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Classroom Procedures

Compiled By: Editor

Tips for establishing good classroom procedures

Posted by: sandy

Here's a general list that comes to mind
*How to enter classroom
*What to do before school
*Lunch count procedures
*Pencil sharpening
*Emergency drills
*restroom use
*paper heading
*turning in assignments
*doing class jobs
*computer& classroom library use
*how to fill out assignment book
*how to get teacher's attention
*how to react to teacher signals (maybe you dim lights or give another signal to get them settled)
*how they will go to lunch/recess/other classes
*what to do at dismissal
*how to organize supplies
These are in addition to teaching classroom and school rules. I'm sure there are more, but this is a decent start.

meshing procedures & content during 1st days...
Posted by: Beth S

Hi Trish- When I taught 7th grade, I would introduce one (or maybe two) new procedures each day & then tell students that we would practice them during our activities. These activities might be "getting to know you" or might be introduction to some content.

For example: On day one, I introduced my "Beginning Class" procedures by having them posted as the students entered:
Mrs. Smith's Beginning Class Procedures!
1)Greet Mrs. Smith with a high-five, handshake, or smile!
2)Enter quietly, go directly to your desk, & square away materials.
3)Immediately begin the "warm up" assignment on the board.
4)Wait for further instructions.
After all students entered the room, I called the class to a stopping point & pointed out that those procedures posted would be the exact way we would begin class each day. Then I moved on to introducing myself, passing out my syllabus, etc. (The "warm up" assignment on the first day might be to write me a "Dear Mrs. Smith" letter introducing themselves to me.)

Day One was also the day to introduce & practice my signal for attention (I use "Give Me 5" from his book, but whatever works for you). First, I explained it to them & showed them what it would look like. Then, I gave them instructions for a "getting to know you" activity in which they would do a QUICK interview of someone sitting near them, but I let them know that at some point during the activity, I would randomly ask for their attention so I could see how well they understood the "Give Me Five" procedure. I would rehearse it two or three times if possible.

Day Two would be the day I would teach them the procedure for moving their desks into group formations. Yes, I literally taught them procedures for doing this- and I timed them, which made it fun. And then there would be a group activity, during which I would check their memory on the "Give Me Five" procedure once or twice. The group activity could be a lit. book scavenger hunt or something else content related, or more getting to know you (depending on your preference & timeframe).

Day Three would be the day to teach them how to pass in their papers (again, I made it fun by timing them) and I use Dr. Wong's procedure for that, too (passing across instead of 'up'). I did this by having them write a paragraph response to some prompt (I taught language arts & wanted to keep this as a beginning-of-the-year writing sample) & then taught them how to pass them in. And of course, on Day Three we again rehearse all formerly introduced procedures (beginning class, give me 5, moving desks into groups).

I hope that you are getting an idea of how I embedded procedures rehearsals within other activities, such as getting-go-know-you, team building, or introduction of content. I think that we have to remember that "rules" ("No chewing gum") are very different than procedures ("Beginning Class"). You can read out a list of rules in 5 minutes, but if you want your class to run like clockwork, procedures must be rehearsed until they are second nature. Best wishes to you!

Posted by: Phoenix Teacher

Consistent Procedures-Kids want to be good and do what is expected of them but maybe they just don't know what or how to behave. Make it VERY Clear. I teach 6th grade and sometimes I feel like i'm overdoing it, but it is totally working because they are so much better than last year (Last year was my first year)

Anyways, role play what you want. have them show you what the room should look like and sound like. and don't teach until they're ready. you have to give up so much time in the beginning but it is worth it.

when you do group activities (really any activiites), make a t chart on the board with "looks like" on one side and "sounds like" on another side. Ask, what should the room look like when we're doing this? What will I SEE you doing. Then the same for sounds like, "What will the room sound like? What kind of vocabulary will i hear you using?"

I hope this helps. Last year I felt like there was this huge grey area for, I wasn't sure about procedures for teachers so my procedures for the kids were very vague. But now, it's great. It's black and white and my classroom management is so much better. you'll see what I mean soon, but for now, just get clear procedures in place and be VERY Consistent.

