Category Archives: Classroom Rules & Procedures

Great Start to a New Year

For many of you school has begun, and for the rest of you it will begin this week. It is such an exciting time for everyone. New beginnings! Everyone involved has some level of stress associated with beginning a new school year, parents, administrators, teachers, support staff, students, and yes, custodial staff. I’ve now been out of the classroom for my 3rd year, but my excitement and passion for success for all is still alive. I want to wish you all the best year ever.

If I may, a few points of advice:

  1. Plan, plan, plan and plan some more. Have a Plan A, Plan B, and a Plan C. This goes for everything content and non-content related. I know it’s difficult enough to have a documented lesson plan that’s required by your administrators or your subject leaders that must contain an enormous amount of detail, but having an informal outline, list of resources, and list of questions and activities for your “backups” is a must.
  2. Be flexible and don’t let’em see you sweat. On a school-wide scale, many new schedules and procedures are put into place, be it lunchroom schedule, recess and break schedule, traffic patterns or bus release plan. Show patience and flexibility to handle things when they don’t go according to the desired plan. When working with hundreds of students at a time with many factors in play that can affect the execution of the plan, “stuff” happens. Keep in mind that the students’ safety and well-being is your first priority. Keep a cool head, keep the students under control and happy, keep a smile and everything will work out.
  3. Stay on top of things as they come in. The beginning of the year is a busy, busy time; however, there are critical deadlines that need to be met. This may include the return of student paperwork/information, schedule changes, work requests, parent correspondence, website authoring, setting up grade book, and any required online courses/learning activities.
  4. Give EVERY student a chance. Please, regardless of what you know about your students before they enter your classroom, allow each and every student a clean slate. Provide them an opportunity to make a change if it’s in their hearts. Too often students simply live up to the expectations we set for them. If you truly want your students to live up to their potential, let them start fresh. With that said, I want to caution you on saying one thing to the whole class because it sounds great, but treat individual students differently when others are not around. There’s no faster way to break the trust of not only that one student, but virtually every student you teach and everyone they know. Word will get around that your word is no good, and it will stick with students forever.
  5. Rely on your professional peers and administrators. Ask for help when you need it. Find those peers that welcome questions and discussion. Brainstorm with subject-similar colleagues for instructional and disciplinary strategies. Don’t fall into the pit of the negative talk and gossip. Everyone has problems. Find solutions for yourself and listen other’s problems when they need it. Realize that you should only provide advice to those peers who want to listen to your suggestions; otherwise it will fall on deaf ears and potentially fuel jealousy and animosity. Educators should behave as a team, but as in every team, not everyone is a team player.

I hope this helps you have a great new year. Please send me your questions or concerns. I’m here for you. I can be a sounding board and someone you can brainstorm with. I taught middle school math/algebra for 10 years. I’m happy to help. Best of luck!

 

Shannon Richards

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Conduct Alert Policy

Check this out…modify to your needs…and make your life easier! This has worked quiet well as a school wide discipline plan for several schools. As the year winds down it’s important to analyze what has worked and what has not worked. This may be something you’d like to adopt for next year. Start bringing key players on board now to make this a smooth transition for the fall.

Conduct Alert System – Puts the responsibility of student behavior back on the student

Conduct Alert – Form for students to fill out that coincides with the Conduct Alert System

Student Independent Study Routine

Also as a pdf   Student Independent Study Routine

Math is just a different type of subject. It requires a unique balance between memorizing facts, following procedures, problem solving and reasoning. More often than not, these aspects intertwine no matter what age, grade or course. I want to focus on what students can do on their own to help with these skills when you’re not present, i.e. when working at home or in school with a substitute. Learning and practicing independently should be a routine for students. As a teacher, you must teach them how to do this effectively. It’s important to having clear, defined actions that students can practice when you are present, so that they will understand what to do when you’re not. Here are a few suggestions that you can modify to fit your current classroom note taking structure. If you do not have a current note taking structure, maybe this will be motivation to create one. See Helping Students Stay Organized for ideas.

