How to teach rules/procedures for 2+ weeks w/out the kids dying of boredom? ??

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    This has always bugged me. We (the newer teachers) hear all the time that our main focus should be rues and procedures for the first 2 weeks of school, minimum.

    I'll admit that my 1st year I didn't take the advice seriously enough, and in my 2nd year I got bored teaching R&P so I moved on. :eek:

    This year I'm determined to get it right. Can someone please tell me explicitly how you do this without going nuts? I have The First Six Weeks of School and Tools for Teaching already, I'll be re-reading them again soon.

    A "schedule" you might use would be particularly helpful.

    Also, how do you manage on teams where everyone teaches pretty much the same thing? At my school, my P likes the teams to "stay together" and have common assessments. How do I manage that?

    Interesting ideas of how to teach R&P might be neat too, I'll start :)
    • Put kid-questions on slips of paper and put them in a balloon. Pop a balloon once in awhile the first week. The questions might be, "what do I do if I need to use the bathroom?" "What if my pencil breaks?" "Will we have homework on the weekends?" Etc...I learned this from AtoZ last year but didn't use it :|
     
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  3. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Am I understanding this correctly...you are to teach only rules and procedures for the first two weeks, not any academic content?
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    No, it's not that you shouldn't teach *any* content, but that your *focus* should be on R&P. I agree it's a baffling concept, but I hear it so often I want to take it seriously this year. But I am so apprehensive I will bore the kids to tears.
     
  5. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Last year I took the procedures for my class and posed then as questions on a card. Then on another card was the answer. (I tried to make them funny.) I put the class into teams and they had to match the question and answer (which were on different colored paper). The goal was for them to be done the fastest. I also had the direction printed on the front and and told all teams to read it first. The trick was the last direction was to raise both hands in the air and shout procedures when they were done. It was great when a team was like "We're done, we're done." And I was like, "nope read the directions." :lol: I had a couple different sets and we did it a couple of times. I have the cards in a word doc if you're interested PM me you email and I'll send them your way.

    I'd also suggest making it into a game whenever possible. Let them earn points for game time or outside time. Each hour or day focus on a rule or procedure. When students follow it they earn points.

    You can also have them make signs or posters about the rules or create songs or chants. :D
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm sorry. I know it's what Harry Wong advocates, and he is the guru of all that is education.

    But I would have to slit my wrists if I focused for 2 weeks on procedures.

    I realize that most people give it more than the 10 minutes I give on the first day. And that I teach high school, not elementary. (Though I do have 2 kids still in elementary.)

    But TWO WEEKS??? At the end of 2 weeks of school, I'm giving my first math test and my kids have already had 3 quizzes.

    Yes, routines are important. But I'm not sure we're giving our kids enough credit if we think it takes ten full days of school to teach them how to adapt to our system.

    Think of all the material you could cover with even one of those weeks. The projects you could do, the extra tidbits of information you could impart here and there to make dry material more palatable. The differentiated instruction you would have time for.
     
  7. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Alice, I agree with you, but I think when you teach younger elem kids 2 weeks doesn't seem as long. I wonder what other people think?
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Pisces, you know I have nothing but respect for you and your professionalsim.

    But my daughter is entering 5th grade. She's been in school for most of her life. She knows the basics-- sitting in a seat, waiting to be called on, raising her hand. (Heck, Kira is entering 2nd grade and has all that down.)

    So, yes, spend a little time telling them how your room operates. And reinforce as necessary. But TWO WEEKS?? That's a LOT of time!
     
  9. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    I only see students once a week so my time with them to teach them music is truly at a premium.

    The last couple years I did it this way...
    Week 1 - discuss rules and rewards
    Week 2 - review rules, more about rewards
    Week 3 - review of rules, rewards, discuss consequences
    Week 4 - review of the first 3 weeks

    Procedures are thrown in as they come up and then ones missed are discussed. I do not spend the whole period of any class on the rules and stuff. Also I review rules and procedures pretty much all year long. I continually state expectations and remind students how things are done. :D

    Also, PBIS, which my school implemented last year focuses on the R & P for the first 3 days of school from the time students enter until they leave. To be honest doing it that way had no long term impact on the students following the rules and procedures. By the middle of the year we had just as many issues as the previous year. :2cents:
     
  10. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    My school implemented PBIS this year and we didn't see a huge difference either, to be honest.
     
  11. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I think you are misunderstanding- it isn't just rules and procedures all day all the time. It is a practice and review time during certain parts of the day.

