I am a firm believer that the first days of school are the most critical for establishing a well-run classroom. It's very important to take the time during the first week to establish the procedures and have students understand the reasoning behind each procedure. The more time you spend practicing the procedures in the first few days, the less time you'll have to spend later.

These are some of the procedures that I review with my students. Keep in mind that some take longer to establish as routine.

Procedure Additional Information
Introduce Yourself

I tell my class how long I've been teaching, where I went to college and a little about my family. I'm a twin, so I always share that I'm a twin and they're usually very impressed with that (lol).
Introduce adults that will be working in the classroom I have had para-professionals that works one-on-one with my students. If you have another adult with you, make sure to introduce this person to the class so they know who they are and why they're in your room each day.

I have also had several student teachers and pre-student teachers work with me. I always introduce them and explain that they're college students that are either about to become teachers (student teacher) or are still taking classes to become a teacher (pre-student teacher).

Introduce class pet(s)

I have a tortoise named Esio Trot and I introduce him to the class. I tell them that there are rules about him that I'll explain later. They usually really enjoy meeting him for the first time!
Explain classroom expectations

I tell my class the four expectations that we have (Be Safe, Be Respectful, Work Hard and Take Responsibility). I give them a challenge to "stump me" by thinking of a rule that can't fit into one of the four expectations (it's impossible).
Active Listening Positions I tell my students that when we are ready to transition from one activity to another, I will use a code phrase that only they know what it means (they love this). I tell them that our code is "Active Listening Positions." When I call this, they are expected to stop what they're doing, put away anything that they're working on, clean their floors and sit with their backs straight and arms folded in front of them with their eyes on me. If they're out of their seats, they are to come back to their seats and get ready.

We practice this several times. I have them talk for a few minutes at their seats and then I call for Active Listening Positions. I also have them go to different spots in the room and after a few seconds call it again. 

Pushing in their chairs This takes a few weeks to get perfected. I explain that every time they get out of their seat FOR ANY REASON, they must push in their chair. If someone at their table doesn't push in their chair, someone else needs to push it in for them. This helps keep everyone safe.
Class Schedule

I give each child a handout of the daily schedule and we review. I also show them that the schedule on the board is the same as the one they have in front of them. This way they know that they just need to look at the board to know what's coming next.
Morning Work

I explain that when they come in each morning there will be work for them to complete SILENTLY. I show them where the morning work tray is. I also tell them to check the board each morning for announcements regarding morning work.
Turning in Completed Work and Notes

I have a portable filing crate with a hanging folder for each child. They are to put all completed work into their file.

If they have a note from home or money they need to give it to me directly and not put it in their file.

Water Bottles Students are told that they can bring a water bottle to school each day and have it on their desk. If I see the bottle being played with, it'll be sent home.

Having water bottles eliminates frequent trips to the water fountain and ensures proper hydration. The more hydrated, the better we learn!

Morning Procedures

I have a poster that tells students step-by-step what they should do when they arrive.
Recess Rules Students are not allowed to touch another student for ANY reason. Students will come and line up the first time I blow my whistle. There's no excuse for coming in late from recess. If a student comes in late for recess, they will lose part of their recess for the following day. If they are late twice in a row, they will lose their entire recess for a week.
Computer Use

Each child has a scheduled time for using the four computers. Students can only use the computers on their assigned day, unless someone gives up their time to them or if it's to take an AR test.

I tell them how to turn on/turn off the computers correctly, and how to take an AR test (Blue pencil or Yellow pencil).

Mailboxes

I show students where their mailboxes are located. I explain that all papers that are to go home are put into their mailbox. Students are expected to empty their mailbox every day!
Jobs

I show the class where the job board is located. I explain each job and the expectations that go with each job. For the first week I assign jobs myself, but after the first week students are allowed to select jobs.
Essential 55

I explain that each week we'll be focusing on a different expectation from the Essential 55 list. I tell students that the Essential 55 teach us to be better people.
Homework Policy

Students are told that there will be homework Monday-Thursday but never homework that's assigned as homework on Friday. Any work that's not completed in class is homework. This is in addition to the homework that's assigned as homework.

Each Monday, the homework for the week is written on the board. The homework is also put in the newsletter each week.

All homework assignments for the week are  also posted on my Blackboard page. I scan the homework and upload it to my Bb page so if a child forgets their homework, the parents can just print it from my Bb.

