expect from the students.

2. Expectations are an every day thing. They are the rules and standards that the students are to follow, and they don't change. They are established on the first day and need to be reiterated as needed. They need to be modelled, rather than just told.

3. If the tone on the first day isn't correct, we should reset. This includes making sure the students are aware of the expectations, and modelling them again. Have them redo the procedures you expect from them until they get it right. This can continute for each class until the students get them. Only then can you allow some fun. The students need to know that they are to meet the standards and that they are capable of them.

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  • Private message to Shaleise Scott
 

Establishes whose in charge and what behavior is expected. 

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  • Private message to Kim Medina

  1. Your tone is your voice - the words, the intonation, inflection.  Your expectation is the rules you expect to be followed every day.

  2. Again, working with a self-contained adapted classroom, my expectations differ from those of a general education classroom.  I expect to hang your bookbag on the back of their chair, and then they socialize while eating breakfast.  The main expectation is to respect others by listening to them, not invading their personal space,  not disrupting the class during lessons, and to self-advocate.  My kids have more freedom to move around the classroom during lessons due to their learning styles.

  3. It is essential to set the tone the following day and engage students in discussing why they had more liberty the first day and then to continue the expectations respectfully and non-domineeringly.

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  • Private message to Lidia Pinzon Rincon
  1. What is the relationship between tone and expectations?

Expectations are about classroom performance rules, and the tone lets the students know who is the one who will make sure the rules are followed.

  1. Mr. Romagnolo says, "Your expectations are what you allow them to do, not what you say." How could you apply this distinction in your own class?

Ensuring the students understand the rules help them to stay in a safe learning environment.

  1. What could you do if a positive tone wasn't set on the first day?

I will ask students to repeat and practice the rules until they learn that classroom rules are only for their benefit.

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Transcripts

  • [00:00]
    Interviewer: Setting the tone from the very first day of school is the most important thing you can do

    [00:00]
    Interviewer: Setting the tone from the very first day of school is the most important thing you can do as a teacher. The first thing that everyone needs to understand is that you are in charge of your classroom. The very best teachers—when you walk into their classroom—seems like the kids are totally in charge. They’re doing everything they wanna do all the time. That’s been set up by the teacher from the very first day of school.

    Okay. Can I have your attention, please?

    You have to set the tone before any child ever walks into your classroom.

    Welcome to the first day of Algebra I. When you walk into the room, you need to do so quietly and without talking. I’ll say that one more time. Quietly and without talking.

    When a kid walks into your classroom, they have to know what you expect, what you need them to do, and they need to be able to do it. Your expectations are what you allow them to do—not what you say, but what you allow them to do, so if you say, “Walk into the classroom quietly,” and they walk into the classroom and they’re quietly talking to each other, that’s what you expect them to do. Don’t go back later on and think, man, I wish they came in the classroom without talking at all. You didn’t expect that of them from the very first day of school.

    If I see someone talking—even a whisper, even a giggle—we’re gonna stop, we’re gonna come back out, and we’re gonna practice it and try it again.

    I’m telling them fro the start, and then I’m holding them to that. If they aren’t gonna do what I ask them to do, we’re going back out and we’re practicing, and we’re gonna do it over and over and over. I have had classes where I had to do it 15 times on the first day until they realized what my expectations were. Once they realized what they were, now I only have to do it twice or three times the next day, and then hopefully after that, we can only do it once.

    Okay. When you walk through this door, it’s time to work. All right. Let’s make it happen.

    When they walk in this classroom, it’s time to work.

    Clap once. Clap once. Clap once.

    We can goof around sometimes. We can have fun, but we’re gonna stop it whenever the teacher wants us to, and we’re gonna get back to work.

    Clap twice. Simple as that. Let’s get to work.

    But the key is get ‘em in, get ‘em in quickly, and set the expectation before the first class ever starts.

    Welcome to the first day of Algebra I.

    [End of audio]

Teachers

teachers
Nick Romagnolo
Math / 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 / Coach