Posted by: Nancy

You didn't say whether you were teaching in an elementary of middle school setting. I teach 6th grade in a Middle School, and our administration stresses procedures from the very beginning of school (in fact, I've been told that if I do nothing. I truly had my students practice going to the locker and the bathroom in less than 4 minutes.
2. Lining up (my students have to line up for both lunch and end of the day). They are required to line up in the hallway, with my line leader even with the firehose in the wall. Each student stands on the 4th tile block from the lockers on the right side of the hallway (this allows students going to their lockers room to maneuver).
3. Pencil sharpening--do it at the beginning of class! I also went over HOW to sharpen a pencil with the electric sharpener. They have a tendency to sit there and grind away at the sharpener. I required each student to show me they knew how to sharpen their pencil.
4. Moving to stations--I use reading stations, and my students practice moving their desks and tables and needed, in a quiet (no talking) and efficient manner (quickly).
5. Retrieving materials that stay in my classroom--Each student in my class has a hanging file with their name on it. They keep their journal, reading and writing folders, and an independent reading book in it. Each student's file folder is color coded. We practice memorizing your color, going to the area with no noise, getting your materials, and returning to your seat.
6. Passing in homework--I have them pass down the rows to their left, back row passes up to 2nd row, and 2nd row passes up to 1st row. All papers are in one person's hand (my classroom is setting up in a "flying V" formation--like geese).
7. Turning in homework to the homework tray--designate an area, and have them use it.
8. Heading your paper--after the first week, I still have students who cannot head their paper properly. I require, first and last name, period, and date in the upper right hand corner.
9. Bringing homework from home--My school is notorious for students not bringing homework from home. I had students practice this by taking a piece of paper home every night the first week, having their parents sign it, and returning it the next day. Every student that was able to do it 5 days in a row, got a nice prize. 4 days in a row, a smaller prize, less than 4...nada.
10. Emergency drills--fire, tornado, lock down--yep, I make them go outside in single file, or go to the designated area of the room with absolutely NO TALKING or horseplay.

I know I've rambled, and my procedures may seem strict to some of you. However, this is middle school, and this age will take advantage if you allow them. I'm setting firm guidelines the first month (and if I want to be more lax in the future I can). However, so far, my class is, without a doubt, one of the best behaved classes in the school. It'll definitely make my life less chaotic.

Posted by: Renee

Make sure that you explicitly teach the procedures for everything that you need to do. Coming in, sharpening pencils, going to the restroom, passing in papers, listening/attention getting etc. The list goes on and on. It takes time and practice, but they will get it eventually as long as you are consistent. Having set ways of doing things lets the kids know what to expect and it cuts down the number of descisions you have to make each day.

As far as walking in the hallway I guess it varies from school to school. In ours, we have to be quiet because we have no doors. I teach my kids exactly how to stand. What their hands should be doing, feet, mouths, etc. We have set stopping points in the hallway where they stop and wait for a signal from me. We walk in a certain area depending on the floors in the hallway( in one hall we walk on the maroon tiles, in another there is a gray line of tiles) so that everyone is straight and on the right side. I am very meticulous about this because the hallway can be a frustrating place if procedures are not taught and practiced.
Good luck!

Procedures, procedures, and review those
Posted by: Lifelong Tchr

No kidding-the more you rehearse and practice the expectations you've got for your class, the better off you'll be later on!
I don't begin much as far as academics are concerned, other than general writing/reading/math- and that's just to get a feel for what they've retained through the summer.
I go over the expectations for the hallways, restrooms, lining up, cafeteria, using the drinking fountain in our classroom, etc. I have procedures for entering the room and putting lunch money away, etc. You don't want to "procedure them to death" but if there's a special way you want something done, set them up for success by discussing the way you want it done.
You'll need to continue to review these the first 5 weeks or so. During that time, you will begin your reading, writing, math, etc. but always take some time to rehearse your expectations throughout the day.
Best wishes!! :)

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classroom procedures
Posted by: michelle

My bathroom and water procedures are pretty much the same as the others. But, I do handle my pencil sharpening procedures a little differently. I have two baskets for pencils. One basket is full of sharpened pencils, and the other basket is for unsharpened/broken pencils. Unless we are taking a test, students are allowed to go to the basket and trade out an unsharpened pencil for a sharpened one as needed. (Key word is TRADE! They aren't allowed to get a new pencil without putting one in the "To be sharpened" basket. Usually I have the first student who arrives in the morning sharpen all the pencils. It really saves time during the day and eliminates distracting noise from the pencil sharpener! Hope this helps!