18 Genius Tips for Teaching Learners to Adapt to a New Routine

Are you looking for teaching students to adapt to a new routine? If so, keep reading.

1. If an aide works in the classroom, have the aide monitor the student’s behavior; give reinforcement; deliver instructions; etc., when a substitute teacher is in the classroom.

2. Give a quiet space for the student to work.

3. Notify the student in advance when it will be appropriate for a substitute teacher to be in the classroom and create expectations for behavior and academic performance.

4. Inform the student in advance when changes in their schedule will happen (e.g., going to P.E. at various times, going on a field trip, etc.).

5. Teach the student acceptable ways to express displeasure, anger, frustration, etc.

6. Get the student to question any directions, explanations, instructions not grasped about the change in an established routine (schedule).

7. Select a peer to model appropriate acceptance of changes in an established routine (schedule) for the student.

8. Create classroom rules: • Complete every assignment. • Remain in your seat. • Finish tasks. • Meet task expectations. • Raise your hand. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

9. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., accepting a change in routine (schedule)) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

10. Praise those students in the classroom who accept changes in an established routine (schedule).

11. Praise the student for accepting changes in an established routine (schedule) based on the number of times the student can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the number of times required for reinforcement.

12. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for accepting changes in an established routine (schedule) at school.

13. Converse with the student to explain (a) what the student is doing wrong (e.g., having a tantrum, refusing to accept the change, etc.) and (b) what the student should be doing (e.g., accepting the change in routine (schedule)).

14. Assess the appropriateness of the change in routine (schedule). Ascertain if the change is too complicated and if the duration of time scheduled is sufficient.

15. Praise the student for accepting changes in an established routine (schedule): (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

16. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

17. Consider using Alexa to help you with classroom management. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

18. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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