Today I am linking up with Primary Possibilities with their linky called "Wednesday Wisdom". This week the theme is procedures. How do you make your classroom run smoothly?
I think it's very important to stress procedures on the first day of school. Don't assume your students know how to line up, which cafeteria door to enter or exit, how to walk in the hall, etc. Even though I am looping up with the same students next year, I still plan to re-teach the procedures at the beginning of the year.
Tip #1: Pick a method of lining students up. Time and time again I have seen people call a class to line up and it's chaos. I vary how I line students up. Sometimes I say "Number order" and students line up in their number order. Sometimes I call certain tables to line up. I like to vary it up just so the same person isn't in front each time since I don't have line leaders.
Tip #2: When calling students to the rug for a mini-lesson or read aloud, be selective in how you call them. Make sure they know your expectations for walking from their desk to the rug or again, it's chaos.
Tip #3: Practice, practice, practice. Every year on the first day of school, we practice everything from lining up to walking down the hall on the right side to walking in the cafeteria, pretending to get a lunch tray, sitting at our table, and exiting the cafeteria. It's better to let them know ahead of time what your expectations are.
Tip #4: Reinforce good behavior. When my class is walking in the hall or lining up at a certain place in the hall and I see/hear talking or playing, I look for someone who is doing what I want them to do and say, "I love the way that Johnny is facing the front and is quiet". The others will (typically) stop talking and do the same.