No Series: Setting the Tone from Day One

Setting the Tone from Day One

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

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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?

218 Comments

  • Private message to Lauren Mullens

 1. He states that the tone and expectations go hand in hand emphasizing "Your expectations are what you allow them to do".

 2. That, for me, will become an internal motto that I adapt to with each new method of instruction- be it lecture, hands on activity, field trip, etc.

 3. Start over on day two. The expectation/tone needs to be set early in the school year.

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  • Private message to Emily Alastre-Martinez

1.Establish who is in charge, to generate respect and attention it is not necessary to scream. 

2. Establish the rules, generate the corrective measures and make people understand who is a burden and that their actions have consequences.

3.Working hard from the second day on, the image of the first day before the students can make the daily work of teaching them easier or a little complicated.

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  • Private message to Shay Centilli

He shows the students that they must listen or they will do things over and over again until it is done without a problem, and like he said if it takes 15 times the first day then that is how long it will take, but they should then know by the time the next day comes around that it should not take them that long because they know the proper procedure that their teachers are looking for out of them. Students will see how far you can push them and teachers get tired and slack off sometimes but that is when the issues come aboard when they sense there is a slight relaxation of rules or they were not held accountable for their actions for 30 seconds the will continue this wrong behavior because it was let slide one time. So repetition is key as well. 

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  • Private message to Michael Stires

Teachers are expected to set the tone and expectations for the students with a clear pathway to maximize their learning while holding them responsible to respect the teacher’s direction. Mr. Romagnolo does a great job with the words/quotes he uses for students to quickly learn the rules of the classroom. I would figure a way to turn the negative tone with all the energy it carries to into positive vibes to carry out into the rest of the school year while making the rules clear and visual for all students to see.

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  • Private message to Nancy Juarez
  1. What is the relationship between tone and expectations?

Tone and expectation go hand in hand. On day one, the teacher is responsible for setting both the tone (atmosphere/environment) and expectations (the required mindset for all students) for optimal student engagement and learning. The student’s should understand the teacher is in charge, and the teacher should not allow students to deviate from his/her expectations.

 

  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?

Mr. Romagnolo’s saying reminds me of what we have all heard at some point in our lives “Do what I say, not what I do.” Students quickly learn classroom norms by what the teacher allows. I am certain my future students will try to get away with as much as possible and it will be up to, me, the teacher to hold them accountable and follow my set required expectations.

 

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

If a positive tone was not set on the first day of school, I would set aside a few minutes at the beginning of class to make them aware of the “new” expectations that will immediately implemented. I believe it is never too late to start enforcing a positive tone in class.

 

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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]

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Nick Romagnolo
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