Routines & Expectations Workshop 2014


Thank you all for attending the Routines & Expectations workshop on 31st December 2013. We hope you had a great time and went away with some helpful tips to start off your new year with your new class!

Here are some photos from the workshop:

Phototastic-Routines & Expectations 1

Phototastic-Routines & Expectations 2

Following is a summary of all the strategies that all the groups have come up with during the workshop to communicate and help sustain routines and expectations:

Strategies to COMMUNICATE

Make them ‘Visual’

  • Display poster in classroom
  • Clearly spelt out (in writing because most students are visual learners)
  • Show videos
  • Class charter (jointly decided by teacher and students on first day of school)
  • Role-play
  • Use hand signals
  • Write numbers 5 4 3 2 1. Teacher will strike off a number to let his students know how long he needs to wait. Mete out consequence like standing longer until class is ready to greet in unison.
  • Lower Sec: Write timing to stay back (5, 10, 15, 20, 25min) on the board (the longer they take to greet, the longer they stay back after school). They can redeem and earn back the consequence.
  • A set of rules and expectation to be put up on class notice board
  • Creation of posters of class routines & expectations for visual impact
  • Implementation of class roster to facilitate communication of classroom duties

Make students ‘Own’ them

  • Group discussion: mutual agreement among students
  • Get them to set the rules themselves (ownership)
  • Take advantage of statements in the class charter that matches teacher’s beliefs.
  • List on the whiteboard, get students’ opinions and then modify to get consensus and agreement.
  • Rationalise with them when communicating the routines.
  • Try to get them to buy in,
  • Feedback and debrief on the importance
  • Appeal to their maturity – ‘You are old enough to know what you should or should not do.’
  • Let students have ownership of class routines and expectations.
    • Setting a clear vision e.g. “Qn: why are you here? Ans: to get As!” (Neurolinguistic strategy)

Make them ‘Clear and Transparent’ and ‘Relevant’

  • State clearly expectations on the first day
  • Link routines and expectations to what students want to achieve in the classroom.
  • First time, experiment by testing the class dynamics first, before stating expectations. Then if not as expectation, explain to them and then state your expectations.
  • Explain rationale
  • State explicitly routines and expectations

Make them in ‘Bite Sizes’

  • Give them bit by bit during teachable moments. At the start, provide basic ones first. Then add on when there are opportunities.
  • Sharing of personal stories

Make yourself the Role Model

  • Lead by example (e.g. not to be late for class)
  • Role model the way e.g. picking up broom to sweep, setting example for students

Make it a norm

  • Upper Sec: Stand in the middle, wait in the middle, look at them, wait for them to get ready to greet in unison
  • Lower Sec: Teacher say class stand first, ignore to small little greetings from individual until they know they have to greet the teacher in unison

Strategies to SUSTAIN


  • Give reminders
  • Rationalise time and again with them.
  • Give periodic reminders when routines are followed or not followed.
  • Give examples of inspiring people

Encourage and Praise

  • Give encouragement when student do it right
  • Give incentives as rewards
  • Reinforcement (both positive and negative) and consistency
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Positive reinforcement


  • Time the students to practise for routines
  • Remind them and reinforce when there’s an opportunity.
  • Will not start the class until the students meet your expectations.
  • Communicate clearly and reinforce every time.
  • Train the chairperson to reinforce class behaviour.
  • Interesting techniques e.g. spreading out of hands & legs to check on the cleanliness of the room.
  • Repeat the same action until they do it correctly.
  • Explain rationale again and again.
  • Creative ways to sustain (to prevent students from beating the system)

Aid from other sources

  • Parental support and out of classroom engagement
  • Peer pressure

Be Vigilant and Persistent

  • Leave no wrong behavior unaddressed


  • Show the students that you really care for them
  • Lead by example
  • Build relationship with students

Walk your talk

  • Carrying out the consequences
  • Be consistent with expectations



Hi colleagues, the exciting MOE ExCEL Fest is year again!

This is an annual event that celebrates and shares exciting and innovative practices in schools and MOE HQ. The Theme for MOE Excel Fest 2014 is “Valuing Every Child, Learning For Life”, and the event will be held on:  

  • Fri, 11 Apr 2014 (for MOE Staff)
  • Sat, 12 Apr 2014 (open to Public)

Click MOE ExCEL FEST 2014 to find out more!

Do also help to publicise the event to parents and students too as it is a wonderful opportunity to see and experience the many innovative projects and  latest developments in our education landscape.

Remember to mark the above dates down on your calendar!.

