posted by: Jill
| September 03, 2010, 02:23 PM
Classroom procedures are basically sacrosanct in my classroom; I cannot run it without them. In fact, one of my favorite aspects of the new school year is sitting down to assess my classroom procedures.
I question, “What worked last year?” “What didn’t work out?” “What did other teachers do well?’ “What should I avoid?” And the overarching question is always “How do I want my classroom to run?” Like clockwork.
To me, the ideal classroom has a productive hum to it, like a beloved luxury sedan. From that vision, I base my classroom procedures. Realistically it’s not perfect, but it works well for me, and more importantly for the students.
My favorite procedure in the classroom I stole from Mrs. L— the hand-raising procedure. It was genius to me. It’s a straight arm in the air with one, two, three, four or five fingers extended. Each one represented something that a student needed:
Some teachers have said to me “it’s too much to remember” or “the kids will never follow through.” All I can say that it works for me. We practice at the beginning of the year (a lot). The students learn it and they use it. I even quiz them throughout the year about what each finger represents. Is it perfect? No. But it certainly saves a conversation from ensuing while I’m instructing.
- 1 finger — I have a question
- 2 fingers — I’d like to use the restroom
- 3 fingers — I’d like to sharpen my pencil
- 4 fingers — I’d like a drink of water
- 5 fingers — I have a comment
If you like this idea, use it. If you like it but want to tweak it, be my guest. (Let us know about how you changed it by posting a comment here on the blog).
If you want to come up with your own classroom procedures, ask yourself: “How do I want my classroom to run?”
From there create your procedures from what you envision. And remember, it won’t run perfectly (we’re dealing with imperfect humans), but with a few tweaks you’ll soon have your procedures running your students instead of the students running you.