Homeworkopoly

 

Homeworkopoly is a great way to reward students for doing their homework each week. We play every Friday and everyone that completes and turns in their homework on time for the entire week can play. They may land on Chance, Community Lunchbox, or Mystery Prize. There's also a "Free Homework" spot. The kids love to play and it's a great incentive to turn in work!
Agendas

Each child is encouraged to purchase an agenda to use for the year. The agendas are usually no more than $5 each and are ordered in April/May of the previous year (because we start at the beginning of July).

Each day students are expected to write their homework in their agenda as well as anything else that they need to know ( Upcoming tests, field trips, school events).

Materials We discuss what materials will be needed each day. Students need to have pencils, colored pens, markers, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, scissors, highlighters and several folders and notebooks.
Expected Behavior During:

Assemblies

Students are told that when we go to an assembly, they are to be on their best behavior. They do not need to talk and try to get the attention of their friends in other classes. Students are expected to sit on their pockets and remain silent.
Expected Behavior During:

Field Trips

Students are to sit facing forward ONLY in their seats. Talking should remain at the indoor level (no shouting). At all times they must be sitting down and when we leave the bus students are to thank the driver.

While at the field trip students are to represent themselves as best as they can. If there are behavior problems, parents will be contacted as soon as we return to school.

Expected Behavior During:

Lessons

While I am teaching students are to remain in their seats. The only reason to get out of their seat is to get a tissue. Students are expected to sit up in their seats and pay attention.
Expected Behavior When:

Another adult enters the room

If another adult enters the room to speak to me, all students are expected to sit silently and patiently while I talk to the adult. I should not have to correct anyone's behavior while addressing the needs of another adult.
Expected Behavior When:

We have a substitute teacher

I will try my best to be in school every day. However, there are times when personal things happen or I get sick. If I am not able to come to work, there will be a substitute teacher. All students are expected to treat the sub as they treat me. I will address any issues/problems that happened with the substitute when I return.
Ways to give feedback Students can either nod their heads to show that they understand, or raise a hand to ask a question.

As a teacher it's very important that I know if my students understand what I'm teaching them or not.

Leaving and entering the classroom All students MUST ask permission to leave the room. When leaving/entering the room please be silent and respectful of the rest of the class that's working hard.
Using the bathroom

 

We will take bathroom breaks as a class four times each day. Before and after special, before lunch and after lunch recess. It's important to use the bathroom during these assigned times. If you have to use the bathroom at another time, please ask permission and if it's a good time, take the bathroom pass.

I tell my students that if they see that the pass is missing, that means someone is already out and they'll have to wait until that person returns.

Bathroom trips will not be allowed before/after a group trip has taken place.

I also have a classroom sign out where the kids log when they leave, where they went, and when they return. It's a great way to keep track of anyone who is leaving the room multiple times a day.

Fire and Tornado Drills

I review the expectations for how to handle ourselves during a fire drill and tornado drill.

I have a clipboard with a class list at the door. The first person to the door is asked to grab the clipboard and take it outside (during a fire drill). Students are reminded that there is no talking and once we reach our spot, we face AWAY from the school. When it's clear to return, we will remain silent and return back into the school.

Consequences

Each child has a frog cutout with their name on it that is on the board (for the first week of school). There are four pockets on the board as well and they're labeled "Hop 1, Hop 2, Hop 3 and Hop 4." If a student breaks one of our four rules I will given them a verbal warning first. If the behavior continues they will move their frog into the first pocket and so on.

Hop 1- Warning

Hop 2- Note to Parents

Hop 3- Call Parents (Student calls)

Hop 4- Principal's Office

Rewards We have MANY rewards in our classroom!
  • Cooperative Groups

Students can select their seats/groups and they come up with a name and a captain. Each group then works together to earn table points. The group with the most points by Friday is invited to come back to the room for lunch with me. After lunch on Friday, all points are erased and we start over.
  • Chance Tickets/Raffle

Each person is encouraged to always do the right thing. When someone is "caught" doing the right thing, I pass out a chance ticket. Students put their names on the back of the ticket and then put them into the chance bucket. Each Friday I pull names and those students get to pick from our prize box.
  • Earning Tickets

The number of tickets that I pull each Friday comes from the behavior of the WHOLE class. They earn tally marks through the week and on Friday, the number of tally marks represents the number of chance tickets that I'll pull. If there aren't any tally marks, there will not be a chance raffle for that week.

