This post originally appeared on the blog Language Arts Classroom.
I thought of meaningful classroom procedures last night. (I’m a teacher and I do such abnormalities).
Before I took graduate classes, I didn’t have classroom procedures outside of tornado, fire, intruder, etc. I created some for an assignment and never looked back.
After implementing procedures for basic classroom activities, my room was neater, and I wasted less time quieting and corralling students. Substitutes wrote in their daily notes that the students knew what to do, which made their jobs easier. Finally, my students knew what to expect. Older students appreciate that, even if they don’t verbalize it. While you may not need a procedure for getting a tissue, other procedures can help your classroom run smoothly.
First, decide what needs a procedure. Take into account what you want to accomplish from the procedures. That being said, here are several common instances where classroom procedures work nicely.
How do you want students entering the classroom? Should they begin working or wait for your direction? Possibilities for the start of class include students starting work when entering (such as writing in journals); students gathering an assignment, book, or notebook from a predetermined spot; or student sitting and opening the previous day’s work.
Decide if your transitions during class could use procedures. If students switch supplies or spaces, students may work better if they know your expectations.
Examine how students leave your classroom. Are you happy with their exits? If you are picking up papers or supplies, design procedures so students clean after themselves. Personalize what works for your classroom. For instance, a pet peeve of mine is students lining up before the bell rings. Other teachers want their students to leave only after they have verbally dismissed the class.
Make other classroom procedures. You can design procedures for turning in papers, making up assignments, submitting late work, and getting and returning supplies. If you electronically communicate with students, consider guidelines for that too. Look at special circumstances; do students ever share books or electronic devices?
How many classroom procedures for older students are too many? You can always start with two or three. Students expect directions, and many students find comfort in knowing and not having to ask. Add more if necessary, and review procedures with students when necessary. Make meaningful classroom procedures for older students — and watch them soar.
Lauralee has been an educator for over 10 years. She’s taught 6th through 12th grades in both a typical and alternative setting. When creating products for TpT, she relies on those experiences and strives to make products that are adaptable for every type of student. She lives in Illinois with her husband, three children, and crazy dog. “I love the freedom TpT affords me, both personally and professionally,” she says. You can find more ELA ideas on her blog, Language Arts Classroom.