When students came in on the first day they had a copy of their name in bubble letters on their desks. They colored their names as I took attendance and helped those who didn't bring supplies on back to school night.
Then they glued their names to colored card stock and they went on the door next to our class pledge poster. I love how colorful and bright it is, and it's a great reminder all year what our expectations are.
The second thing that we do to make sure everyone knows our expectations is Amy Lemons School Rules booklet. There is a page for each of our classroom expectations, we write the expectation, draw a picture of what it looks like in the classroom, and finally write in their own words what they will do to show they will follow that expectation in the classroom.
I did this with my class last year and I loved it. I know everyone knows the expectations, and understands how to follow them. It's also easy to see who isn't understanding and have a conversation with them as well. The last page of the booklet has a contract for students to sign and date saying they understand the expectations. I sent these home so parents could see them as well. I got lots of positive comments.
These are my two favorite ways to get the year started right. What do you do to help your students build classroom community and learn expectations? I'd love to hear your ideas!