Routines are a necessary and vital aspect of the classroom at all grade levels, but hold an especially impactful role during primary level grades. But how do you implement routines and rules that will set your students up for learning the right way, all year? Here are a few things to consider before you set the stage for your classroom’s routines.
When to Establish Classroom Learning Routines
Routines and rules are best established at the beginning of the school year. Expectations should be set and should always be clear and visible for the student to see. This helps with information retention and lays the groundwork for students that these routines and rules are an omnipresent and non-negotiable part of the classroom experience.
What to Include
Knowing what to include in your routines and rules isn’t one-size-fits-all, as each classroom will have different needs and need to emphasize certain things. However, it’s important to make your routines and rules informative, while also remaining positive. Students ultimately thrive in positive and encouraging environments, especially when order and structure are at the forefront.
How to Make Learning Routines Stick
Successful learning routines begin with you, the teacher. If you handle your day to day responsibilities in an organized manner and present that to your classroom, from taking attendance to starting and ending a class period, transitioning between subjects, handling interruptions and more, your students will pick up on this behavior. Students learn by example, so seeing you handle your responsibilities in accordance with the rules and routines you’re impressing upon them, they are more likely to follow suit.
At the end of the day, the most crucial components to implementing successful routines and rules within your classroom include clearly stating those expectations at the beginning of the year and keep repeating them until it seems to truly stick. In younger grades, teachers often choose to write such procedures on the board, or on a poster to aid students in the retention process. As students grow, they may not need the visuals, but verbal reminders will always come in handy when a particular piece of the puzzle seems to be consistently falling out of place. If you can manage the process of setting such standards in your classroom successfully, you are ultimately setting the students up to accomplish tasks more quickly and creating a classroom of responsible, proactive learners. You’re also helping instill time management and self-management skills that your students will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Once routines and expectations are known and internalized, higher-level learning takes place with ease, and just like that, you’ve cultivated a classroom of lifelong learners. That’s an amazing accomplishment.