Setting the Tone from Day One
Lesson Objective: Communicate clear expectations
All Grades / All Subjects / Expectations

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?
191 Comments

I understand the need for classroom control and respect but I don't think that this is how I would accomplish those goals.  Learning should not be defined completely as "work".

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When they go into the work field they will be expected to work. That's what we are preparing them for.

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1. Mr. Romagnolo uses a firm, authortive tone so that students understand that the importance of his expectations. He is clear and concise with his expectations and repeats them through out.  

2. Mr. Romagnolo says "your expectations are what you allow them to do, not what you say." This is very valuable in setting student expectations so that they will succeed in and out of your class. This will help with stucture, expecations and classroom management.

3. If a positive tone was not established day 1 it is important to re-assert that tone and expectations quickly and effectively, You may have to do this several days and in a few different ways to find what works for your students. 

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This video demonstrates classroom managment. Setting the tone in the classroom is very important. The students need to have a clear understanding what is expected for them to do in or out the classroom. Mr. Romagnolo set the tone for his classroom on the first day. This is a great example to follow to develop a great healthy classroom environment. 

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  1. What is the relationship between tone and expectations?

The tone sets the mood and seriousness of the expectation which will be the rules and standards for a successful outcome.

 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?

Set the tone from day one that what is expected must be consistent.  If not done correctly will be repeated until done to satisfactory. Stay firm and commited to expectation to establish grat classroom management.

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

Start the next day with what you the tone you expected and explain to the class again what is allowed and what is expected and be firm and consistant that the tone is understood.

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I have taught adults most my life, this tactic of absolute silence for adults and/or high schoolers would be insulting and condescending.  For older students, expectations such as come in and get ready, put up their phones, get out a Chromebooks, etc.  are reasonable.  These examples seem to be all geared for younger groups.  

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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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