Saturday, 24 March 2012
Some of the most useful things that I have utilized from this book is setting up clear routines.
When I was a student teacher I made the assumption that routines are very important in elementary, but then these routines fizzle away when you reach high school. As a substitute teacher now, I have come to the conclusion that Harry is always right. I still need the routines, even with the bigger kiddos. And I have faced the facts, even though the kiddos are bigger, they still thrive under routine and structure and prefer having a class where classroom management is strong.
So here are some things that I have done to ensure that my routine is clear.
1. I post my daily schedule every day. This reduces the number of students that come to me and ask... "What are we doing next??" or "What are we doing today?" or "Do we have art and gym today? Please Please???".
2. I post bell work on the white board. In this case I had the students work on Daily 5. However I mix it up with the following:
- math word questions
- fun riddles
- newspaper board writing
- "to do"/"catch up" time
3. I post my handful of helpers. I found this tool really helpful in the lower grades, and almost every class I visit now seems to use this tool as well. The helpers that I always have are:
- Calendar/Special student of the day
- Messenger (if anything needs to go to the office)
- Line Leader (they are in charge of leading the class)
- Line Caboose (they made sure every student makes it to the destination)
- Helpers (these students are great for turning off the lights, handing out papers, opening/closing the blinds, etc.)
4. I try to be consistent with my expectations. Before I let the class start the lesson I always take extra time to review my expectations of their work, my expectations for their behavior, and their expectations for me! I let the class tell me this instead of me rambling on... plus I love to hear "We should be making level 4 work, that means we should be taking our time to add the icing, sprinkles, and candle!", "We expect that YOU should help us when we need it!!" (this is always cute every time).
Those are the 4 major things that I do to establish a consistent routine in my classroom. As a substitute teacher this can be difficult if some of these things are not already established. However, when they are established it makes my life A LOT easier because the students do not feel like their routine is out of order without their classroom teacher there (and I don't hear "this isnt how Ms/Mr.... does it" as often).
So what do you do to keep routines consistent in your classroom??