Establishing classroom routines at the beginning of the year is the key to a successful school year. Be sure to take the time to decide what you want things to look like in your classroom and take the time to model and practice these routines.
What Will Routines Look Like in Your Room?
It is so important to establish routines. Each room is slightly different and routines can vary from room to room based on teacher style and preference. Think about your classroom. What will things look like? Make a plan and know what your expectations are going to be before students even enter the classroom.
Routines to Think About
If you really break down your schedule, you will realize there are so many different routines that you may have in your classroom. Here are just a few questions to get you thinking about the many different routines that you will want to establish in your classroom.
- Where do backpacks go?
- What needs to come out of the students backpacks in the morning?
- Do students make a lunch selection?
- Where do lunch boxes go?
- What is your policy for getting water during the day?
- How about using the bathroom?
- Do your students know how and when to wash their hands?
- What is your morning routine?
- Where do notes from parents go?
- Where will homework be turned in?
- How do students get supplies?
- How do they put supplies away?
- Where do students put library books?
- How do students come to the carpet?
- How should they sit at the carpet?
- Do you have any rules for raising their hands for bathroom, water, comments, questions?
- How do they get out manipulatives?
- How do they turn in their work?
- What if a pencil breaks?
- What if their glue runs out?
- How do they line up?
- How do they walk in the hallways?
- What should voice levels be in the classroom, cafeteria, and hallways?
- How do they enter the cafeteria?
- How do they purchase lunch?
- What do they do to clean up their lunch?
- What do you need to do during emergencies – fire drills, intruder drills, etc.?
- How do they pack up?
- How do they dismiss?
Teaching routines takes time, practice, and tons of modeling. Do not skip over this. I can not stress that enough. Again, do NOT skip over this part.
Take the time to model your expectations. Have students practice them. Invite students come up and show you the wrong way to do something and then the right way to do something. This leads can lead to great class discussions around the rules and procedures of the classroom.
Keeping Track of Routines
There are so many routines that you can teach. It can sometimes be hard to remember what you have taught and what you have not. I use a checklist in my classroom and just check off the items as I teach them. I definitely go back and review the routines throughout the first quarter and then when needed for the rest of the year, but the checklist helps me make sure that I hit all the big ones.