How many times have you walked into a classroom and had no idea what to expect? In any educational setting, routines and procedures play a crucial role here. They help establish a sense of order and predictability for students and teachers.
But what exactly are routines and procedures?
Daily classroom habits and chain of events or actions that are necessary for every student to follow are what we define as classroom routines and procedures. Examples of routines and procedures vary from school to school.
In this post, we will go over some of the most common classroom routines and procedures so that you know what to expect before entering a classroom. Below are some general examples that you can use as a guide. Happy learning!
What are procedures and routines?
Procedures are defined as a series of actions or steps that are followed in a specific order to achieve a particular goal. For example, in the classroom, procedures would be how students line up to go to recess or turn in their homework.
Routines, on the other hand, are more like habits. They’re not necessarily tied to any specific goal but rather help to create a sense of stability and predictability in the classroom. Some examples of routines might be having a morning meeting every day or taking ten minutes at the end of each class to tidy up.
Classroom routines and procedures are important in creating a positive and successful learning environment. When students know what to expect and what is expected of them, they are more likely to feel comfortable and confident in the classroom. Routines and procedures also help to reduce behavior problems and manage time more effectively.
What are examples of classroom routines?
There are endless possibilities when it comes to establishing routines in your classroom. It really just depends on what works best for you and your students. However, there are a few routines that are pretty common in most classrooms.
One example of a routine has a daily morning meeting. This is a time for the whole class to come together and discuss the day ahead. It’s also a great opportunity for students to share any concerns or questions they might have.
Another common classroom routine is having a set time for homework to be turned in each day. This helps ensure that all students complete their homework and turn it in on time. However, the key is to find what works best for you and your students by executing a few examples of classroom routines:
- Establish a regular meeting time for morning announcements and announcements at the beginning or end of the day. This will help students know when they need to be ready to listen and also give them time to transition between activities.
- Choose a signal that lets students know when it’s time to start cleaning up. This could be a song, a bell, or even just clapping your hands.
- Come up with a system for students to follow when they need to use the restroom or get a drink of water. This will help avoid disruptions and keep the classroom running smoothly.
- Have a set place for students to put their backpacks and coats on when they come in from recess or lunch. This will help prevent lost items and also keep the classroom tidy.
- Decide on a signal or phrase that you will use when it’s time for students to transition to the next activity. This could be something as simple as saying, “okay, it’s time to move on to our next lesson.”
Some of the classroom routines to follow are:
1. Arrive to class on time and be prepared. This means having all the necessary materials, such as textbooks, notebooks, pens, and pencils.
2. Follow the teacher’s instructions and participate in class activities.
3. Respect your classmates and teachers. This includes speaking politely, listening when others are talking, and refraining from disruptive behavior.
4. Raise your hand if you want to ask a question or share something with the class.
5. Stay seated during class unless you have permission to get up.
6. Be organized. This includes keeping a neat and tidy workspace and having all materials needed for class in one place.
7. Complete all homework assignments on time.
8. Study for tests and exams in advance to prepare and do your best.
9. Keep your hands, feet, and objects to yourself to avoid hurting others or damaging property.
10. Follow the school’s dress code policy.
11. Speak only English in class unless the teacher says it is okay to speak another language.
12. Eat and drink only in designated areas, such as the cafeteria or break room.
13. Dispose of trash properly in garbage cans or recycling bins.
14. Use restrooms only during break times or before/after class.
15. Be on time for school and class bell schedules.
16. Observe silent periods, such as in the library or study hall.
17. Follow all fire safety rules, such as knowing exits and not blocking them with objects.
Exploring a few examples of procedures
In addition to routines, there are procedures that must be followed in the classroom. Procedures are usually specific to certain activities or tasks and often have a specific goal in mind. For example, fire drills are very different from the routine for turning in homework. However, both procedures are important in ensuring the safety and well-being of students.
Some common procedures that are often used in classrooms include:
- lining up at the door before leaving the classroom
- raising their hand to speak
- taking turns
- following instructions
It’s important to model and practice procedures with your students so that they know what is expected of them. You can also post the procedures in the classroom as a reminder for both you and your students.
Some of the classroom procedures to follow are:
- Use hand signals in class. Pointing out 4 fingers, excluding the thumb would mean the student wants to drink water. Showing the whole hand can mean the student needs help. At the same time, raising the hand with a fist closed can mean that the student is in an emergency.
- Once the student enters the class, they need to hang up their coat and put their backpack away.
- At the time of recess or any activity hour when the student needs to venture out of the class, each student must line up as per their roll number. For example, the student will roll number 1 in the front, and 20 at the back. This must be done silently, without any discussion.
- Cellphones, if brought to the school must be submitted to the administrator and can be used only to contact family/ parents in times of emergency.
- Cellphones, when handed over to the school staff must be switched off or in flight mode. Once the child wants to use it, a form must be filled out mentioning why they got their cell phone to school, and why are they using it. Once taken back from the school staff, the students must sign the form that they have taken back their belonging.
- While leaving the class once school is over, students must stack back their chairs, and clean their desks. Students must also check for any belongings that might be left inside their desks or anywhere else in the classroom.
- The homework, at the time of submission, should be collected only by the class monitors. All students should not come to the teacher’s table to submit their work. They should wait for the designated monitors to come to their table to collect their work.
- If any item of another student is found, it must be immediately handed over to the class teacher or the lost and found department.
- Washrooms can be visited only with the “Toilet pass.” No student should venture out of the class for water/ washroom without the pass.
- In case of any fire, students should not panic and wait for the teacher to give them instructions as to how to leave the classroom. A standard procedure would be to line up without creating any chaos and wait for the teacher’s command to leave the classroom.
- At the time of attendance, only the students who are being called out must speak. If any student is absent, the whole class must not inform the teacher. It is the job of the monitor or the teacher’s assistant to make sure the teacher knows who is absent.
- Each classroom will have a monitor, a teacher’s assistant, a library assistant, and a PT class assistant who will make sure that there is lesser chaos and more discipline.
- Laptops or any other electronic device must be carried to school only when asked. If the students have a project or submission, prior permission must be taken from the concerned department before getting the device.
- Students must not change the password of their credentials given to them by the school.
- In the start of the academic year, each student must contribute one pencil and one eraser which can be kept in the teacher’s cupboard. Now whenever any student does not get a pencil or eraser, they must ask the teacher, and not talk amongst themselves. These extra pencils would be used for this purpose only.
- It is important to highlight your name before submitting your work.
- Students must check their timetable every day so that they can get their books and notebooks accordingly.
How do you establish classroom routines and procedures?
The best way to establish routines and procedures in your classroom is to take some time at the beginning of the year to explicitly teach them to your students. This means modeling the desired behavior and giving students ample opportunity to practice it.
It’s also important to be consistent with your routines and procedures. For example, if you only have a morning meeting some days, or if you only collect homework at the end of some classes, students will not be able to develop the habit or routine required.
Teachers and school staff who develop classroom procedures and routines can be ensured a smoother running of their class as there would be lesser chaos, and the students will form the required habits from the first day. At the same time, while the procedures must be standard for the whole year; however, the teacher must be on a constant lookout to add or modify any routine or procedure depending upon what they feel their students need. After a while, these procedures and examples become a part of the student’s everyday experience where they require lesser instruction or reinforcement.