Classroom Routines and Procedures: Why Are They Important?

When was the last time you had a really great day in school? You know, when everything went according to plan, nothing felt rushed or stressful, there were no surprises? Those are my favorite days. But unfortunately, they’re not very common. That’s because schools don’t have enough routines and procedures in them to make for an enjoyable experience on most days. And without routine and procedure, it becomes impossible for teachers to keep things running smoothly–which is why I created this blog post about how important these two things are for classrooms!

 

What Are Classroom Routines?

The classroom is full of routines, which are similar to habits. Routines are defined as a way of doing something regularly. Examples include how students line up for lunch or recess, how they listen during a lecture on the board, and even where they sit in the room. Classrooms can quickly become chaotic if there is no routine in place and everyone does what is right in their own eyes.

 

Classroom routines help students feel more at ease with the daily activities of the classroom and give them a sense of knowing what to expect when they walk in the door each morning. Routines also provide a structure that can aid in keeping children on task throughout the day, and they give teachers control over their students.

 

Classroom procedures become especially important when students are transitioning from one activity to another, either within a classroom or between classrooms. For example, it is essential that there be a procedure in place for visitors entering the school building during class time.

Factors to Consider When Establishing Classroom Routines

Teachers should consider the following factors when putting together or updating their own routines:

1. Orderliness is paramount.

2. Keep things simple.

3. Be clear about the purpose of doing something.

4. Sufficient time to complete tasks.

5. Include students in planning and creating the routine.

6. Balancing freedom with structure.

7. Creating sustainable routines.

8. Be aware of transitions between activities/classrooms.

9. Routine changes should be thoughtfully planned.

10. Schedules should be flexible.

 

Ten Components of Classroom Routines and Procedures

 

Routine #1: The Entrance Routine

The first routine that all students will encounter is how they are expected to enter the classroom. This could include lining up at the door, raising their hand, or saying “hello” to the teacher upon entering. Students should also know where they are supposed to go upon entering the room. For example, are they supposed to sit at their desks or wait for further instructions? And finally, students should know what happens when there is an emergency in the school building.

Routine #2: The Classroom Management System

This includes procedures for everything from behavior management to how students are expected to pass in their homework. What will be the consequences of misbehavior? Will there be any rewards for good behavior? Also, what methods are used to keep students on task throughout the school day? For example, are students assigned seats, or do they have free choice?

Routine #3: Learning Environment

Every room is different and that includes the amount of noise, temperature, and light. The learning environment may need to be adjusted from time to time depending on how it affects students’ attention spans and productivity. For example, teachers might choose to add or remove visual aids when they interfere with students being able to focus in an otherwise well set-up classroom. Also, teachers should make sure that there is an outlet for any electrical devices being used.

Routine #4: Lunchroom Routine

What are the expectations when students are in the lunchroom? Does everyone need to stay seated until further notice? Or can they get up and visit with friends whenever they please? It might also be a good idea to have a seating chart for the lunchroom that students can refer to.

Routine #5: Classroom Supplies

It is not always possible to know how many students will be in class on any given day, so it is important to have a system for acquiring additional supplies when necessary. For example, the regular pencil sharpener may not be able to accommodate all of the pencils that students may use. It is important for this procedure to be on file somewhere so that it can be accessed when necessary.

Routine #6: Cleaning Procedures

Every class has a different cleaning routine, but it is often dependent upon the time of day. For example, if dirty dishes are left in the classroom after lunch, they should be collected and either washed or thrown out before the end of the day. Parents may also have strong opinions about when students are allowed to bring food into the school building.

Routine #7: Attendance Taking

There is nothing more frustrating for teachers than when students show up late. It not only interrupts the lesson being taught at the time, but it is also disruptive to any students who are trying to learn. So, teachers should have a system in place for taking attendance as quickly as possible without disrupting instruction.

Routine #8: School Administration

Teachers need to be aware of what forms are required by their school’s administration. If there is an official paper that needs to be filled out, teachers need to know who to talk to and what information should be included. Also, do students need to bring anything home with them at the end of the day? For example, are permission slips required or can they sign their own forms?

Routine #9: Classroom Management

It is important for teachers to decide how they want to manage the behavior of their students. For example, will they reinforce positive behaviors and ignore negative ones? Should all infractions be punished, or should it depend upon the severity of the offense? Does every student follow exactly the same rules regardless of age, ability, or personal preference?

