Procedures are the key to stopping classroom disruptions. Too many times teachers focus on what to do when kids misbehave without realizing that if they would simply have effective classroom procedures in place, they would have very few discipline problems to deal with. The first step to deciding on the best procedures for your classroom is to think through what actually happens in your classroom. Pose questions as if you are a student in the class and then come up with answers that can be turned into daily routines.
1. What happens when I enter class?
Students need to know what they are to do when they walk into your classroom. Are they to go to their seat and copy the agenda off the board? Are they to begin working on the daily warm up
? Should they turn in their homework
in a designated location? Are they allowed to talk at all with each other?
2. How do I hand in my homework?Do you have a location where students need to place their homework? Should they place it on their desk for you to pick up? Should they hand it in as their name is called for roll?
3. What happens if I forget something?What should students do if they do not have a pen or pencil? Should they ask you to borrow one? Do you have a specific location where they can gather a pen and/or pencil in exchange for "collateral" like a shoe or watch?
4. What do I do if I have a question?What should a student do if they have a question? Is there a situation where they should not raise their hand and ask the question in the middle of class (for example during a testing situation)? Should they get out of their seat and ask you questions during class work or raise their hand and wait for you to come around?
5. What if I have to go to the restroom?What is your restroom use policy? Do students need to raise their hand and ask or do you have another system? What if it is an emergency? Can more than one student be at the restroom at the same time?
6. What do I do during a fire alarm or other emergency situation?
If the alarm goes off, where do I go? How should we assemble for a fire drill
? What am I allowed to take with me? What about during a tornado
alarm or other emergency alert like a bomb scare? When can a student push the button to speak to the central office?
7. What should I do if I finish my work early?What should I do with extra time I have in class because I have finished my work early? Should I pull out a specific book to read in class? Can I work on homework for other classes? Can I read for pleasure? Are there any activities I am not allowed to do during free time?
8. What do I do if I have missed class?
How does a student find out what they have missed in class? How do they get the notes for any lectures
? What about if they miss a movie or other multimedia presentation
? Where can they pick up their make up work? What happens if the absence is unexcused? Can I make up any work at that point? How many days do they have to make up any missed work? What if they need additional help because they've missed class?
9. What do I do at the end of the period?How do students pack up at the end of the day? Does the bell or do you tell students if the class has ended? When do students get their homework? If they have worksheets to take home, where can they pick them up to take them home? Can a student stay after to ask you questions or should they see you later in the day?
10. What do I do as we transition to new activities in class?How do students move from one activity to another? Where do students stow their textbooks if they are no longer using them? How do students move their desks around quickly and efficiently?