Procedures in the classroom are an incredibly important tool to use to keep things moving and flowing smoothly. This lesson will detail several useful procedures and how to plan and implement them in your classroom.
Instructional Procedures Defined
Imagine observing two different classrooms.
In one classroom, the teacher and students are disorganized, things don’t flow very smoothly, and not a lot of learning seems to be happening. In the other, the students and teacher run like a well-oiled machine, and you can tell a great amount of learning and work is getting done.The difference between these two classrooms is the presence of instructional procedures.
An instructional procedure is a procedure that is created, planned, and implemented to keep things running smoothly and efficiently in the classroom. These procedures cover a wide array of situations, such as passing out papers, transitioning from different subjects or rooms, and what students should do at the beginning of the day. By planning and implementing procedures for these various activities, you and your students can spend less time getting ready and more time working and learning.
Paper Passing Procedures
All day, every day, you are going to be giving out and collecting papers from your students. Until we’re all learning and working on our personal virtual-reality headsets and e-desks, copied papers are the standard way of distributing practice work, notes, homework, or any other information.
Because this will occur every day, several times a day, it is important for you to plan and implement a paper passing procedure in your classroom.The first thing you should do when planning this procedure is determine what will be most efficient for you and your students. Many classrooms have rotating job charts (jobs that students are in charge of in the classroom), with one of those jobs being the paper passer. By assigning one or two students the job every week, you can simply ask the paper passers to hand things out when you need them.
However, by rotating paper passers, there’s always the chance that some students will be less efficient than others, which might make passing out papers more time-consuming than if you had just handed them out yourself. This is where you need to make a decision. Do you want to rotate paper passers or simply give the job to a few of the more efficient and responsible students in your classroom?Whichever you decide, it is important to set expectations for your students when it comes to passing out papers.
As long as your students understand what you need from them at this time, you will have a much smoother paper passing experience.
Morning Arrival Procedures
Arrival to school in the morning can sometimes be a very hectic and frantic experience. There are so many things you have to take care of in a short amount of time, such as checking homework, taking attendance, handling lunch orders, and collecting and sending mail to the office. Your morning will go much more smoothly if you plan and implement a series of procedures in your classroom.What specific procedures you choose to implement will depend on your classroom situation and morning responsibilities.
However, it is always important to make expectations very clear and allow students time to practice and master your procedures. For example, if you want to take attendance by having students come up and place a clip on a chart, there should be a procedure for when and how students do this. If any student does not meet the expectations and follow the procedure correctly, they should be reminded and given the chance to try again.Some teachers might choose to have a small basket near their desk into which students place any mail they have for the teacher or the office.
This reduces the work you have to do because students will know exactly where they need to put things. For checking homework, you could have all students place whatever page or worksheet they needed to complete in a designated area of the room for you to check during the day.Whatever your chosen morning procedures are, clear expectations and practice are key to having a smooth running morning. Not only will you be able to get your tasks done more easily, students will be ready for the day more quickly, which means less time trying to get them to focus at the beginning of the day.
A good way to keep students engaged throughout the day is to keep them moving from place to place. This might mean around the classroom or, in the older grades, switching to a different teacher for various subjects. However, these transitions and movements can be incredibly noisy and disorganized if a procedure is not in place.
When planning a procedure for transitions, it’s important to take into account the individual personalities of your students. Some classes will only need to practice your transition procedure once or twice before they are ready to do it independently. Others might require more structure and less independence.For example, when moving a class of first grades from their seats to the carpet, it is helpful to start out with a structure procedure, such as calling students by rows. When you first start transitioning, consistently remind students of your expectations (move quietly, walk, hands to yourself) and make them repeat the process until they meet those expectations. Then, as students become more comfortable with the procedure, you can loosen the reins and call the whole class over and only speak to those students who might have forgotten some of your expectations.
These same principles can apply when transitioning to another classroom, as well.
Instructional procedures are procedures created, planned, and implemented to keep things running smoothly and efficiently in the classroom. You can implement a procedure for many things in your classroom, including passing out papers, morning arrival, and transitioning. These are not the only areas procedures are used for. It is important to remember that no matter what the procedure is for, expectations should be clear and students should be reminded of them every time they forget.
After a bit of practice, you’ll be surprised at the well-oiled machine you’ve created in your class!