Classroom Procedures are a MUST!

Procedures are a part of life.  We follow procedures for eating in the cafeteria, getting off a bus, playing soccer, and attending a movie.  The reason we have procedures in life is so that people can function in society knowing the acceptable and efficient ways other people do things.

There are procedures in my classroom as well.  These procedures establish our classroom culture and allow us to function as a learning, cohesive group.

To help the students better remember these procedures, I have created a "Procedure Manual", which the student keep in their desk as all times.  This is our reading material the first two weeks of school  We practice each procedure, model it, act it out, and generally run through them constantly in those first 2 weeks.  Periodically throughout the year, we review this manual, so as to keep the procedures fresh in their minds.
It is my hope that by using this Classroom Procedure Manual, my students will become self-sufficient learners within the walls of my room.  I have used this manual for 17 years now (wait, I have been teaching 17 years????!!!) and find it invaluable to my classroom teaching.  It truly helps set the tone for my year.

I love it because the students always know what I am expecting of them.  There is never a guess as to when they can sharpen a pencil, or where they should turn in a paper.  It is all spelled out for them.  Also, if I notice that the procedures are getting a bit lax, we whip out the manual and review!
A classroom procedure manual is the perfect thing to give to the students the first day of school
I love being able to just turn to the page and review the procedures!
I really, honestly love this thing.  It is something that defines me as a teacher (I am a stickler for structure and routine.)  It could very well be the manual of my own teaching :)
Now, I have had this manual posted on my blog for years.  The only problem was that the book was filled with MY procedures.  And unless you are named Mrs. Moorman and do things *exactly* the way I do, this probably won't work for you.  No matter how much I want to believe that everyone should teach the way I do, I realize that these procedures really will not be 100% perfect for anyone but myself.   

So, what did I do?   I have made the words in this manual EDITABLE!   That is right!  Just click inside the text boxes and retype your own words to better match how you do things in your room.  To make things a bit easier, any time I have my name written, I bolded it in red.   This way, if you like my wording, you can keep that, but change my name!  You won’t miss it!

You can get this new, editable version here in my store.  But you can still access the free version here.  Either way, I sincerely believe this is something that every teacher should have in her classroom.  It is a lifesaver for me.
How do you make sure your students know and practice classroom procedures? 



30 comments

  1. I use a powerpoint to go over procedures and we practice a lot the first weeks of school. We also have them posted in the room. I really like the manual you have created. I would like to do that this year. I think it would be helpful for students to refer to throughout the year, especially when returning from breaks. It would also be great for new students. You have awesome ideas! I really enjoy reading your posts and look forward to trying some of your ideas this year.

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  2. During the first few weeks of school we act out both the correct way to line up, change classes, sharpen pencils, etc. and the wrong way. The students get a real kick out of being "the teacher" and correcting wrong behavior. It is often my most challenging students who really love playing the teacher role. ;) I make sure that everyone gets a chance to play both roles if they want.

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  3. In addition to discussing the way our classroom functions with my students, we also get into demonstrating what the correct way to follow our procedures looks like as well as the incorrect way - with a little humor mixed in! I have a "marble in the jar" system in my room and my fifth graders love hearing the sound of the marbles being placed in the jar when they follow directions. I have also have a few small "procedures posters" that I made up which are strategically placed around the room for reminders. Routines such as morning arrival, lining up and dismissal are posted for all to see. This handbook is a super idea - as usual!!

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  4. Lots of fun & quick practice.

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  5. I model and have students role play

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  6. Visuals!! Show them what I expect and have reminders up around the room of the correct way of doing things. :)

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  8. What a great idea! I usually make a slideshow that I go over with students, and we practice and review expectations all of the time. I have posters with 3-5 quick steps for different procedures that are clear and easy to remember. I like the idea of incorporating learning routines into the reading block the first few days of school, especially since some routines are learning how to read silently/with partners/whole class, etc!

    Thanks!
    Jenny
    jennyrynearsontpt@gmail.com

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  9. We practice and model and practice some more! Brainstorming ideas as a class, modeling what to do and what not to do, using lots of positive reinforcement and those who get it and making them re-over if they don't. Now I have a question for you guys... I'm moving to 3rd grade for the first time and I'm wondering if a manual like this would be beneficial for younger students. What do you guys think?

    Allison - salmonczar@gmail.com

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  10. This is my first year as a classroom teacher! This would be a great resource!! Thank you!! irbymd@gmail.com

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    1. I forgot to answer the question! I will be using the daily 5 procedures to introduce procedures for everything. I'm really excited and know that this consistency will be helpful in the long run.

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    2. You are the winner of the free Manual! Congratulations and check you email!

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  11. I use lots of visuals in the classroom and continually practice procedures throughout the year.

    Brittany
    b.h.england@gmail.com

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  12. I am at a new school this year. I will be learning many of the procedures with my students. I usually give a very dense one page two sided handout and a power point presentation. I like the idea of a booklet I can easily refer back to every time I get a new student.

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  13. I am going to be out due to surgery during the first week of school. I am totally devastated! Needless to say my principal is freaking out! This would be the perfect substitute in which I can use my own words and procedures and it also ensures that the sub in my room is instructing with MY procedures! I love this! Teacherramy@gmail.com

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  14. I use a procedures manual also, but I like yours much better...it's cute!!

    Melissa
    melissawood1@verizon.net

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  15. Create anchor charts and model and practice, model and practice.
    joann.johnson@robeson.k12.nc.us

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  16. Lots of modeling and lots of practice! jenneth.scharlach@bradfordchristianacademy.org

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  17. I'm a first year teacher, so I love getting ideas from others. I will be using a presentation to explain procedures as they come up, and maybe doing a few skits in our table groups! And of course, we will have our procedures posted around the room! We are using PAX for behavior modification, so that will have some play as well.
    ajoyce1291@gmail.com

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  18. I can't access the free version and would like to see it if possible!

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  20. We practice, practice, practice. After the beginning of the year they struggle with a procedure we model and do it again (lining up, getting materials, etc).

    Megan Cernuto
    mecernuto@yahoo.com

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  21. Students always get excited when they hear I only have 1 rule- Respect. Then I start introducing the procedures over the first week or so and we duscuss, model, and relate them to my rule. Your manual would be great to help introduce and reinforce those procedures.

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  22. Stephanie - Are your students very receptive to this in the beginning of the year? I could picture kids groaning at the thought of a whole booklet full of procedures or "rules." Yet, you've been using it successfully for so long! Is there a certain way that you present it to students that hooks them or do you think it's just in the nature of kids in the beginning of the year to be into this kind of thing?

    I've always thought your manual was a good idea, but this year it's a must for me. I'll be going on maternity leave just 2 weeks into the school year and I think this will help the kids and the sub stay on track with expectations at such a critical point in the year.

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    1. The kids actually never moan about it. They like to know just what is expected of them. And since I use this as my reading material for the first few weeks of school, they come to really view this as a useful tool.

      What they really like though, and I didn't write about it above, is that at the end of the year, I have them rewrite any of the procedures that have changed over the course of the year. They love to feel involved in the process of creating this manual.

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    2. Thanks for responding! And thanks for sharing such a great resource!

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  23. Do you have a picture of your "posted picture" of the fifteen second box clean up? I'm curious. Ltmanns@gmail.com

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