At the end of the week the tally marks are erased and we start over.

Each student is only allowed ONE pick. Once they've picked I rip up their ticket. If I pull another ticket, I call it but return it to the bucket. The more tickets, the more often their name will be called and the better the odds they have of getting to pick a prize!

At the end of the month the class will vote on the person that they felt was the most exemplary. Students can only be the Rock Star of the Month once. Those that are voted as Rock Stars receive a bunch of rock star swag: a rock star necklace, a pencil, a bunch of stickers, a rock star rubber duck, a rock star zipper pull, a rubber key chain, a book mark, and their name and picture on my website!
  • Brag Notes
When I see someone doing a fantastic job and having a great week, I will send home a "Brag Note" to their parents.
  • Warm Fuzzies

Students can write each other a "Warm Fuzzy" for behavior that made them feel warm and fuzzy. It's a way of thanking someone for doing something extra nice. Not every warm fuzzy note will have a fuzzy attached, but many will. Students can wear their warm fuzzies on their shirts or pin them to their backpacks.

It should be an honor to receive a warm fuzzy. Students should not give away their warm fuzzies.

Everyone has their own bucket and each week we will spend time "filling" each other's buckets. Students can write notes to fill buckets. On Friday we empty the buckets and students are given the notes written to them during the week.
  • Mail Call

Throughout the week students are allowed to write each other notes and put them into our classroom mailbox. The notes can only be written when work is completed and notes WILL be read by me. I reserve the right to throw a note away if it's not appropriate.

Each Friday we have "Mail Call" and I empty the mailbox. I call the name of the person receiving mail and the class responds, "You've Got Mail!"

  • Teacher of the Day

 

The teacher of the day is the HIGHEST honor I can bestow upon my students. When I feel they're ready as a class, I will select someone to be Teacher of the Day. They will wear a big badge that identifies them as the Teacher of the Day.

Teacher of the day will lead the class through the halls, while I stay at the back of the line. They are also able to give table points and can add tickets to the board. They are also allowed to pass out chance tickets.

At the end of the day, the Teacher of the Day will select the next person to be Teacher of the Day for the following school day.

Lining up

While waiting for another class

Waiting for everyone to come into the hall

Perfect 10 outside-- ready to enter the building!

When students line up, they're expected to be silent. Students should have their hands at their sides and should be facing forward. Each person should be lined up directly behind the person in front of them.

I will give a "rank" to each line. A 0 line means it's awful. Students strive to earn a 10.

Clean Desks Students are expected to have clean desks at all times. I will do random desk checks and write the names of all students that need to clean their desks. I will also hand out chance tickets to all students with clean desks.
Borrowing a book from the classroom library I have a book borrowing form that needs to be filled out before a student can borrow a book. When the student is returning the book, they need to bring the book to me and WATCH me rip up their form. This is the only way for the student to know that I no longer think they have my book.
Reading Groups When students are in groups the rest of the class is expected to work silently and ON TASK.
Reading Response Journals

Journals are due each week. Students are expected to have at least ONE letter to me in their journal each week. Student are expected to respond to all questions that I ask in their letters to me.

Each day of the week has a different color journal due. (Monday= Yellow, Tuesday= Purple, Wednesday= Blue, Thursday= Red and Friday= Green).

Writing Conferences

 

I have a stuffed frog that I use as a signal to students saying that they can or cannot talk to me.

If I am conferencing with someone they will see the frog and they cannot interrupt the conference. When the conference is over, they can come and ask questions.

Each child will have a conference time assigned. Students will bring all writing materials with them to their conference (all written pieces).

Read Aloud I will read aloud each day after lunch recess. Students are expected to sit quietly while I read. Students are not to talk, read, draw, write or do anything else while I'm reading.
Frog-Tastic Students

I explain the Frog-Tastic Students program and pass out the packets. I tell students that if they want to test on an item they need to sign up. I will call those on the sign up sheet randomly. If they're not ready when I call them, I skip them and go to the next name.

I also explain how the Frog-Tastic Students Hall of Fame works.

End of the Day

I've made a poster that tells exactly what should be completed before everyone leaves to go home. They should write in their agendas, put any unfinished work in their agenda so they can complete it at home, clean up their desks AND floors, empty their mailboxes and put all papers in their backpacks, put up their chairs, and make sure that they have the homework (and book if needed) for the night BEFORE leaving the room.

 

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