20 Ways to Teach Kids to Adapt to a New Routine

Are you looking for ways to teach kids to adapt to a new routine? If so, keep reading.

1. Give learning activities similar to those canceled in the student’s routine (schedule) (e.g., if an art learning experience is canceled due to the art teacher’s absence, give a learning experience in the classroom for the student).

2. Give the student highly desirable learning activities to perform when changes in their routine (schedule) are appropriate.

3. If a change in the student’s routine (schedule) proves too complicated, have the student remain with the established routine (e.g., if a school assembly is overstimulating for the student, have the student continue to work in their established routine).

4. At the onset, limit the number/degree of changes in the student’s established routine (schedule). As the student shows success, slowly increase the number/degree of changes in the routine.

5. Apply environmental changes within the classroom to give the student experience in change (e.g., change in seating, instructional delivery, task format, etc.) to help the student accept change in an established routine (schedule).

6. Develop a substitute teacher information packet that includes all information about the classroom (e.g., student roster, class schedule, class rules, behavior management techniques, class helpers, etc.).

7. Make sure that the student knows that classroom rules and consequences are in effect when a substitute teacher is in the classroom.

8. Indicate the names of several staff members and where they can be located in case the substitute teacher should need some assistance.

9. Notify the substitute teacher of the classroom rules and the consequences if the rules are not followed by the student.

10. Get the student to work on practice work (e.g., work that has already been taught to the student and that the student knows how to do) when a substitute teacher is in the classroom to lessen frustration and feelings of failure.

11. Request a substitute teacher who has the appropriate skills to handle problem behavior and special needs students.

12. Make sure that the substitute teacher is familiar with the behavioral support system used in the classroom (e.g., rules, point system, reinforcers, etc.).

13. Give the substitute teacher detailed information on the learning activities and tasks.

14. Designate the student specific learning activities to perform on any day when a substitute teacher may be responsible for the classroom (e.g., assistant to the substitute teacher, errands to run, line leading, class monitor, etc.).

15. Make sure the substitute teacher follows all procedures indicated by the classroom teacher (e.g., academic learning activities, behavioral support system, etc.).

16. Have special or unique duties performed by other staff members in the school building when a substitute teacher is in the classroom (e.g., administering medication, feeding, toileting, etc.).

17. Select a peer to model appropriate behavior and give information appropriate for success for the student when changes are made in an established routine (schedule).

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

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

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

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