Setting Expectations for Online Behavior that Transfers into the Classroom

By on September 25, 2012

On the first day of school, I didn't talk about rules, procedures, a syllabus, or a supply list. Instead I focused on setting my course up for online collaboration. Unknowingly to me the behaviors and skills I demand of students online, organically transferred into my classroom. The result was a seamless segue into appropriate behavior in and outside of the classroom for students. Of course I had to explain the importance of an appropriate professional online presence, but the conversations about behavior naturally shifted to the classroom and the "real world". Here are the steps I took to make this happen.

Step 1: (Day 1)

  • Discussion on the importance of a professional email.
  • Why do you need one?
  • How can it help you?
  • When will you use it?
  • Who will see it?
  • Is your current email appropriate?

Step 2:

Step 3: (Assigned HW for Day 2)

  • Create a professional email

Step 4: (Day 2)

  • Collected Emails
  • Demonstrated how to create a shared class google folder with class emails. (Teacher)
  • Demonstrated how to create a class google group for online discussion. (Teacher)
  • Set class norms through lessons learned through professional emails and email etiquette article.

Step 5: (Assigned HW for Day 2)

  • Respond to the following google post

Please respond to the following directives:

  1. Write a detailed summary of the main idea or argument in 100 words. Include the title, the speaker/writer’s name, source information, and the speaker/writer’s purpose for writing the text. Be sure to include key supporting details and/or evidence.

Use the source summary activity as a guide:

  1. For each skill, clearly explain how it helped you as a reader or a writer?
    1. Pre-Reading
    2. Marking a Text
    3. Pair-Share
    4. Summary (Image/Bumper Sticker)
    5. Summary Template

I had a good first day of school because we were highly productive, efficient, and everything was very purposeful. I had four major goals...

  1. Have students create and understand the importance of professional emails.
  2. Introduce and practice some key literacy skills.
  3. Set up our class for online collaboration.
  4. Establish class expectations.

Not only was all of this accomplished, but students were SHOWN what is expected, not TOLD what is expected. They now understand they are expected to read, write, listen, speak, collaborate, apply literacy skills, and utilize 21st century skills on a daily basis without me actually saying it and reading it from a syllabus. This day may have changed the way I approach 1st Days of School from here on out.

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Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Use Technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
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