I'm linking up with Mrs. McClain to share ideas that teachers "oughta know" about. This month I'm sharing some Back to School Tips for Classroom Procedures.
I'm usually a little OCD when it comes to having everything planned out before the year starts. I never feel like I can be too prepared for the year ahead. With that being said, one of the things I like to do before the year starts is think about and list all of my important classroom procedures.
Of course with little ones I don't just sit them down and read them the list, that'd be silly and I'd get frustrated pretty quick. So having all of my procedures listed in one place to refer back to is a great way for me to be super consistent in the first few weeks with my expectations.
Here are just a few procedures and examples that I use to get you thinking about how you want things done to keep things running smoothly in your classroom this year:
Beginning of the Day - Students remove binders from backpacks, hang belongings neatly, enter room quietly, turn in homework, and begin morning work.End of the Day - Students get binder, check behavior chart, color calendar in binder, check cubby, get backpack, get dressed to go home, and sit quietly on carpet.
Classroom Jobs - Jobs are changed at the beginning of each week and each student has a job. (Think about jobs that will give your students responsibilities that help you without creating more work in the end!)
Classroom Library - Books are organized in bins by themes or levels. Students may only take one at a time. When finished with a book, students look at the letter/number on the back to return it to the correct bin.
Tissue - Students may get a tissue any time without asking.Tissue must be thrown away immediately and then students should sanitize hands and get right back to work.
Bathroom - If I am not teaching a whole group lesson, students may approach me and show the sign language sign for potty and I will either nod yes or no. I only allow 2 trips per day (1 morning/1 afternoon) unless it is a special case, and we do not take class bathroom breaks.
Water - Students may bring water bottles to class to keep on their desk. Otherwise we only stop for drinks after recess, or I allow kids to leave the room for drinks if it is an especially hot day.
Pencils - Students use a sharp pencil from the center of the table. If the pencils are dull or break they can trade it in the cups near the sharpener. I sharpen them as needed. I don't allow students to sharpen pencils because I use an electric sharpener and it is loud and hard for kindergarteners to use without breaking it!
Early Finishers - Students may read quietly at their table from the books I place in the center of their table, finish any incomplete work, or work in any extra workbook that I may give students based on specific skills they need (math color by number, handwriting, etc.)
Attention Getters - My go to call and response is Teacher:"All Set" Students: "You Bet" I also turn off the lights, and ask students to put their hands on their heads when giving directions especially in the middle of a project when their busy little hands want to keep working!
I hope this list got you thinking a little bit. I have at least 20 more procedures that I plan out as well for everything you can imagine such lining up, lunch count, attendance, getting supplies, cleaning up, recess, walking in the halls, and the list goes on and on and on! My advice is try to think of every transition and non teaching moment that happens in your day and try to find a way to make it as smooth and streamlined as possible. We all know how precious our instructional time is so we want to find ways to maximize every second!
For more great tips check out the links to these fantastic teachers' blogs: