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How-To: Manage Your Classroom
How to Home
How To: Manage Your Classroom
NYC Helpline: Manage Your Classroom

Teaching a Rule or Routine James E. Dallas

Among the infinite concerns teachers juggle in their efforts to successfully operate a classroom are the decisions they face regarding the use and management of instructional time. In addition to managing paperwork and meeting the different needs of individual students, teachers must organize and teach many important rules and routines. It is vital that these rules and routines be taught from the moment students enter the classroom and reinforced throughout the school year. Before students can be expected to follow established rules and routines, teachers must model exactly what is required of them. It is strongly suggested that teachers give students a chance to practice the rules and routines until they begin to master them. Once classroom rules and routines have been learned, students are able to work purposefully and responsibly. Below is a framework for establishing rules and routines in the classroom:

  • Explain why the rule/routine is important

  • State your immediate objective - What will be learned today and how we will do it?

  • Explain the steps

  • Model the steps

  • Walk the students through them one step at a time

  • Have them practice with feedback from the teacher

  • Independent practice
To begin creating a climate of support and confidence, it is a good idea to take time on the very first day of school to develop classroom rules and routines with the students. Be careful not to have too many rules. Include the children in the process. Teachers should develop a reasonable sequence of consequences with students, and the class should agree on what will happen if rules and routines are not followed.

Involving the students, providing clear and simple guidelines, and conducting the routines with regularity and consistency will reduce the amount of time and energy the routines consume and make your classroom run much more smoothly.


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