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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The 1 BIG Mistake Teachers Make with Back to School Routines and Procedures

Don't let that be you! I think it is probably more common with NEW teachers and sometimes we just plain forget what and how we do things at the start of each new year.  

Which essentially means you are doing all the talking and the kids are doing all the listening which means you lost them a LONG time ago.

I always have to remind myself to take things slow at first and with each routine and procedure build in a task or activity that enables me to teach that routine and task.  The first day of Kindergarten can be rather tricky trying to decide the order in which you want to teach routines and procedures because . . . 

1).  Getting parents off and out the door and easing crying students into their new environment can take some time.

2).  You want to teach about  lining up because before you can go anywhere you need to teach how we line up.

3).  You want to teach restroom expectations by taking a trip to the restroom but have to teach lining up and walking in the halls expectations on your way but will want to do this before your 1st student says, I NEED to GO!  because shortly after the whole herd has to go too!

4).  By this time it is probably getting close to snack time and wait - you didn't do a single activity or task!  But more importantly you have to get back to class and have the kids go through the routine and procedures for getting their snack (You did set up a routine and procedure for separating snack and lunch - right? If not - you are going to have kids eating their lunch at snack time).  

5).  Back to class and now hopefully you had all those sweet parents help you get your student badges on so you don't have to worry about getting them on your kids yourself.  

6).  Now it's time to go through the routine and procedure for lining up again and getting your snack, and walking in the halls.  Lots of STICKERS Folks - LOTS OF STICKERS!  LOTS of PRAISE!

7) HMMMM . . .tricky part here because hopefully you have enough time to have the children set their snack down and have them practice the playground expectations and procedures for sliding, swinging, and what to do when that bell rings and where to go!

8) Do a head count and have your list of names before you head back.

9) On your way back to class now you need to go over hallway expectations, get drinks, and bathroom break again.  

10).  We are back to the class and now we go over how we enter the room and go ?????? where are they going? Hopefully the carpet.  Here you might have time for a read aloud and now is the time to go over carpet rules and whole body listening.   

11).  Guess what - It is time for lunch already!  One more time for lining up and walking in the halls and getting lunches routine and procedures.   Go early so you can show children where to put their lunchboxes after they are done eating.   I always ate with my students for a while until they got it down.

12).  Recess is over.  They'll want to go home!   Is it time yet? When do we go home?  You walk in the halls again, restroom break again, and lunchbox put away routine and procedure.  Enter the classroom routine and procedure again.  

13).  Do your kids rest after lunch?  Routine, procedure, and expectations for resting.

14).  Chances are - Dismissal might be about an hour away and you will need that time to get the kids ready to go home and have them go through the  routine and procedures for bus riders, parent pick up, and after school care at school such as AMPM.  Here is a good time to give them all a picture of a car/person/school and play a game by holding up the picture when you call bus rider, parent pick up, etc.   Play a game lining up in the order you need.   

15).  Be packed up early.  You can always sit in a circle (which you will need to teach) on the carpet and take turns (which you will need to teach) for what they liked about school or read another story.

16).  AHHHH!  You made it.  Now reflect and prepare for the next day and you can hopefully get in an activity or 2 that teaches more routines and procedures!  

And you had all those cute activities planned . . .if you didn't get a single activity done - that's okay! Go slow and teach routines and procedures as you go and as they come up - NOT ALL AT ONCE! You'll be less stressed and so will your kids.

Here is a video about teaching routines and procedures with activities if you need ideas or are looking for simple non stressful activities that teach routines and procedures as students are learning.  Did I mention it has clickable links to songs and links to how-to videos to  help implement some of the routines and procedures?  It will help get you off to a great start!

If you like the activities in the unit you can find it below by clicking on the picture.

Here is a 1st grade back to school unit that will enable you to teach a lot of routines and procedures while reviewing Kindergarten skills.


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