Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Teaching Procedures

Hi, friends!  We are heading back to school tomorrow and I wanted to do a quick blog post of the importance of teaching procedures and expectations.  This is the NUMBER ONE (tied with building relationships) thing that needs to be done in any classroom to ensure the room runs smoothly and that you have a great year!  If you are new to teaching aka first year, you have probably heard your mentors/cooperating teachers and professors preach this to you during your college experience.  There's a good reason they were preachin' it!  Skipping this pertinent portion of your year will absolutely set up and your students up for failure.  Classroom management is so vital!  I'm going to make tonight's post quick and to the point. 

During the first week of school, begin to introduce your procedures.  Remember not to overwhelm your students...think 2-3 per day.  Many will come up naturally with your students (think about that first child that asks to use the restroom).  However, some need to be introduced and explicitly taught in isolation (think lining up to leave the classroom).  Teacher Tip: You will want to review the prior day's procedures before introducing new ones.  Think of the procedures as bricks and you are building something with them.  You can't lay a new brick without the one under it! 

At the end of this post, you can grab a free download of procedures that are commonly taught the first two weeks of school.  I've also included a blank template for you to write in your own, school/grade level specific procedures.

When teaching procedures, tell your kids the why behind them.  Explaining the importance of the procedures you are modeling will help children understand and value their importance as you do.  For example, when teaching the procedure coming to the rug, have a discussion with your students about why it’s important to know how to do it.  Talk about what could happen if the procedure isn’t followed {someone could fall, trip a friend, etc…} Be sure to let your students know that you care about them and their safety and that you're not just being "mean."  Make your explanation relate-able to the real world.  

Once the procedures have been explained, it’s vital you model them in front of the class.  I recommend modeling both the correct AND incorrect ways to do something.  It will feel silly, but it is effective!  Have a discussion with your students about what they noticed.   Once you have modeled and discussed, call volunteers to demonstrate the correct procedures in front of the class.  Kids always love to be shining stars!  Praise your helpers and invite the whole class to join in and practice with you.  

Now that your procedures have been explained, modeled, and practiced, the most important step of all comes-REVIEW!  Remember, the children are learning, so do not expect them to “get” the procedures you’ve just taught and expect them to do them well day in and day out without review.  DO NOT let things slip…if your students don’t line up the way you expect, have them sit down, discuss it together, and try again.  This can be frustrating to everyone involved, but it’s for the best in the long run.  You’ll spend the most time reviewing procedures at the beginning of the year and after seasonal breaks.  However, do not be afraid to review as you see necessary at any given point in the year.    

All of these things will seem mundane, but you will thank yourself come December when your room is running like a well-oiled machine!  Good luck and have a great year!  

*Click the cover to grab the free list*



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