The course binder should be thought of as a record of learning and achievement, as well as information pertaining to the content. Chances are students have made mistakes along the way on assignments or assessments, or have had misconceptions at one point or another. Often teachers get into a routine of teaching, testing, teaching, and more testing. There’s no time set aside for reviewing, reflecting, or reassessing. Reviewing only seems to happen when a subset of skills are passed along to the next chapter. Reassessing may happen on 20-30% of the concepts as a residual effect of the natural sequence of learning mathematics, but never in a capacity that would allow teachers to really determine if true learning has occurred. Lastly, students rarely have the opportunity, or take the opportunity, to reflect on their personal learning and growth on a concept, chapter or unit. This is the area in which students need a great deal of guidance in order to gain the most out of their education.

While in a perfect world it would be wonderful to conference with each and every child after an assessment, to explain, reteach and reassess, or simply have a conversation with the child to gain an understanding of their thought process on particular questions, it’s impossible to do so. It’s imperative to teach students how to assess their own learning, investigate on their own using the tools you have provided them, as well as using outside resources like parents, siblings, and online resources. Before this can occur, you must teach students to value their learning, and essentially fight for understanding in cases when it is not been reached.  It’s only through this desire for understanding that students will be motivated to learn from their mistakes.

When a student takes an assessment of any kind, quick checks, daily assignments, formative assessments like chapter tests, or summative assessments like semester or end of year exams, it’s a snapshot of what the student knows at that point in time. Results are usually recorded in the fashion of points or percentages. Regardless of the type of assessment, for most students 100% performance has not been achieved. There is always room for further understanding. This understanding will only come through review, relearning, and reflecting.

To start this process, students must do the following:

  1. Have students individually review their assignment/quiz/test, absorb the results, and record in writing their initial feelings and frustrations, as well as identified mistakes or misconceptions. Often times students want to seek your immediate assistance in understanding why they lost points or missed a problem. Teach students to do this step individually first for maximum benefits. As a side note, while I feel strongly about writing across the curriculum, this is not the place for students to feel added pressure and stress with perfecting their spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Allow for lists of comments, ideas or questions to get this aspect of the process accomplished.
  2. Have students to ask their questions pertaining to the particular problems they did not understand and had points deducted. First give other students in class the opportunity to respond to these questions. This is a valuable tool to use in this instance. Allow the student who just reached an understanding of his/her own mistake explain another student’s misconception. Wow! How powerful is that? Not only is the student who asked the question, getting his/her question answered, but the student who just had a major revelation is given the opportunity to verbalize his/her understanding. Relying on students who initially understood the problem to provide an explanation is just as effective. Of course, if this opportunity does not arise, you can certainly take the role of explaining the problem or concept to the class yourself.
  3. After all questions have been answered, students are to formally correct all of the partially or completely missed problems on a new sheet of paper. These corrections would have the problem, including word problems, and problems with graphs and geometric art, and the correct process to achieve the solution. The student should be able to look back at this problem on this formal correction sheet and have all the necessary information to answer it completely.
  4. Below the formal rework of each problem missed, have students summarize their misconception, mistake, or new-found knowledge. Students may want to read what they wrote on Step 1 to reflect on their learning up to this point. They may speak of a simple calculation error, misuse of a formula, an incomplete process, or a total lack of understanding at the time of the assignment/quiz/test. Remind them that this is a form of documentation of their learning. They need to write clearly and completely. This piece is more formal than was done during Step 1. Students should be encouraged to pose further questions in order for them to gain deeper understanding of that particular concept in that problem. These new questions can be brought out in class discussions or one-on-one with the teacher. Flagging these questions with a post-it note may emphasize to students to follow up with the teacher or class.

Understand this is difficult to do on every assignment and task students complete. Targeting a subset of problems, either at the beginning of a unit after base knowledge has been taught, or at the end of a chapter for an overall student evaluation would be more manageable and possibly more effective.