A Gentle But Powerful Way To Increase Learning, Motivation, And Independence


A Gentle But Powerful Way To Increase Learning, Motivation, And Independence – A New Article By Michael Linsin

A Gentle But Powerful Way To Increase Learning, Motivation, And Independence

Posted: 11 Jan 2014 09:16 AM PST


So you teach this great lesson. Your students are really into it. They’re listening and participating. Their eyes are bright and inquisitive. They pass all your checks for understanding with flying colors.

But as soon as you finish and give the signal for them to practice what they’ve learned independently, only a few get right to work.

Some students look around the room, unsure of how to begin. Some sit poised, pencil at the ready, but unmoving. Others don’t think twice. As if on cue, their hands go up in the air. Other than a predictable few, most of your students seem unable or unwilling to dig into their work.

You set them up for success, take them right to the edge of learning . . . but there they stand, frozen.

So you do what you have to do. You bustle around the room from one student to the next, reteaching what you taught to the entire class just minutes before. You remind. You review. You cajole, exhort, and praise the slightest headway.

You do for them what you know they can do for themselves. It’s exhausting, but you do it lesson after lesson and day after day because it’s the only way you know how to get them to the finish line. It’s the only way you know how to transfer their learning from concept to knowledge.

Yet still, progress is slow. While you’re working with one student, several others sit idly by, just waiting for you. And because they’re unfocused, behavior, too, suffers. It’s a stressful way to teach, but what are you to do? If you don’t help them, little or nothing will get done.

Well, not so fast.

Their problem, you see, isn’t their inability. It’s not motivation, at least not directly. If they can pass your checks for understanding, then you’ve provided everything they need to work independently. The problem is learned helplessness.

Many students have become so accustomed to receiving one-on-one support that they can no longer do for themselves. They’ve lost the spark of initiative. They’ve lost the pride of self-reliance. They’ve lost the thrill of the challenge, the perseverance of the will, and the self-starter quality they need to grow and mature as students.

Independence is a gift you give your students by gently withholding help for that which you know they can do themselves. You prepare them for success with spot-on instruction, to be sure. But then you fade into the background.

Now, you can’t just turn your back and stop helping cold turkey. Improving independence is something you must ease into through kindly encouragement. You’ll still respond to hands in the air. You’ll still approach your students. But instead of kneeling down to help, you’ll offer words of reassurance.

You can do it. I believe in you.”

You don’t need my help. I promise. Trust yourself.”

I have confidence in you.”

Don’t think so much. Just begin. You can do this.”

As the days and weeks go by and you fade further into the background, you’ll notice far fewer hands in the air and far fewer students in genuine need of support. Their work will become more self-assured and competent. Learning, motivation, and independence will increase tenfold.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll never help individual students. As both you and they grow accustomed to true independent work, you’ll be able to recognize when a student really does need assistance. But even then, you’ll only offer enough help to get them moving.

Independent practice is critical to learning, and giving too much help is often more problematic than not giving enough. In time, your students will develop tenacious independence. Instead of glancing around the room lost and perplexed, they’ll be empowered to attack their work with confidence.

After finishing up a lesson, you’ll become a ghostly presence, neither ignoring nor helping, but just watching for signs of struggle, for signs a student is in need of a soft reminder or word of encouragement.

Your job is to provide world-class, high-interest lessons and all the instruction and support your students need to succeed.

But then they take it from there.

Growing From Within 2014 – A programme on Profession​al and Personal Growth


Dear Colleagues

Growing from Within

 1.      Growing from Within is a programme that encourages teachers to take ownership of their professional and personal growth. It provides teachers with the opportunity to maximise personal capacity, harness the strengths of colleagues to achieve shared goals and to enjoy work-life harmony.

2.      The objectives of the programme are to:

a)      Renew teachers’ sense of purpose and their passion to teach;

b)      Build up a culture of care and collegial support in schools; and

c)      Impart skills for self-care to support our teachers in managing their work-life balance.

Details of Workshops

3.      The full cost of this programme is borne by the Ministry of Education.

4.      The programme comprises 2 full-day workshops and is customised for different groups of teachers according to their years of teaching experience.

5.      The workshops in February 2014 are for Teachers who have 5 or less than 5 years of teaching experience.  Details are as follows:

Dates                                    11 Feb & 19 Feb 2014



0900 -1700


Academy of Singapore Teachers

2 Malan Road

Singapore 109433

6.      Registration is via TRAISI.  If you would like further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Selena Akhbar at / 66641393 or Ms Phyllis Koh at / 66641325.

7.      Thank you.