Having a routine in the classroom can help children to know what to expect and make each day run smoothly. Routines are also important in ensuring that actions are completed in a safe manner and can help to prevent accidents. Therefore, it makes sense to implement procedures in your classroom.
Planning and implementing classroom procedures
- Creating daily schedules that are suitable for you and your students.
- Thinking about how you will maintain this schedule and how your students can become self-directed learners.
- Creating an effective learning environment where every student can learn.
- Students need structure to feel conformable.
- Create familiar environment to concentrate on learning.
- Students work best in an environment where routine and procedures are clear and students know what to expect.
- General routines lower stress and make learning comfortable. Give a tour of the classroom on the first day and introduce the procedures. Do not overwhelm introducing everything on the first day. Introduce slowly.
- Classes go smoothly when they are optimized.
Creating effective daily schedule
Use color-coded labels, icons, and pictures.
Use pocket charts.
Age-appropriateness, easily explained, achievable.
It is not just important that the children follow procedures, it is also important that the children understand the reasons why these procedures are put in place. There are various classroom procedures you should put in place.
Beginning and end of the day
Beginning of the day.
When they arrive at school, it is important that children are clear about where to put their things, where they should wait until lessons begin and how they will know it is time to make their way to the classroom. For example, is there an alarm or whistle telling them it is time for lessons?
Some examples are lining up outside the classroom before a lesson, coming in only when told and walking rather than running.
The same applied when leaving the classroom. Rules should be put in place for when children should or should not leave the classroom. To avoid accidents, children should be fully aware of the manner in which they should leave the room.
What is the system for children who arrive late? Do they need to report to the reception or office and do they need to provide explanations for lateness?
Being in the hallway.
If there are times when children should or should not be in the hallway area, they need to be told. The behavior expected of them in this area needs clarifying.
End of lessons.
Do materials need tidying away at the end of the day and where do they go? When are children allowed to leave the classroom?
Leaving the building.
When are children allowed to leave the building? Who will supervise them?
There should be a clearly set time that parents arrive to collect children and it is essential they are aware of this. Children need to know where to go at the end of the school day and not to leave the premises without permission.
If the parents of a child are not there at the agreed collection time, then there should be protocol in place to ensure the child is safe and supervised until an adult arrives to collect the child. Inform parents what to do if they are unexpectedly delayed.
How students get supplies.
Areas of clarification include when children are allowed to access supplies, asking permission, and where they can or cannot go to collect supplies.
How students sharpen pencils.
Should children sharpen their pencils at their desk and then remove debris as they leave the classroom or do they need to sharpen pencils directly into the bin.
Children need to know where and how to collect their homework, how and when it needs returning on completion and what to do should they require assistance.
Finishing assignments early.
If assignments are finished early, do the same procedures still apply or are they different?
Transitioning between activities.
Issues may include tidying aware materials no longer needed, getting new supplies, understanding the tasks and working in different groups necessitating movement around the classroom.
Participation in learning centers.
Where, when and how children may access learning centers are all areas for clarification.
Using signs and gestures is an effective way of getting the whole class to cooperate with certain aspects of the day. Establish signs for quiet time, paying attention, going to the washroom, and asking questions.
During group activities, communication is important. Establish rules about taking turns in discussions, the manner in which they should communicate and acceptable noise levels.
Being a classroom helper.
Classroom helpers need clarification about their roles and what your expectations of them are in your classroom.
When and how children may help other students and when it is not appropriate for them to do so.
Decide on the regularity of newsletters and what information should be included in them. Also, decide who should contribute to the newsletters.
Make it clear from the start what behavior is unacceptable and what the consequences are as a result of inappropriate behavior.
On what occasion are parents contacted and who is responsible for making this contact? How can parents contact you to raise any concerns?
Student feeling sick.
There should be procedures in place for when a child feels sick that apply to all classrooms in a school.
Around the Classroom
What to do during free time.
Are children limited to where they can go and what they can do?
Using school library.
Children need to know on what occasions they may use the library and what the rules are in the library.
Preparing for lunch.
If there is a system of who goes when for their dinner
The disposal of garbage is an opportunity to teach children about recycling. Create separate areas for the disposal of different materials.
The safety of children is the predominant concern at all times. Make sure the school has a proper fire drill in place and that this is practiced regularly so children know exactly what to do in the event of a fire.
Learning to stand in a queue is something children should learn quickly as it is part of many different aspects of the school day. They need to know where and when to line-up.
If there are different areas for different classes, the children need to know this. Also, they need guidance regarding behavior during recess.
There should be set times when you have circle time and the children need to know what to expect during this activity, what your expectations are and how they should behave.
Children often respond well to set classroom routines and knowing what is happening at each part of the day. This may be particularly important for some children with special educational needs.
As with the daily schedule, children respond well to a weekly routine and knowing what is happening on each day.
It is nice to celebrate the birthday of each individual in some way, perhaps by singing to them at the beginning or end of the day. Keep a record of dates of birth so that nobody is forgotten.
Displaying students work.
Decide which work is displayed when and how often you will change displays.
If there are a limited number of computers available in the school, you may need to organize a booking system to decide which classes can use the computers and when.
Not all pieces of work will need to be graded. You need to think about which work is part of the learning process and what actually needs grading. Will you grade homework? When will you complete the grading?
What are the report cards used for? Who is responsible for their completion? Are parents involved in monitoring?