I hesitate to recommend this type of student reflection be tied to a grade of sorts. While students are somewhat motivated to complete assignments because there is a grade attached to it, the purpose of this is to have students examine what it is they know and what information they misunderstood or lacked. This is a discipline. Students have to experience success from of this type of reflection before they buy into the regimen. Teachers should providing non-evaluative, mathematical feedback that is positive and encourages a dialog between student and teacher. If students feel as though this is just another hoop to jump through to get a grade, it becomes a chore and fails as an effective process.

Back To School Time


Wow, that time has rolled around yet again. Each and every year the summers seem to get shorter and shorter. The funny thing is, I’m not in the classroom any longer, yet I feel remorseful for my fellow teachers having to go back to work tomorrow. It seems like they just closed out the school year! I truly hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable summer break. But if you have to go back, here are a few words of wisdom I’d like to pass along.

 

(1) Have a Plan!

Have a plan for everything, from how you will greet the students that first time, to how students will interact with one another, to how students will complete assignments, to how you will manage students outside your classroom. Make these plans as simple as possible, with clear language for students to understand. Do not make a plan to simply say you have a plan for something. Make each and every rule, procedure, and routine purposeful and worthwhile. You should be able to justify to anyone why you do what you do, and how it positively affects the learning of your students. The plans you put in place set the tone for your instruction. Have a plan that promotes a positive and safe learning environment for all!

(2) Steal from New and Old

It is often thought that the “veteran” teachers have all the great ideas, the tried and true. I’ve met a few amazing new teachers in my time that are excellent counterexamples to that idea. During pre-planning time, roam the school, peek into a variety of classrooms, both within your content/grade and out. It’s amazing what you will find. Don’t feel awkward about going in and asking those teachers why they do what they do. They are more than happy sharing with you! It’s the best compliment a teacher can get. Any conversation that begins with, “I like what you have done with… How do you utilize that with your students?” It’s amazing what great ideas come out of conversations such as this, for both parties. It’s through this type of sharing and collaboration that teachers get stronger, communities within the school are built, and students prosper. It’s not a competition. Everyone is in it for the same end result….student success! So SHARE AND ASK QUESTIONS!!!!

(3) Get Organized

Take the time to think about what will be coming in, going out, and staying. By this I mean anything from papers (both from students, parents, and the school office), textbooks and resources, and classroom supplies.

  • Consider color coding the categories you have defined as the most frequent. I remembered that my system consisted of student related materials were in yellow file folders, administrative materials were in red, and parent documentation was in green. These certainly were not the only categories I had, but they were the most prevalent. Take the time to clear out a file cabinet, or even just a plastic file bin, to help to get the organization system under way. I recommend investing a few extra dollars in the box of 5-color file folders. Only use these for such organization, and not for other projects….that would defeat the color coding system.
  • I would also recommend a single manila file folder, one per student, labeled by last name, per class period, to store any documentation that may need to be collected. This could involve signed documents from parents, grade reports, discipline notes, and student work. These are amazing resources to have during a parent conference.
  • In addition to a single file folder per child, I would create a single parent contact sheet per student you teach, organized either by class period or by last name. This sheet should be populated with parent contact information, including names of parents/guardians, phone numbers, and email addresses. These can be easily stored in a small binder. Each time contact home is made, it should be recorded on that student’s sheet. This allows a running log to be kept throughout the year. Once a week, I would recommend making 3-5 additional positive phone calls to student’s parents/guardians randomly selected from the binder. This helps build that bridge between home and school for many students.
  • (These are just a few…keep posted for new entries to this section. I could write a book on just this aspect of teaching)
(4) Assign Seats
       Some may disagree with me on this one, but I did teach middle school. Seating charts are an absolute must for more than 3/4 of the school year, and in some cases the entire school year. Yes, they are a pain, especially if you don’t know your students just yet. Alphabetizing students the first few weeks does make learning names and accounting for all of your students easier, but realize that your peer teachers may be doing so as well. Your students may get quite familiar with each other sooner than you anticipate, thus increasing the chance of classroom disruptions. Consider an alternative method that makes things just as easy on you. Computer grading systems that can be set up to take attendance that has an editable floor plan capability are a great help, especially if these floor plans can be printed with the students’ names in the “furniture”. Other plans can be less-tech with the use of blank floor plan layouts and writing in students names, or with the use of post-it notes with student’s names on each so they can be moved around accordingly. (I’d suggest the super sticky ones!)
I’m going to pause here for this entry. I will be adding more details to these ideas soon.
You really can’t make a second first impression. How you begin the first 3-5 weeks really sets the tone for the whole year. Yes it’s difficult. I won’t lie. I encourage you to stay strong throughout the beginning-of-the-year period, stick to your plan, procedures and routines.
Please post your comments, questions, and suggestions. I’d love for this to be a community and a network where teachers are free share ideas and ask questions as needed. I wish you all the best as you prepare to welcome your new group of students. Good luck!

