Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Writing Classroom Procedures

Today I am writing procedures for my classroom. This has me thinking about my first interview for teaching three years ago. I had just graduated from college, where I did not major in education, and had recently decided to be a teacher. The principal asked me about my classroom management plan. I had no clue what she meant, so I said something along the lines of: "Students need chances, so I believe in a three strikes, you're out system." Looking back, I realize why I didn't get that job, and I'm so grateful they didn't hire me.
In grad school, one of my professors always focused on classroom management. She always talked about how a teacher could have flawless lesson plans: your lessons could be inquiry based and differentiated, but without classroom management, your lessons would never come to fruition the way you may have imagined. She suggested have twenty to thirty classroom procedures. When she first suggested that number, I was overwhelmed! How on Earth would I be able to write 30 classroom procedures?? I remember thinking about whether kids could chew gum or not and thinking that was a procedure. At that point, I could only think of about six classroom procedures. I turned in my assignment, and boy did I regret that! Se gave me clarity that day. A class rule is not a class procedure. While my students won't be given a handbook of procedures for my classroom, it is a great tool for me to have. I will need to teach students these procedures, and I cannot make them up on a whim. So far, I have written procedures to address the following issues:
  • entering the room
  • leaving the room
  • heading a paper
  • going to the bathroom
  • handing in assignments
  • returning assignments
  • borrowing supplies
  • organizing your notebook
  • fire drills
  • assemblies
  • morning announcements
  • classroom visitors
  • going to lunch
  • throwing away thrash
  • sharpening pencils
  • completing group work
  • storing student supplies
  • passing out handouts
  • make-up work
  • coming to attention
I am close to having thirty and I can see why she gave that number. I would like to know about some procedures you all may have. Are there any I am missing? What are you doing to prepare for the school year?

Always Faithful,


  1. Great list! Reminds me that I need to make one!

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    Mrs. Crouse :)

  2. I like your list. Would even be curious as to what some of your procedures are, how they were taught and maintained.

    It is great to talk to teachers in other systems to see how they handle things. I taught American History beginning to 1865 for the first time last year. It was hard to motivate my students. Many were not interested in the history or making good grades, so it was a difficult subject to teach. Towards the end of the year I introduce foldables and that improve things.

  3. I'm going to add some of those things to my personal list to remember to teach them! I don't have my kids all day, so lunch and such is not an issue, but I have this on my wall, if it helps you:

    Classroom Procedure

    Before the Bell
    Turn in homework, sharpen pencils, gather materials, use the restroom, and be seated.

    First 5 Minutes of Class
    Copy the homework assignment into your agenda.
    Complete the Bell Ringer Activity in your notebook.
    If you finish early, or if there is no Bell Ringer, you are to silently read a book/magazine.

    During Class
    Follow directions, pay attention, do your best, and ask questions.
    Use the time given in class to complete your work.
    If you complete your work, you may read silently.
    If you do not complete your work, it may be homework. Listen for further directions.

    Last 3 Minutes of Class
    Turn in your work.
    Return any materials you have borrowed.
    Clean up your area – the floor around & under your desk.

    Class Dismissal
    The teacher will dismiss the class when the room is clean, in order, and quiet.
    Please push in your chair as you leave!!

  4. @ claycass...I love using foldables! I used a lot of them when student teaching. I even had my students make their own foldables for homework! I think it really solidifies the information for them. I think the more hands on you can make a subject like American History the better! I would love to swap some lessons with you! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. @Andrea You have some great procedures established. I definitely needed the last three minutes of class one...I will be adding that to my list. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I have procedures for a ton of things (including the ones you mentioned) - and I find that as I go through the year I realize more things I need procedures for, and so I come up with them and teach them. Remember, it's never too late to introduce a new procedure - it's a lot better to change or introduce something mid-year than continue the rest of the year with a broken/missing procedure.

    In addition to yours, I also have a procedure for first few minutes of class, the last five minutes of class, missing HW/assignments (because students don't always do their work, as much as we hope), dismissal (the bell doesn't dismiss you, I do), and if someone finishes work early. I'm sure there are more, but I just can't think of them off the top of my head.

    I've started my own blog this year - would love if you would stop by!