Classroom Procedures, Routines, and Expectations Are Important

Check out our list of tips for setting classroom procedures, routines and expectations.

Set up procedures for conducting the class. Procedures describe behaviors associated with tasks like how to enter the room, get supplies, or get into groups. Procedures keep the class running smoothly and safely. Practicing turns the procedures into routines.

Get a list of procedures before school begins that you must explain, demonstrate, and practice. Plan how and when you will introduce each procedure. Instances of procedures include: 1. How to enter the room. 2. How to leave the class. 3. How and where to get supplies. 4. Where to put completed assignments.

Set up your own procedures as the educator. Procedures for tasks help to structure a learner’s day and the educator’s day by keeping the class running. The following are examples to consider when instituting procedures: Taking attendance, keeping a daily log, documenting learner misbehavior, taking lunch count, and collecting money.

Once role-playing behavior expectations, have an adult act out the inappropriate behavior and the learner act out the expected behavior. You do not want to emphasize inappropriate behavior by allowing the learner to perform that role.

Assist learners that do not feel like they fit in and act out for peer attention. Viewing short film clips of social situations will assist learners in a discussion about appropriate and inappropriate behavior.

Regularly hold class meetings to address issues within the class, explain a new procedure, or develop plans for a service project. Give learners a way to express themselves, problem solve, and support each other.

Conserve precious class time by insisting learners be on time for class. Every minute counts if an educator only has forty minutes of prime instructional time. Learners arriving late causes disruptions in the flow of the lesson.

If learners are not on time, do not send them for a pass from the office. Too much time is wasted. Hold learners responsible. Have a policy that states learners will make up the time either early in the morning, after school, or during recess. If learners don’t show up for the “make-up” time, provide one more chance, but add more time. If they don’t show, allow the principal or the dean of learners to handle the situation.

If you are having trouble with tardy learners, write an extra credit question on the board to be answered in the first three minutes of class. If the learner is not in their seat when the bell rings, they will not be able to obtain extra credit. If you don’t believe in providing extra credit, the question or problem could be for regular credit.

Due dates for assignments reinforce timelines and a sense of responsibility for the learner. If the learner’s struggle with a sense of deadlines and time, help them organize their priorities and set expectations for on-time delivery. Place due dates on board and check to make sure learners write dates in their planners.

The chronic “late assignment student” will need to conference with you about an agreed-upon deadline. A simple one-page contract between the educator and the learner should state the expectation and why it is. Both of you should come to an agreement of action to resolve the lateness. Document the meeting. If the late assignments continue, contact the parents/guardians.

Instruct social skills daily in elementary school. Utilize cooperative learning to teach social skills at the middle school and high school levels. Younger learners must learn to address other educators, move quickly and quietly, and use first names. Older learners must learn to be active listeners, use quiet voices and ask for clarification.

Start to generate a timeline of major concepts covered. Continue to add concepts as studied. This provides a visual reference and a continuum of learning that helps students remember and make connections.

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