Posted on 08/19/2010 at 10:07 AM by Global Reach

It’s the beginning of the school year and you’ve had your students now for a few weeks already. You’ve probably done some getting-to-know-you activities, talked about your classroom rules, practiced lining up, etc. But do they really know all your expectations for routines?

The best thing I learned to do at the beginning of the year is to teach your students every procedure, rule, and expectation for the first few weeks.Not the first few days, but the first few weeks. Teach what you want! This is one of many APL strategies that many of you are familiar with. 

Think about how much time you take out of your teaching to deal with behaviors and/or rules during the school year. If you use the first few weeks to practice your expectations and routines, then I promise you that you will have fewer problems and more time to teach. 
It’s easy to tell your students what you want and assume they know how to line up at the door, sharpen pencils, etc. But you will have issues if you don’t teach it.

Here are some things that you should be teaching and practicing over and over:
- Lining up in the classroom
- Walking down the hall
- Sharpening pencils
- Sitting at their desk
- Handing papers out
- Washing hands
- Getting the teacher’s attention
- Raising their hand
- Voice (loudness or softness)
- Centers
- Lunchroom (don’t assume those lunch ladies to teach lunchroom)
- Library
- Recess

- If you introduce a new procedure, teach it. 
- I do, we do, you do.
- If you have a new student during the year, it’s a great time to review and teach again.
- After every extended break, review and teach routines again.

Emily Koson, special education consultant,

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