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Tips From Dr. Marzano

Designing Effective Classroom Management


Designing Effective Classroom ManagementThe following tips are designed to assist you in applying the latest research in tangible ways in your classroom, school, or district.


Teachers should create clear expectations and corresponding rules for their classrooms.

Expectations are general behavioral guidelines that apply to all students and all routines within a classroom. Rules stem from expectations and pertain to specific activities or routines. For example, a teacher might establish Be safe as an expectation within the classroom. The same teacher might then create the following rules for lunchtime: Eat your own food, Keep your hands to yourself, Stay in your seat, and so on. The rules stem directly from the initial expectation that students be safe, but provide more specific guidelines for students to follow (p. 15).

There are three ways for teachers to create behavioral expectations.

When creating behavioral expectations for the classroom, teachers can identify criteria in the following three ways: (1) a school’s mission statement, (2) student input, or (3) analysis of classroom behavior data. In order to create behavioral expectations that are aligned with a school’s mission statement, teachers should read their school mission statement and identify what qualities are valued by the school. For example, if a school’s mission statement read Success means high expectations; differentiated, rigorous instruction; and a safe environment where students show respect and personal responsibility, a teacher might create classroom expectations that encourage safety, responsibility, and respect. To create expectations based on student input, teachers should give students a chance to identify characteristics of their ideal learning environment. This can occur through class surveys or class discussions. Finally, to create expectations based on classroom behavior data, teachers should consider the most prevalent problem behaviors (either in past years or ongoing) and create expectations that address those behaviors (pp. 16–20).

After identifying behavioral expectations, teachers can create rules using an events-expectations matrix.

Because rules are applications of expectations to specific situations, teachers can use events-expectations matrices to create rules that apply specific expectations to various events throughout the day. In order to create an events-expectation matrix, a teacher should list classroom expectations along the y-axis of the matrix. The teacher should then list various classroom events that occur throughout the day on the x-axis; for example, a teacher might identify morning routine, lining up, lunchtime, group work, and seat work. The teacher fills in the cells of the matrix so that for each classroom event, there is a specific rule tailored to a classroom expectation. For example, if the teacher identified Be respectful as an expectation on the y-axis, in the cell under seat work, an event on the x-axis, he or she might write the rules Follow directions and Raise your hand (pp. 20–23).