Classrooms procedures and explicitly teaching classroom procedures is the backbone of a successful classroom. I always teach, reteach, review, practice, review, reteach (you get the idea!) the procedures all year long. It helps my classroom run smoothly with less distractions and behavior problems.
This year, I also wanted to have my students complete some type of collaborative activity with the procedures to help them learn the procedures. The activity, though super simple – almost too simple, was very effective at teaching my students our classroom procedures.
Disclaimer: I teach inner city and have to be very specific about my procedures, so if these seem a little strict that is why. 🙂
This activity spanned the entire first two weeks of school. I had been teaching and we have been practicing the procedures since day one. Each day during the first two weeks, I would choose two our classroom procedures to highlight in this activity.
Through this activity, my students not only reviewed the procedures, but they also created a class list of the 4-5 main points for each procedure in their own words. We had practiced the specific procedures I chose several times, so the students were able to generate the list with no problem. They helped me create the list based on the expectations they had already learned.
After we had our list, the students were put in pairs and given a blank piece of paper. Their task was to create an organizer or poster illustrating the main points of the procedure. They had to write the main points and then illustrate them as well.
The activity turned out really well and the conversations I heard showed the students really understand the procedures! The activity was very quick and only took about 10-15 minutes to complete. Of course, as the students completed more of these, they got more creative and quicker. We shared examples of our posters and the students really enjoyed seeing how the other students illustrated the procedures.
After the activity was complete, I write the main points that the students had generated on a blank piece of paper at the b and taped them on cabinet. Then I taped a page protector underneath my list. I put their posters inside the page protectors and will change the front posters out every now and then.
Why is this activity effective at teaching classroom procedures?
This activity really helped ingrain our classroom procedures in my students’ minds. It got them talking and thinking about the procedures and why they were important. Also this activity really forced me to be very clear and specific about what I expect. A total win-win! The more I am about what I expect, the more clearly I can communicate that to my students when I teaching our procedures.