So I went to school started setting up my classroom, then went on a weekend vacation to Miami for one last "hoorah" to summer break.
I haven't went back into school since then, but I have been working on small classroom projects at home that I'm going to share with you!
I think almost all behavior problems in the classroom can be solved by setting up clear classroom procedures and routines at the beginning of the year and practicing and reinforcing them throughout the year. Thus, this blog post will be all about.....[drum roll please]............:
In the past, I have typed a list of procedures I wanted to cover and practice throughout the first weeks of school and my class did just that-read over the list then practiced when the opportunities presented themselves. I had to be honest with myself-teaching classroom procedures were dreadfully boring for both myself and the class.
On top of that, I was panicking because I lost the list and had a million procedures in my head that I kept telling myself I hope I don't forget to teach them this and that and this and that... Finally, I had enough and decided I was going to make learning our classroom procedures fun for both the students and myself. My students looove the iPoet anchor chart because it's highly relatable to their tech-obsessed world so I created a similar tech-themed format for our Classroom Procedures Game: "iPractice our Classroom Procedures" and "iKnow our Classroom Procedures." I compiled a total of 30 classroom procedure apps that I felt were essential to learn and practice during the first month of school.
Being a pinspired teacher, I have seen several uses for cooking sheets in the classroom on Pinterest. I originally found baking sheets at Wal-Mart (3 for under $5!) and they are conveniently shaped like an iPad so adding the apps was as simple as laminating and slapping a magnet on the back and boom! Instant app fun :) I made two baking sheets one for classroom procedures our class still needed to learn or practice and labeled it "iPractice" and the other was labeled "iKnow." The "iKnow" cookie sheet houses the classroom procedures the class has mastered with little to no guidance from me. It takes several weeks for some of the practices to become a known routine so patience is key. Modeling as the teacher is also essential. I always have a student model the incorrect way and the correct way after I model each time we practice during our first few times practicing the procedure.
It also works very well with a jewelry organizer because it's portable!
When I introduce the procedure, we make an anchor chart using a bigger version of the classroom procedure apps:
Can I say eww to my handwriting? Anyways, it varies whether or not I make notes for every single procedure, some I find my students get with practice, other times I find it necessary to lay out as many visual cues as possible for consistent reinforcement.
Once a procedure has been moved to "iKnow," I make it a very big deal. Once the class masters all the procedures through several, several practice sessions, all procedures will fill the "iKnow" side. We celebrate their achievements with a classroom party. This year I'm thinking about a Halloween-inspired party since my school doesn't have official classroom parties. It's the first big thing the students look forward to for the year.
Later on if a particular procedure, such as walking in line is not looking like the way we practiced it, we place the specific procedure back into practice mode where they have to earn it back. It's important that the students work hard for the procedure to be moved to iKnow so they don't even want to risk going back into practice mode. Typically, just the mention of that being a possibility straightens them right up.
How do you teach classroom procedures?
If you're interested in The Classroom Procedure Game you can click on any of the pictures above, or click on the product's cover page below: