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Nonverbal Cues 

Setting Classroom Expectations to Improve Behavior 

5 Tips to Help Improve and Set Behavior Expectations

Here are 5 quick tips to establish consistent behavior expectations in your school or district:

1. Define your behavior expectations, along with rewards and consequences.

Invite key stakeholders from across your school to create your behavior expectations. Each desired behavior should be observable, measurable, objective and specific. Defining behaviors in this way also makes it much easier to model them for students, so they can see concrete examples of what they’re expected to do.

Next, establish a reward system for recognizing students who achieve these expectations, and establish consequences for expectations that are not met. Like the expectations, the rewards and consequences should be age-appropriate and consistent.

Finally, share these expectations and get buy-in from all teachers and staff members to ensure they’ll be implemented school-wide.

2. Clearly communicate your behavior expectations to students — and parents.  

One way to communicate consistent behavior expectations to students and parents is to put them in writing.

  • Create a handout, and distribute it to all students and parents.
  • Post the expectations on classroom walls or other prominent places so students can refer to them as often as needed. Even better, post the expectations in or near the area where the targeted behaviors are expected to take place (e.g. posting behavior expectations for the cafeteria on the cafeteria wall).
  • Post the expectations on the school website.
  • Include the expectations in the school handbook.

Then, read the expectations aloud to students. Explain what each expectation means, and why these are necessary and beneficial to everyone.

3. Show students what is meant by each expectation. Model and practice it.

To ensure students understand the behavior expectations, show them what they look like in action. Demonstrate what it looks like when a student is meeting the expectation.

4. Track student behaviors daily, and apply rewards and consequences consistently and equitably.

With Kickboard, you can easily collect, access, analyze, share and act on behavioral data in real-time. With behavior management tools such as one-click behavior tracking, you can easily track the positive behaviors that make up your ideal school culture, as well as inappropriate or negative behaviors that need improvement. In addition, you can motivate positive behaviors with goal-based incentives or rewards — such as behavior points, scholar dollars, student paychecks, or school store rewards — which are automatically tracked in Kickboard.

Teachers can help each other too, with one-click tools for behavior-specific notes, teacher-to-teacher comments, sharable dashboards, and room for reflection on student reports.

5. Review and reinforce these expectations throughout the year.

This keeps the behavior expectations top-of-mind for students and staff — and emphasizes how important they are to the culture of the entire school.

Clear, consistent behavior expectations, combined with real-time data tracking, are key components to building a safe, happy school where students and staff thrive. When students feel confident, respected, cared for and supported, disruptions and discipline incidents decline, learning increases, and academic achievement rises.