    I have a lot of role play cards that I bring out- I select a few students and give them the card and have them act out the rule/procedure the right and wrong way. The kids love it. I have the class discuss each way, the similarities and differences, and how they would change the wrong way or how they could make the right way even better.

    We are teaching content the first full day here- I am testing by day 5 as well.
     
  12. Unbeknownst

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    I know this sounds bogus, like you're "wasting time," but the whole premise of spending time on procedures the first two weeks is to save time in the long run.

    Here's where the time goes: you not only tell the students what the procedures are, you show them how the procedures work.

    So instead of telling students you want them to pass their papers to the sides, you spend 10 minutes having students pass their papers in and out, having them doing it faster and faster each time.

    What this does is cut your transition times drastically. Your students pass their papers in in 10-15 seconds, while other classes take at least a minute. So in essence, you save 35-40 seconds every time you pass in papers for the remainder of the year.

    This time saving applies to all the procedures you teach. So, when you add up the seconds you save over the course of the year by thoroughly teaching how everything is done, you come out way ahead by the end of the year.

    Procedures to teach the first two weeks:

    How to enter room
    Make-up work
    Turning in papers
    Speaking
    Bellwork
    PAT (Preferred activity Time)
    Signal for getting attention
    Bathroom
    Coming in late
    Supplies ready
    Passing in papers
    Heading
    Fire Drill
    Transitions between activities
    Book Distribution
    Communicating with parents
    Handing back assignments
    Grading—recording grades, extra credit
    Housekeeping procedures
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Just because you are focusing on procedures and expectations for the first two weeks doesn't mean that you aren't doing anything else.

    I start with content on the first day of school, but I'm also hitting the procedures and expectations really, really hard. I do that for a good chunk of the first couple of weeks of school. During that time we're working on content, but I'm also really stressing HOW we work in the classroom.

    If I'm teaching the procedure for independent classwork, we have to be actually DOING some classwork. Simply telling students things without doing them does nothing but waste time. And giving them too much at once is bad, too.

    On the first day I teach my students how to enter the classroom. I also teach them my expectations for teacher-directed instruction since I do talk a lot the first day. They also learn the exit procedures. The next day we review entering and teacher directed instruction, and we add independent work. We review exit procedures.

    So, they're getting new procedures and expectations all along, and the others are reviewed. We're still covering content the entire time. While it's true that we spend a lot more time the first two weeks, we review all year, especially after vacations and long weekends, or at the end of the year when the kids lose their minds.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sorry.. I'm still in favor of slitting my wrists instead.

    And I think that spending time passing papers back and forth opens the door for disruptions and fooling around-- things I normally don't have to deal with that early in the school year.

    As we hit each new routine, I tell them how I want it done. They've been in school a long time; they get the idea behind passing up papers and putting theirs on top so they're in alphabetical order. The know that the signal for attention is a raised hand, and the rest.

    Again, not knocking those of you who have had success doing it that way, just making a definite point that, for my high school kids (and I'm fairly sure for my own 3 kids) it's an unnecessary drill, and liable to create more problems than it solves.
     
  15. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    There are ways to integrate as you're doing your daily routine. For instance, I take pictures of my students doing rules/procedures. During writing time, they can write about these things as we're learning writing procedures.

    I do Daily 5, so as we come back and meet as a group, I might take a brain break and review a routine or procedure.

    We get into content right away, but we review procedures a LOT. I teach in a multi-age setting. If we get it right, the rest of their year(s) in my classroom are smooth sailing (with occasional bumps) instead of always fighting.

    If I *only* taught procedures, I think I would pull my hair out.
     
  16. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    For me, I spend a large chunk of time the first few days of school going over my Procedures and Rules. I feel like I have to spend a bit more time than I would like because the 5th grade teachers at my school are VERY low on the whole classroom management front. Its unfortunate, but it is what it is (for the past 6 years!!!) so I have to deal with it.

    My class has to write down their Respect and Responsibility expectations on the first two days of school (it takes two days because it is lengthy and their hand would fall off if I did it all at once) and with each transition, I give my expectation for how it is to be done, and what will happen if it isn't done that way. I am very strict. My class generally hates the first few days because I don't let anything slide, but after a short time I have very few to NO issues.

    So I don't think I waste anytime, and each thing we do is a learning experience so that they know what I want and they can stay out of detention. There isn't the possibility for "I didn't know" or anything like that. Its definatley not a fun few days for them or me, but it is necessary. And its 2 maybe 3 days.
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Isn't that what everyone is talking about? :confused:
     
  18. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I think her point was it shouldn't take two weeks to get it across.
     
