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

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