Middle Ground Magazine – Great Article

Check out the NMSA article, “The Power of Positive Relationshis” posted under the blogroll or linked below.  It’s a great read for the beginning of the school year. You’ll want to bookmark this site for sure!

http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/MiddleGround/Articles/August2010/Article2/tabid/2232/Default.aspx

Positive Value Classroom Experience

So, you’ve had a few days with your new group of students and things seem to be going well. Well, of course! The first few weeks or so is the honeymoon phase. Most of your students are not showing you their true colors yet. You’re just as guilty. You’ve been so upbeat and positive, but firm and professional. If only the rest of the year could be like these first few days, school wouldn’t feel like, well, school. Let’s talk about ways in which this honeymoon phase can last a little longer, or at the very least, reappear from time to time throughout the year.

First and foremost, let’s understand why the students are so well behaved the first few weeks.

  • They don’t know you yet; therefore, they don’t know what buttons of yours they can push.
  • You don’t know them; therefore, you are providing them with the benefit of the doubt and being non-judgmental.
  • You’re interested in them. You’re asking them questions and trying to get to know them.
  • You’ve set the tone of who’s in charge and where the boundaries are.
  • You’re holding them accountable and making examples out of behaviors that are less than desirable.
  • You’re lesson planning like there’s no tomorrow. You have plans A, B and C. Your organized, with papers and supplies filed in all the right places. Students don’t have a second’s worth of time to be off task or disruptive.
  • You’ve got the classroom looking so nice. Everything in its place, nice and clean, supplies labeled.

There’s nothing like the first of the year. Unfortunately, time does go by and we, as teachers, get very bogged down with paperwork, parent phone calls and meetings. Little time is left to keep the classroom clean, papers filed, supplies organized, or to create a plan A, let alone a B or a C. Since your plans are not as tight as they once were, students now have time in class to engage in conversations and get off-task, some even becoming perpetual classroom disruptions. At this point, you’re just trying to keep your head above water and teach your students the standards. Lest not forget there’s standardized testing, curriculum benchmarks and exams that require us to stay on mark with the curriculum pacing. You’re students start to feel your stress. They don’t know how to take your new demeanor. They start to take things personally, as if you don’t like them. Realize you haven’t had much time to socialize with them or continue to get to know more about them. They see it as, “You don’t care about them”. Behavior starts to deteriorate. You’re falling behind in the curriculum. Student’s grades start to slip. You start to lose respect and confidence in the eyes of the students. Keep in mind; I’m estimating things start to feel this way come, oh, say October.

This is a sad situation that happens to many teachers, classrooms and schools across the nation. Not to add more stress to your pot, but it’s time we need to realize who’s at fault for this rapid decline. It’s you, the teacher. That’s simply the hard, cold facts. It’s painful, I know. However, look at it this way. Imagine you’ve just seen into the future. You see how things “could” end. Now, what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you?

Somehow, someway, you have to make sure that you keep that momentum in place throughout the year. You must stay consistent with your level of expectations for the students, for your performance as an educator, and for the culture you’ve created in the classroom. Simply doing this will keep a gain you a high level of respect from the students. With this comes respect and loyalty, as well as trust. You’re more than halfway there now!

