by Carolyn Ito
Teachers who develop and communicate clear routines and rules to their students are more likely to create well-managed classrooms and enjoy the year teaching. Consider each of the following questions. Check each indicator that you feel needs to be improved in your classroom. 1. Do I develop efficient procedures and routines for my classroom? Do my students know how to: • Enter and leave the classroom?
• Get to work immediately?
• Come to attention?
• Respond in emergency situations (fire drill, injury, loss of power)? • Distribute, exchange, and collect materials?
• Sharpen pencils?
• Move about the room?
• Ask questions and request help?
• Listen to and respond to questions?
• Indicate understanding?
• Respond to visitors, knocks at door, and phone calls? • Listen during PA system announcements?
• Work cooperatively?
• Obtain missed assignments upon returning from an absence? • Use time wisely when completing an assignment early? • Move appropriately through the halls?
2. Do I determine viable classroom rules?
• Do my rules support school-wide and district policy? • Do my rules set and maintain limits?
• Do I have 5 or fewer rules?
• Are my rules stated positively and succinctly?
• Do my rules include positive and negative consequences? 3. Do I teach and reinforce my procedures, routines, and rules? • Do I teach my classroom routines and rules?
• Do I post my rules in the classroom?
• Do I send home a copy of the rules to be signed by parents/guardians? • Do I explain, model, demonstrate and have my students rehearse routines and rules? • Do I reinforce procedures until they become routines? • Do I test student knowledge of rules by the second week of school? • Do I periodically review the rules?
• Do I teach the rewards and consequences for following the...