How to create effective classroom routines can be easier than you think. You’ve heard “work smarter not harder,” but what does that mean in your classroom? I learned quickly to let go of my Enneagram 1 behaviors in the classroom and pick my battles. Yes, it is YOUR classroom, but all 20+ kids are not going to conform to your idiosyncrasy ways. So you have to pick what matters the most to you?
Routines for Classroom Management
I wanted dimmed lights and spa music playing in the mornings when they walked through the door. I greeted each student quietly and set the tone for the room. They quickly learned to come in quietly, put their stuff away and begin their morning work. This did not happen after day one. It took practice and consistency! Consistency is the Key! Children need you to be predictable, so they can be productive.
Daily Classroom Routines
I never left the school building without writing the morning work on the board. I always knew if I was absent or late, they would at least see my handwriting on the board and think I was there. It may seem silly but it works! Plus I was calmer that morning because I had time to prepare anything needed for that day.
Meaningful Classroom Procedures and Routines
Now our entire day is not set up like this, but the early morning is more serene to set the tone. I firmly believe in letting them talk – to each other and to me. I’ll admit there are plenty of days at recess when I tell them to run it out or go find a friend, that I need a few minutes alone! More often, I would pull a few of them over to the picnic table and let them talk about whatever is on their minds! It was always mind-blowing what these kiddos are going through at 7-8 years old! They need someone to listen and gently ask questions.
Predictable Classroom Routines
Make every day as predictable and routine as you can. I used painter’s tape or dry erase tape to section off my whiteboards. I had a weekly calendar that would announce where we went for rotation and if we had any special events that week. This was magical! Everyone could glance up and see what they were expected to do daily. I always have the day’s activities listed out and even included times if it was off schedule. Students love being in the know! This also held me accountable when tie would get away from me, there was always someone keeping up with where we were supposed to be!
Finally, Organization is KING! I cannot express how much smoother the day runs when all supplies and materials needed can be located at a moment’s notice! Praise Maria Kondo, Home Edit, and every other organizational vice out there! I am not scared to spend a few dollars if it will organize my life! I wrote an entire post about how much I LOVE an organized classroom!
Creating effective classroom routines can be as simple as dimming the morning lights and playing soft music or displaying on the whiteboard a weeks worth of activities. Routines are meant to make your life easier, not put more work on your already overflowing workload! What will you implement in your classroom?