21 Effective Activities to Establish Classroom Expectations


Establishing and maintaining clear classroom expectations are crucial components for creating a successful learning environment. As an educator, it’s essential to set expectations from the start, helping students understand their responsibilities, acceptable behavior, and consequences for not adhering to these guidelines. The following 21 activities can help in establishing your classroom expectations.

1. Create a Classroom Contract: Have students collaborate on a list of expectations, which can be agreed upon collectively. Post the contract in the classroom as a constant reminder.

2. Brainstorming Sessions: Organize group discussions, allowing students to express their thoughts on potential rules and consequences.

3. Role-Playing Exercises: Conduct role-playing activities where students model appropriate behaviors and demonstrate understanding of expectations.

4. Ice Breaker Games: Use ice breaker games to introduce expectations and get students acquainted with one another.

5. Visual Displays: Create posters or visual aids that highlight classroom expectations, encouraging creativity by allowing students to contribute artwork and ideas.

6. Student Feedback: Regularly assess student understanding of the expectations by incorporating anonymous surveys or questionnaires.

7. Real-Life Scenarios: Discuss common scenarios that could occur in class, and have students practice handling them according to the established expectations.

8. Team Building Exercises: Foster positive group dynamics through team-building activities centered on collaboration and mutual respect.

9. Videos: Show short video clips demonstrating both appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, followed by a class discussion on how they relate to the expectations.

10. Reward System: Implement a reward system for students who consistently adhere to classroom expectations, reinforcing good behavior.

11. Debate Sessions: Encourage open debate on class rules in a structured environment, helping students understand different points of view while respecting one another’s opinions.

12. Daily Reminders: Reiterate classroom expectations at the beginning or end of each day as a routine check-in.

13. Scavenger Hunt: Create a scavenger hunt with clues that relate to the established expectations, allowing students to work together and reinforce their understanding.

14. Goal Setting: Establish individual and classroom goals related to meeting expectations and track progress throughout the year.

15. Guest Speakers: Invite guest speakers, such as school administrators or older students, to share their experiences and emphasize the importance of following classroom expectations.

16. Skits: Have students create skits that exemplify both adherence and defiance to the established rules, further establishing their importance.

17. Interactive Games: Use interactive games like Kahoot! or Quizizz to test students’ understanding of the expectations in a fun format.

18. Classroom Meeting: Schedule regular classroom meetings to discuss any issues or changes in expectations, promoting open communication.

19. Journal Entries: Assign reflective journal prompts related to class expectations, encouraging introspection and self-awareness on individual behaviors.

20. Narrated Slideshow: Create a slideshow with narrated excerpts of positive behaviors and how they align with classroom expectations, serving as an audio-visual reinforcement tool.

21. Peer Mentoring: Pair new students with experienced classmates who can help mentor them on what is expected in your classroom.


By incorporating these 21 effective activities into your lesson plans, you can establish clear classroom expectations early on and maintain productive learning environments throughout the academic year. Remember that promotion of positive behaviors is just as important as discouraging negative ones – by consistently reinforcing the benefits of upholding class expectations, you’ll create an atmosphere conducive to academic success.

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