Other ways to keep the focus on the students is to create a “What’s Happening” board. This of course can be called anything you’d like, but the focus is to capture student successes and learning. This can be achieved by posting high quality student work (keep an eye out for posting the same student’s papers time and time again), or out-of-the-ordinary student achievements. I would not say it this way to the students, but this may be reserved for those students who are below desired level, but makes substantial, but maybe intermittent, gains. This is for students who may struggle with concepts and not catch on to things as quickly as their peers. Celebrating these achievements in a public way creates a nurturing classroom culture that can be very motivating for all students. Finally, post pictures of students in the act of learning, doing a lab or an activity, ones that really capture the positive aspects you were requiring for that task. This is a motivator in and of itself. If students know they are only going to be showcased on the “What’s Happening” board by doing what they’re required to be doing, then you’re job has just become that much easier.

The suggestions above are what make teaching fun. Lesson planning, on the other hand, is not so much fun. Let’s face it. Teachers often times have to teach things they aren’t very interested in. Nonetheless, educators must look beyond a particular section or topic, and look at how to build a nice, solid foundation of knowledge for students. Skipping content does not achieve this. I suggest tapping into your resources to help you plan. The recent buzz word is Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs. These are learning environments within schools and districts that are designed to make teachers work smarter, not harder. Within these communities, teachers need to work together to create common items, be it activities, learning experiences, projects, quizzes or tests. Teachers do have to stop reinventing the wheel. This is such a time waster. Utilize your resources so that you can continue to make your plan A, along with your B and C. Last, but not least, two, three, or more heads are better than one, so put your heads together and create solid lessons to keep the level of learning high and the level of student disruptions low.

By incorporating these things into your daily or weekly routines, you’ll see  you’re not falling into the dark abyss most teachers find come the third or fourth month.  My final suggestion would be to print, or retype, and post the bulleted items I listed at the beginning of this post. Stick them in a location in the classroom that is highly visible to you. I would even suggest reading these over every Sunday night or Monday morning as you put your mind in focus for the week.

Let me know throughout this semester if you’ve found these ideas helpful. Good luck as you transition out of this honeymoon phase.

Have a Plan

So the first day of school is here! Do you have a plan … for everything? As a teacher, the one skill you can never under utilize is creating a plan for events that have not yet happened. Think of this as an extra level of planning that is just as important as planning the lessons for instruction themselves. Having a plan for what “might” happen will make your life so much easier when the need arise. What am I talking about? I’m referring to the following situations, of which most veteran teachers have experienced at some point in their teaching career:

  • What if the busses are late arriving to school in the A.M. or the P.M. and you have students straggling into your homeroom/first period or staying with you for an extended period of time in your last period?
  • What happens when your students receive textbooks 2 weeks late? Teaching still must happen. Are you prepared to teach without having a book for students to refer to?
  • How are students going to go to their locker? If you work in a newer school where the hallway width is minimal, including hundreds of lockers, every student will not be able to access their locker during the same change of class. Would designated locker times alleviate over crowding and tardiness? How would these locker times be assigned? By grade? By teams? By location in the building? By top locker/middle locker/bottom locker? How will this be conveyed to students? What penalty will be in place if students go at a time that is not theirs?
  • You have just gone over the procedure for walking to the next class/auditorium/gym/cafeteria. The time has come for students to transition, and students cannot go according to the procedure. Reason could be there are too many students in the hallway at some point along the path students were going to take; the procedure involved going outside, but now it’s raining; or it simply is not the most efficient route. What is your Plan B? Plan C? How will you communicate this to all individuals effected by this change, i.e. students, fellow teachers, and administrators?
  • What happens if there is a fire or inclement weather on the first day? (This HAS happened to me on the first day, in fact a fire and a tornado watch.) How will the emergency procedures be handled by the school, your grade, and your team?
  • What happens if a parent wishes to accompany their child on their first day of school and your administrative staff has permitted this? Are you prepared to have a parent visitor?