Routine #10: Emergency Procedures

In case of an accident or fire, students need to know what they should do and where they should go. In the event of a lockdown or other emergency, teachers need to communicate with parents as quickly as possible. Also, it might be a good idea for teachers to have a protocol in place so that students who are not in their class still know where they should go.

People often believe that classroom routines and procedures are simple lists of what to do when, but there can be many variations depending on the grade level, teacher preference, and school guidelines.

What Are Classroom Procedures?

Classroom procedures are steps taken by teachers to maintain order in classrooms. They ensure students know what is expected of them and help to ensure that the teacher’s instructions are understood clearly. These guidelines vary depending on each school or teacher, but all have the same goal in mind: an orderly classroom conducive to learning.

Above all else, effective classroom procedures create a safe and comfortable learning environment, where students feel secure. Teachers must be clear with their expectations for students in their classrooms and should model appropriate behavior. Classroom management is different from classroom control, though both are important aspects of creating positive classroom climates.

Proper classroom procedures help to create a safe environment for students to learn in. By following these procedures every day, children begin to feel secure and behave well in their classrooms.

This is a list of ten components of classroom procedures.

1. Respectful language.

2. Respectful behaviors.

3. Appropriate uses of materials (no chewing on pens, or coloring outside the lines).

4. Time management (arrive to class on time, no talking during quiet time).

5. Sharing equipment (turn off cell phones, share pencils and paper).

6. Cleaning up (put away materials, throw away garbage).

7. Meet the teacher’s expectations for behavior and performance.

8. No touching other students’ belongings without permission.

9. Respectful interactions with peers.

10. Responding to questions with appropriate language.

Almost every component of classroom procedure has the same goal in mind: creating an orderly classroom conducive to learning. Classroom management is different from classroom control, though both are important aspects of creating positive classroom climates. Teaching children these guidelines will help them feel secure and behave well in their classrooms. By following these procedures every day, students will begin to feel comfortable and secure. This is essential for effective learning.

What Is the Importance of Classroom Routines and Procedures?

Below are some of the reasons why classroom routines and procedures are important for effective classroom management:

1. Routines provide security for the students who know what to expect each day.

2. Procedures give clear direction on how to accomplish an activity or complete a task.

3. They reduce wasted time searching for materials, placing things, or completing assignments.

4. If a teacher does not have procedures in place, students will not know when to start and stop working and will be confused and disorganized.

5. They eliminate confusion for students, especially new students, who are trying to figure out the class structure.

6. Routines reduce behavior problems in classes because there is no longer a gray area about what is allowed or expected.

7. Routines help students become organized and stay on task.

8. They help the teacher by making transitions easier, which makes it more likely for greater student independence to take place.

9. Procedures are especially helpful for substitute teachers who aren’t familiar with the class or subject matter being taught.

10. Routines allow new students to become familiar with the classroom and their expectations.

11. They reduce disruptions such as talking out of turn, sleeping in class, and chewing gum.

12. Procedures provide a consistent structure for the students to depend on.

13. They help prevent confusion about what is expected and what will happen if a student breaks a rule or procedure (i.e., removal from the classroom or loss of privileges).

14. They provide a guideline for students as to how long an assignment should take, which prevents students from being late with assignments and turning in work that is unfinished.

15. There is no guesswork involved for either teachers or students because they have a surefire way of knowing what needs to be done and how to do it.

16. Procedures help students get their assignments turned in on time and complete them without confusion or disruption.

17. They create a positive learning environment for students who have less independence at home or whose parents are not invested in their education.

18. Routines give the teacher boundaries so she can set limits for behavior and give students structure and predictability.

19. Procedures prevent “classroom hot spots” caused by sameness and boredom, such as the same behavior occurring every day at the end of class or before lunch.

20. They promote a sense of independence and empowerment in children who need this for their academic success and also to develop social responsibility.

Final Thoughts

The importance of classroom routines and procedures cannot be understated. They not only help with student behavior but also promote a sense of independence and empowerment in children who need it for academic success. If you’re looking to create an effective classroom management strategy that will work well for your students at any level, start by considering the ways that routines and procedures can improve things like organization, time management, discipline problems, or behavioral issues. Once you’ve identified what is important to focus on (which may take some trial-and-error) make sure to include these principles as part of your plan moving forward!