January 2017

Classroom routines and procedures that are well defined, taught, displayed, and referred to frequently are necessary at all grade levels (Leinhardt, Weidman, & Hammond, 1987). Not to be confused with classroom rules, routines and procedures are flexible and proactive. When teachers integrate clear structures, research shows an enhancement in student learning (Soar & Soar, 1979). As students are taught and become increasingly familiar with classroom routines, procedures, and expectations, they are able to "predict the events throughout their school day, they are more likely to be engaged and less likely to display problem behavior"(Kern & Clemens, 2007).  

READY to implement specific or new routines and procedures for next term? Start with understanding how they are defined, what they entail, and how to make them most effective:
» Procedures are a method or process for how things are done within the classroom.
» Routines and procedures are patterns for accomplishing classroom tasks.
» Routines and procedures provide students with a clear understanding of how to be a successful student within the classroom and meet the teacher's expectations.
» Effective procedures consist of a sequential list of each step required to complete the task.
»Consistently link routines and procedures to classroom rules and expectations to help students identify positive outcomes for compliance.
(Scott, 2016)
SET with your foundation, you are now ready to begin designing your efficiently running classroom! When planning, consider these steps and questions:

» What are current problem areas or times in your classroom?
» Make a list of procedures that would create predictability and structure in your classroom.
» For each procedure or routine, determine your desired outcome.
» Write each step (no matter how big or small) that students would need to do in order to complete the procedure accurately.
» Are your procedures observable, measurable, positively stated, understandable, and always applicable?
» Have you posted visuals to remind students of procedural steps?
» Allocate time in your lesson planning to teach, practice, review, and acknowledge each routine or procedure.
» Have you thought of all of the possible errors students tend to make before, during, or after an activity? Have you addressed each error with a clear step to prevent future mistakes?

(Wong & Wong, 2014)

GO forth and organize! For more ideas, advanced tier interventions, or just to see what others suggest, refer to these additional resources:

» Your TTAC lending library for books and DVDs, including:
- The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher (4th ed., 2005) by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong; Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications.
- CHAMPS: A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Management (2nd edition, 2009) by Randy Sprick; Eugene, OR: Pacific Northwest Publishing.

» Kern, L., & Clemens, N.H. (2007). Antecedent strategies to promote appropriate classroom behavior. Psychology in the Schools, 441(1), 65-75.

» Leinhardt, G., Weidman, C., & Hammond, K.M. (1987). Introduction and integration of classroom routines by expert teachers. Curriculum Inquiry, 17(2), 135-176.

» Scott, T. (2016). Teaching behavior: Managing classrooms through effective instruction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

» Soar, R., & Soar, R. (1979). Emotional climate and management. In P.L. Peterson & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Research on Teaching. Berkeley, CA: McCutchan.

» Wong, H.K., & Wong, R.T. (2014). The classroom management book. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications.

This news brief is a collaborative effort of the Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Centers at George Mason University and James Madison University. This issue was prepared by the staff of the VDOE TTAC at James Madison University. For questions about content, please contact Gina Martin, Ian Linden, or Cherish Skinker, Kendal Swartzentruber  or call 540.568.6746.