20 Classroom procedures
During the very first days of school you have to establish classroom procedures for daily tasks and activities. Many teachers assume students should know how to behave or never bother to create a full list of procedures. Then, only when students start misbehaving they mumble about how they should be acting.
The secret to warding off at least some behavioral problems is to establish positive classroom procedures for daily tasks and activities. Your students will appreciate your consistency, and once they have internalized classroom procedures, the day will run more smoothly.
Of course, choosing the right rules and procedures for your classroom is an individual decision, but be sure to define what you expect of your students from the very beginning. Remember to take time to teach procedures during the first days and weeks of school.
Here is a list of general procedures to teach. You can adapt them to your grade level and school setting.
- Entering the room: Enter the room quietly politely; put away your backpack, lunch, and coat; turn in your homework; sit at your desk and read alone or do before-school work silently.
- Lining up: Stand up quietly; push in your chair; take all necessary items; line up without touching others or talking; face the front of the line; watch where you are going.
- Leaving the room: Tell me where you are going; take the correct hall pass; do not run or play in the hallways or at the restroom. Return promptly.
- Ending the day: Clean off your desk; Place your work or notebook in your bag; pick up any trash near your desk; stack your chair; wait quietly to be dismissed.
- Participating in group lessons: Do not bring anything with you unless I ask you to; politely find a place to sit where you can do your best learning; sit flat, not on your knees; listen carefully for new information; raise your hand to speak; do not speak when someone else is speaking.
- Obtaining help with assignments: Quietly ask the students at your table for help with directions if you need it; if you are working alone, raise your hand to get help from me; if you are working with a group, ask them for help in understanding something you don’t know.
- Handing in finished work/homework: Make sure your name is on your paper; place your paper upside down in the “homework” basket.
- What to do with unfinished work: If I ask for work to be turned in, let me know if it isn’t finished; if I ask you to keep an unfinished project, put it in your classwork notebook.
- When and how to use the school restroom: If I am not teaching the whole group, stand by the classroom door with your hand raised; if I say “no,” wait for a better class time to go; if I nod, leave the room quietly; do not play in the restroom; return to class promptly.
- When and how to use the drinking fountain or sink: When I am not teaching the whole group, you may get a drink; you may bring a water bottle to keep on your desk; if you need to wash your hands, use only a little soap; wipe up any water you spill.
- When and how to use the pencil sharpener: At the beginning of each assignment, the person I’ve chosen to be the “Pencil Sharpener” will invite you to have him or her sharpen your pencil; if your pencil breaks during an assignment, use a community pencil; only the “Pencil Sharpener” can run the sharpener and empty it.
- Getting into work groups: Take all the materials you will need; greet each other; complete the task doing your personal best; make sure each person signs the project; thank the others in your group.
- Getting a tissue: You may get a tissue whenever you need one; you don’t even have to ask; throw the used tissue away immediately; make sure it lands in the trash can; get right back to work.
- Throwing away trash: You may throw away trash whenever you need to if I am not teaching the whole group; do not play basketball with your trash; make sure all trash lands in the can; pick up trash even if it isn’t yours.
- Locating lost items: Ask the people around you if they found the item you lost; if not, check the Lost and Found box; if it is not there, ask me at a time when I’m not teaching the class; if you find it, thank the person who turned it in. Next time, be more careful with your things.
- Visitors in the classroom: When visitors enter the room, let the designated classroom “host” or “hostess” greet them; when the host or hostess rings the chimes, get ready to listen to and look at the visitor and smile; when the host or hostess introduces the visitor, say, “Welcome to our class, __________”; remember, most visitors are here to watch you learn, so be ready to explain what you are working on; treat visitors respectfully.
- Fire drill: Stop everything; stand up and head for the door quickly, but without running or pushing; do not cover your ears; do not make any side trips; I will wait outside of the class to lead you to the field. The class captain will stay at the back of the line to make sure that none of our classmates are left behind. Walk swiftly, in line and now pushing or messing around. Once we get to the field, wait patiently, until we are allowed to return to class.
- Signals for attention: When I need your attention, I will ring the chimes or raise my hand; as soon as you hear the signal, stop what you are doing, look at me, and listen for directions.
- Organizing desk: Remove all loose papers; decide if they should go home or stay at school; put papers that should stay at school in the front pocket of your work notebook; put pencil or art supplies in your school box; Everything else goes on the right side; pick up your trash.
- What to do during free time: If you finish an assignment, first work on any unfinished assignments that are in your notebook; when you finish those, you may choose to do your classroom job, read a book, write a story, illustrate a book, solve math problems, work on a research project, peer-tutor someone who needs your help, or create a song about what the class is studying.
These are just 20 procedures that you can practice in class. Make sure that your students know all the rules and procedures in class to help run class smoothly. By knowing exactly what is expected of them, student behavior will also improve.
Classroom Management is one of the fundamental skills of being a teacher, and all teachers that are in control of their classrooms have rules and procedures that the class know and use.