You have probably heard before that the first few weeks of school are all about teaching procedures. Well that is very true and the plan for procedures should start as you set up your classroom. The flow of the classroom and location of supplies will all depend on what procedures you plan on putting into place.
Start by making a list of each task a student might need to do during the course of your class. Once you have your list, you can chip away at it one by one with a specific plan for how you want students to accomplish each task in your room. Try to think of as many as possible before the school year begins so that you can teach students just how you want it done. If you skip this step or don’t plan thoroughly, you may find yourself frustrated by a student interrupting class for a tissue or putting books back in incorrect places. If you don’t teach the students how you want it done, most of the time they won’t do it in that specific way that pleases you (and makes your life easier).
Here is a list of some tasks you’ll probably want a procedure for:
- getting and throwing away a tissue
- where to get hand sanitizer (also how much to use!)
- throwing away trash
- sharpening pencils (oh, the never-ending need!)
- turning in homework
- turning in late work or homework
- getting assignments after an absence
- collecting and handing back papers
- retrieving supplies (notebooks, markers, glue, scissors–there may be a different procedure for different supplies)
- getting into small groups
- finding a partner
- getting the class’ attention
- lining up
- entering the classroom
- exiting the classroom
- emergency drills
- borrowing and returning books from library
…and the list could go on and on! Think specifically about the types of things students will do in your classroom and decide how you would like students to perform each task. Taking time to make these decisions now will make the daily operations of your classroom much smoother. You will thank yourself later for doing this prep work today!