These situations are on top of the usual situations you have a plan for, such as

  • Where are students going to sit on the first day? I recommend not allowing them to sit where they want. Having a plan, whether it’s using number cards with matching number on the desk, a seat assignment displayed, or other random seating technique, it’s the first instance where students see that you are organized and one step ahead of them.
  • How will you pass out materials?
  • How will you collect materials?
  • How will students turn in assignments?
  • What will you do if students do not have the proper supplies, i.e. paper, pencil, or book?
  • If you allow students to borrow materials, what is your plan for administering the return of these items?
  • What will be your plan for students leaving and returning to your classroom?
  • Teaching students the importance of keeping their area, and entire classroom, clean and orderly starts on the first day. What activities do you want students to do on a per class period basis to ensure this happens? Will you reward students who do their part?
  • How will students move from one location to another? Will you require them to be in a straight line? (highly recommended) Will there be traffic pattern requirements, such as only walking on the right-side of the hallway or one-way hallways?
  • How will students have assigned tables/area at lunch? How will you collect students after lunch? I recommend lining them up and checking their area to insure cleanliness.
  • How will you dismiss students?

These are just a few questions to ask yourself and work out at least one plan before the first day students arrive. Plans can always be modified as needed, but it’s not best practices to keep changing plans simply because they do not work the first go around. Students will often see this as a sign of weakness and become the culprit in sabotaging your plans. Consult fellow teachers on your team, hallway, or school, as well as administrators to get assistance in creating solid plans that will create an environment that is structured and focused on learning.

First Days of School

I have here another version of a powerpoint that I have used the first couple of days of school to share with my students my classroom rules and expectations. With this presentation, I have students complete a “Get to Know You” activity.

FirstDaysofSchool

Helping Students Stay Organized

The following are two organizational tools that I have students create for my class. One is an overall semester binder. The letter attached is what I provide to my students to place inside their binder as their first sheet. This explains how to divide the binder into 5 sections and what belongs in each section. It follows a typical Explicit/Direct Lesson Plan (EDI format) of Do Now (Warm Up), Class Notes, Assignments, Quizzes/Tests, and Vocabulary/Standardized Test Practice. It usually takes about the first nine weeks before students are able to go on auto pilot on this procedure.

Binder Composition

It’s important to emphasize throughout the transitions during instruction where students should be in their binder. For instance, at the beginning of class students should be in the front of their binders for their warm up, or do now, problems. However, during your instruction you’ll want students to record notes from the lesson, so they will need to be in their “Notes” section within their binder. If students choose to have loose leaf paper out of their binder to do these activities that would be fine. Be sure that students have ample time at the end of class to place these papers in the appropriate sections to insure the organizational structure is maintained.

Within the Assignment section of the binder, I provide students an Assignment Log. This too has been included here, but in two different formats. This has evolved over the years at the request of my students. Initially I had intended for students to utilize this as a means of creating a table of contents to what was stored in the assignment section of their binder. This included the assignment number, date, description and points earned. Over time, students requested that they be allowed to record their other grades for projects, quizzes, tests and the like. I approved and thus modified this to be the Grade Log Sheet. By doing this students can calculate their overall grade in the class faster since I have always done a point system. Students kept a running sum of points earned and points possible. With each grade they were able to see the changes in their overall average for the class. In addition, they were able to see the impact not completing an assignment did on their average in the class. Providing students almost instant access to their grade will instill a sense of ownership and motivation to achieve on the next assignment, quiz, test or project.

Assignment Sheet2

GradeLogSheet1

The second organizational tool I have my students create is an Assignment Folder. This does not house all of the student’s assignments. That is what the assignment section of their binder is for. This is simply to house only the assignments associated with the particular unit we are studying. This could be the assignments that are practice for the up and coming quiz or test. I have had students keep a simple three-prong folder as a means of making it easier for students to transport their study materials from school to home and back. Taking home a binder and textbook home almost daily is quite a challenge, especially if your school does not allow backpacks.

