Setting Clear Expectations in an Unknown Digital World


2020 has been a mess. 2020 is still a mess. 2020 will continue to be a mess. BUT your classroom does NOT have to be a mess.

Setting Clear Classroom Expectations in an Unknown Digital World

Clear expectations are going to be ESSENTIAL in the classroom this year and in years to come. Here are some tips to start the year off right.


Set CONSISTENT expectations across the board next year. Routines are key. Do not worry about being too repetitive.. that is what helps kids master content and helps keep your classroom running like a well oiled machine.

What does GOOD consistency look like?
This means students should be practicing the SAME thing DAILY until they get it! For example, your spelling/reading centers should be consistent EVERY day or EVERY week. Students should know on Monday, this is the expectation. On Tuesday, it looks different, but it is the same as last Tuesday. Etc.

Setting clear expectations in a classroom: consistency, guided reading, daily tasks.

This might sound boring.. but it does not have to be. Make your exciting activities and fun monthly add ins OPTIONAL can do choices when students are done with their essential work. This is where you can spruce things up, add in the exciting holiday crafts or fun science extensions. You can read more about how I organize guided reading here.

Guide to launching reading workshops in a elementary classroom.

When my classroom switched to digital, it was stressful, but it wasn’t a mess! I stuck to this schedule all year, so it was seamless for the kids to do at home and had minimal questions from students and parents alike.


Going into this year you should be asking yourself: How much can you make digital, even during in person learning?

Adding digital components to your classroom

The more that is digital at the start of the year, the less you will need to change later on. I would be asking yourself what is important to be doing by hand vs. in person. As a primary teacher, some math concepts and ALL writing to me is important for students to be doing by hand. However, that does not mean it ALL needs to be hand done.

Digital writing journals to help plan for a digital classroom.

Check out some of my favorite digital tools and printable resources to add consistency to the work day:


You should have a roadmap of your year. This will help you with planning each week, but also with copies and transitions to digital learning.

Free planners for year long planning using a year at a glance template

By planning in advance, you can copy in advance. That way, if it is time to switch to digital and students need to have packets at home, you already have these prepped and ready to go, and you can focus your time and resources in other essential areas during such a transitional time. Snag my FREE planner here.

What tips did you have for a smooth transition to a digital world?

Emily - The Mountain Teacher

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