Back to School Tips "You Oughta Know" About

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:

17 comments:

  1. I have so many of the same procedures and they are so important. You just can't assume that they already know how to do something. It's best to establish one way to do it, and hold students responsible for that procedure!

    Jasmine
    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain

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  2. These are great first day of school procedures, Jessica. It is so important to establish good procedures RIGHT AWAY ~ the sooner the better. It will definitely save you a ton of grief later. Have a great year!
    Best wishes!
    Jen :)
    TeacherKarma.com

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    1. Thanks! I'm actually staying home with my baby girl this year :) So wierd not to be preparing for back to school this year!

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  3. I love your All Set - You Bet call out! I've heard a lot of them throughout the years but that is a new one. :)

    -Margaret
    iHeartLiteracy

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    1. Thanks, I heard it once when observing in another teacher's classroom and I just loved how short and sweet it was.

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  4. A really comprehensive list of procedures! It's so important to get these right from the beginning of the year. Thanks for the tips!

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  5. I was so excited to find your post for the You Oughta Know Blog Hop, I'm your newest follower. I've pinned you too!
    ~Fern
    Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith's Pinterest Boards!

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    1. Thanks! You're blog is adorable, I love the Owl :)

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  6. Wow, lots of helpful tips. Thank you for sharing!
    Kelly
    MyFabulousClass

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  7. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips. Establishing rules and routines at the beginning of the year is crucial. Love your blog!
    http://123kteacher.blogspot.com/

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  8. I love these ideas. If you don't start the year off with procedures, the rest of the year is not fun!! Cute blog and that baby girl is ADORABLE! Enjoy staying home with her!

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    1. Aww thanks! I just adore her and I'm loving that I am able to stay home for a while.

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  9. Great tips! It is always hard to believe that last year's kids started out the same way...needing to learn the procedures. Enjoy that baby! She is precious!

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    1. Thanks! I know it always takes a minute to readjust to the shock of the new kiddos not knowing what to do. But I LOVE seeing how much they grow into a great community of learners :)

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  10. I love the "all set, you bet" call and response. I may even try it with my ninth graders. I have never found an attention routine that I liked.
    Brynn Allison

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  11. These are some great tips!! Thanks for sharing!
    Mrs. Paul's Corner

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  12. I love the hands on the head when you are giving directions! I'm going to use that one. I don't allow my kiddos to use the sharpener either. I once had a 6th grader that tried to sharpen a pencil that was about 3/4 inch long. He couldn't get it all the way in (duh!) so he used another pencil to push it all the way in and got it lodged & broke the sharpener!

    karen
    Smarticle Particles

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