FolderProcedure

Within this folder should be all of their practice problem from their assignments, with the corrected solutions to the ones they missed. For every question they got incorrect they were responsible for re-working the problem show how to arrive at the correct solution, the one I gave them in class. This put the responsibility on the students to some of the error analysis work in understanding, and correcting, their mistakes. I also encouraged students to create 5-10 question self-quizzes daily from this folder as a means of keeping their skills sharp. They were allowed to keep current notes in the pocket of their folder to help them in their studying, including any instructional aids such as foldables or content maps. It is important to remind students and provide sufficient time after each unit to place these items in the appropriate places within their binder. It’s one thing to say to stay organized a certain way, but if reminders and time in class to do so is not provided, chances are the binders and folders will become an ultimate failure.

I would pick up their folders for a folder check the day of the test or quiz. I would assess their completion of their assignments and corrections and assign points accordingly. Each assignment ranged from 5-10 points depending on their complexity and each unit had 4-8 assignments, so this could equate to hefty points if not completed.

In the world of math if students do not practice a variety of problems within each unit, they will not be proficient. With that said, if there is no plan for you as a teacher to assess student work, students probably won’t do it. Therefore, it’s important to have a plan and a procedure in place for students to be aware of in advance with regard to a folder grade. You as a teacher will see on a daily basis who did their assignments and who did not. You may agree that so long as students have all of the work completed, checked and corrected by the time the folders are collected you will take full credit in terms of the points for their grade. Others may keep track on a daily basis and assign a check, check minus and 0 in terms of completion per student and make the necessary phone calls  home to inform parents. Other consequences may be to keep students in from any free time they may have, including lunch in order for their work to be completed. Morning or after school tutoring sessions may be required as well. It’s important to understand that not every child will complete every question on ever assignment. As the teacher you need to determine where your procedure will be if it is not done to your specification and what time limit, if any, will you allow for it to be completed. Many administrators will not allow you to fail a child based on not completing homework, if he/she is passing test and quizzes with good marks. The goal is to assess what students know and are able to do. Homework is simply the formative assessments that take a snap shot of what the students know at particular intervals.

Classroom Procedure Posters

*These posters were created in Microsoft Publisher, but were then converted to .pdf format for uploading purposes. I would have like to have kept them in their original format for your editing purposes, but this format did not support that. Luckily these can be used as is by most if you agree with the procedures for your classroom.

The following are the procedures that I have had in my class for over 8 years. With any type of rules or procedures they can be modified to suit the students that you teach and the school you are at. However, I found that these were the guidelines that I needed in my classroom in order to function as a teacher. To put it bluntly, these are the requirements I must have in place to make me happy as a teacher. With the exception of minor changes in design and wording, these have been my procedures throughout 8 years of teaching which span across 3 distinctively different school environments. Simply put, they work!.

I spend the first three days going over these procedures and having students act out what they look like, as well as what they don’t look like. I also spend every opportunity the first few months reiterating them as the occasion arises. I repeat this in a review format when we come back from winter break and again after spring break. I have taught 7th & 8th grade students. They are mature and intelligent individuals, but without the review of my classroom expectations, they have a tendency to try to “rule the roost” so to speak. This is very much in line with the philosophy of Harry Wong. Here are a few sites that will give you information on Harry Wong and his effective teaching methods:

http://www.effectiveteaching.com/cart.php 

http://www.classroommanagement.com/

http://teachers.net/gazette/wong.html

I consider the following the top 5 classroom procedures that happen on a daily basis.

EnteringClassroom 

RaiseYourHand

SeatWork

GroupWork

EndOfClass

These procedures are need once and a while. I do go over these, but usually on day 2 or 3. Generally speaking you probably aren’t going to have an assembly the first day or two of school. If you do, your administration staff is just cruel. : ) In addition, incorporating these in with the major 5 procedures from above can be overload for your students.

Assembly

Attention

Substitutes

GoldenRule

Just a note:

I usually print these out on a color printer and offset each one on different color paper. I laminate them and place on a well-seen bulletin board in the classroom.

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