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Re-establishing Routines and Procedures in January

Monday is staring me down.
Back to my classroom full of first graders.  Who have been out of school for 16 straight days.
Over two weeks of no structure, no expectations, no school rules!

So I'm going in like it's Day 1.  We're going to go over routines and procedures just like we did in September.  I  may take up a bit of time that first week back, but it will pay off in the long run:)

Here's how I teach procedures:
Never assume they know anything.  Model exactly the behavior you want.
Observe and Share
I ask the kids the watch what I do and be ready to share what they noticed.   I model the procedure exactly how I want the kids to do it and let the kids tell what they saw.  They will tell all (or most) of the important components of the procedure.  It is so much more meaningful when they discover it for themselves instead of listening to the teacher tell them how.
I model it again and name each step while I do it. 
Now I ask a couple of volunteers to show the class the procedure.  Again, I ask the kids to watch and notice.  The kids will share what they saw. 
This time I ask a group of kids to model the procedure.  Repeat the noticings and sharings.  I do this until everyone has had a chance to model and share.
Now the whole class will practice the procedure and debrief with what they did correctly and where there were shortcomings.

Which procedures we teach or reteach?  All of them!  Here is a (very) short list of possibilities:
  • Enter the room
  • Walk through the room
  • Sit in a chair
  • Get out of a chair
  • Walk to the carpet
  • Sit on the carpet
  • Morning Meeting
  • Leave the carpet
  • Get in a line
  • Walk in a line
  • Go to the restroom
  • Get a sharp pencil
  • Go to the trashcan
  • Unpack in the AM
  • Pack up in the PM
  • Attendance/lunch count
  • Getting help from the teacher
  • Handing in work
  • Listening
  • Working independently
  • Working in groups
  • Organizing materials
  • Fire Drills
  • Getting a tissue
  • Preparing for lunch
  • Snack
  • Washing hands
  • What to do when finished
  • Going to the water fountain
  • Recess
  • Visiting the clinic
  • Using stations


  1. Great minds think alike! LOL! I just posted about going over procedures again tomorrow as well! It really is so important and helps to keep your sanity! Best of luck and wishes for a smooth Monday morning!

  2. Refreshers and modeling...constant and consistent! Smiles and stop by anytime!

  3. That picture is hysterical!! I think it's a great idea to start over with procedures. Even in the upper grades, they tend to forget a lot. Hope your first day back went well!

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