Anyway, when I think about what most contributes to making my classroom run smoothly and successfully, it always comes back to strategies I’ve implemented as a result of reading this book. That includes not just the teaching of the routines and procedures, but also the ‘strict’ reinforcement of them at the start of the year.
A few of the strategies I’ve used that are most effective in the daily organization/management of my classroom include routines….and teaching these classroom routines during the first week of the school year.
1) I have routines for homeroom that are posted on the Smartboard every morning:
2. Sign in on the clipboard (I have a clipboard on the front board, with a list of students’ names and the dates, for students to initial to indicate that they are present.)
3. Sharpen pencils.
4. Put notes/papers for Mrs. N. into pink tray.
5. Begin M.G. (my term for “morning work”)…this has worked well when my 1st period class is my homeroom….this year my 1st period class will not be my homeroom, so perhaps # 5 will be silent read (which I call “Zone” read, based on Nancie Atwell’s The Reading Zone.)
2) I have routines for the beginning of class, also posted on the Smartboard every day (these vary depending on different things I try each year):
2. Sharpen pencils, if necessary.
3. Place your homework on your desk.
4. Begin M.G. (typically several math problems that review or preview concepts)
3) I give students a list of some of our common routines/procedures during our first class (again, most of the procedures are ideas from this book).
The routines listed below are phrased as they are in the handout I give my students.
Routine for dismissal at end of class:
2.The area around each student is clean and all materials have been put away.
3. All students are quiet.
4. Class will be dismissed when # 1, 2, and 3 are completed.
Routine for teacher calling for the class’s attention:
1. Eyes on speaker
2. Be quiet
3. Be still
4. Hands free
Routine for Asking for Help:
1. If you need to use the bathroom, raise two fingers and wait for me to come to you or nod at you. (You will be permitted to use the bathroom during working time only.)
**note: I love this routine….most of the time I simply nod yes or shake my head no, and then they follow the sign-out routine that our school requires….no words necessary, so not disturbing to other students.
2. If you have a question about your work, simply raise your hand.
Routine for Bathroom Sign-Out:
1) Fill out the date and time in the back of your assignment book/planner, and then have your teacher initial it.
2)Take your planner with you as your pass.
3) Sign out in the sign-out book by the door, and then you may go.
4) When you return, sign back in in the sign-out book
**note: definitely a few steps to this procedure, but our school requires it!
I know there are more concepts from this book that have helped me over the years, but I think this post is long enough to cover the routines I value the most:-)
What classroom routines do you find most valuable to teach and reinforce during the first week of school?
Looking for more routine ideas? Check out the classroom routines for the end of class post!