Paper in Education – Classroom Expectations Board Design
By Arora Maravich
Finding ways to decorate the classroom in a way that is educationally relevant, not distracting, and aesthetically appealing can be a hard balance to strike. One element of classroom décor that can (and should!) be found in every classroom, across grade levels and subjects, is some sort of display of the expectations of the classroom. This may exist as a reiteration of school policies, a poster of behavior expectations, or a list of classroom rules. However they appear, class expectations are a necessary part of the class ecosystem, and should be one of the first things discussed with students.
However, class expectations, or rules, do not need to be displayed in a way that is austere or unappealing to the eye in order to be an effective reminder. Creating a behavior expectations board that is fun to look at may even attract more eyes (especially those eyes that tend to wander a bit more than others!) and may remind students more effectively of the expectations.
Printworks offers a great example of how to create a fun example of how to create a behavior expectations board that is easy to make and won’t break the bank! This example of a bulletin board shows includes an Ice Cream Cone Template, the Dessert Border, and an example of a Class Contract showing class expectations. All of these were made using Printworks Sorbet Cardstock and Kraft Cover Stock. These products can both be printed on. The Ice Cream Cone Template can be used to display behavior expectations or consequence progression, as it is shown here, or it could be stacked and used as a daily behavior tracker for individual students, with a reward for those that reach the top, or as a class-wide progression towards a goal (like an Ice Cream Party!) It could also simply be used as a class decoration!
The Ice Cream Cone Template is shown here as an example of a consequence progression norm for a classroom or school. When introduced to students, it is understood that upon first violating a class expectation, the fist consequence is a warning. Upon a second violation after being warned, the student will have a conversation, or conference, with the teacher, and so on until—SPLAT—by the fourth time, the consequence at this school is In School Suspension (ISS). In this case, the Ice Cream Cone is reminding students to stay cool, or end up in a mess!
There is also an example of a Class Contract shown here. A class contract can help students to feel invested in the norms and expectations of a classroom (on top of the school-wide rules). The teacher could introduce some general expectations, such as: Respect Each Other, Respect Ourselves, Respect the Space, and Respect the School, and ask students to interpret what they believe each expectation means and why it is important to follow. The teacher could also ask students to come up with their own rules for the classroom, and have the class vote on the ones they feel are the most important to uphold. The teacher could even have each student sign their name under the expectations to symbolize that they agree to them. When students are involved in a conversation about expectations, they feel more personally invested in them and have more of a chance of understanding why they are in place (not just as a way to get them in trouble!)
This example of an expectations board makes the expectations and consequences of a classroom feel more understandable, and it will look a lot nicer in your classroom!
Download the free template below and shop PrintWorks to make your own!
About Arora Maravich
Arora received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and studied at Duke University Graduate School in NC. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Teaching – Special Education from Relay Graduate School of Education in Wilmington, DE. Arora is certified as a structured literacy/dyslexia interventionist through the Center for Effective Reading and certified at the teaching level through the Reading Assist Intervention Program. Arora has Emergency Certifications as a Middle Level English Language Arts Teacher (Grades 6-8) and an Elementary Teacher (Grades K-6), as well as a Certificate of Eligibility in Special Education Teacher of Students with Disabilities (Grades K-12). Arora currently teaches second grade in Wilmington, DE.