  19. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I'm glad people don't think I was referring to teaching R&P all day every day for 2 weeks. That's not what I was getting at. I'm just wondering how you teach/review without needing to slit your wrists.

    Sounds like everyone teaches things as they come up. Do you ignore the eye rolls you inevitably get when you practice something like lining up over and over again?
     
  20. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I think we're talking apples and oranges here - elem kids and HS kids - maybe I should have posted this in the Elem board. I'm not trying to start a debate :)
     
  21. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    I spend the first two weeks (more or less depending on the year) really focusing on doing as many procedures as I can during "real time". I don't say, "Here is how we get pencils." if we really don't need to use them. During student teaching, my cooperating teacher just threw everything out at once without any context, and it was a constant state of confusion because the students couldn't remember every last detail all the time.

    During those two weeks, every time there is an instance where the students will be doing one of my procedures, I do the following: I model how I want it done, have students give examples of how to do it properly, and then we do it. Once they get it down during those two weeks, I can completely eliminate the modeling and example part and we can just do it.

    It's not a matter of students not being capable enough to do it. I have a whole class of students who came from three different teachers. I have a way that I want things done, and those first few weeks of school are my time to "condition" them to my methods. It really doesn't take that much time. Just an extra few minutes here and there to model, example, and do.
     
  22. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    The First Six Weeks of School has several schedules written out, for different age groups. It is for elementary kids. If I remember (I'm out of town) there are six-week schedules for K-2, 3-5. Look in there, it might help!
     
  23. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Wanted to add: the Responsive Classroom book (First Six Weeks) also teaches community - kids feel safer and more comfortable when they know the rules and procedures.
     
  24. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Maybe my perspective is different, as a first grade teacher, but I see things differently.

    Although I do complete the Kindergarten Inventory (review - Storytown), Math Readiness and Calendar Math Beginning of the Year Assessment, and All about Me activities (including name, phone number, and address), I DO concentrate on R & P the first two weeks. This is the first time my kiddos have been in a "regular" classroom. We don't have a play or kitchen center. We don't have nap time. We do share supplies and use desks and chairs (my P insists - no tables). We follow a very STRICT daily schedule (120 minute reading block - inviolate).

    My little angels have to be taught everything from bathroom expectations (we have one in our classroom, so that includes keeping it quiet/clean/quick) to how to get my attention to replacing pencils (I sharpen them all), how to get a tissue, where things are, standing/walking in line... heck, my babies have to be taught everything, lol!

    If I didn't (and I didn't the first year) spend all of that time on rules and procedures, I would have he** to pay the rest of the year, lol! And it definitely DOES make things much more efficient the rest of the year.
     
  25. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Totally apples and oranges. HS and Elem... they don't compare!
     
  26. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Great points. I also found that in the last 6 weeks of school the kids seemed to "forget" how to do things. We reviewed some of the procedures and managed to get through the end of the school year!
     
  27. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I have 2nd graders and I STILL have to teach these things for them every year! The majority of my class does not know their phone number = ( *sad* but, it's more than likely because they are moving so much or their parent's phone gets turned off because they can't pay the bill...

    What about creating scenerios for each rule/procedure? You could read one then whomever gets the outcome correct gets to read the next one and so forth?
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    When I give the first test two weeks in, I tell them to hand in the tests when they're done and take out something else. We don't practice, I don't drill. I handle each routine as it comes along.

    My concentration the first 2 weeks, and all the weeks, is content. The procedures, aside from fire drills, are incindental.
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The OP teaches 5th grade. I've never taught kids that young, but I have taught 7th graders.

    I'm not so sure the differences are all that stark.

    In any event, I've made my point. Best wishes Pisces, as you figure out what will work for you.
     
  30. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    :toofunny: That made me laugh out loud Aliceacc!
     
  31. SunnyReader

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    I am on the fence with this one. As an elementary teacher I do spend a lot of time on R and P. However, at the end of the first 2 weeks, I have tests scheduled and do need them to be prepared. As kids get older, you can spend less time on this.

    This year I am moving to 3rd grade special ed, and I have a feeling I will need to spend more time on it. But 2 weeks!?!?! That is a crazy amount of time. I do revist my rules throughout the year, but it does not take that much time.
     
  32. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I give a week of detention for eye rolling, that is one of the first things I go over. Like I said... strict. And no, I've never had a parent complaint. A friend told me it must be because my students are afraid to tell on me because any other teacher would have complaints. We all get along great... In October.
     
  33. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I spend at least two weeks working on procedures, but it isn't all I do. I introduce all the procedures mentioned in an earlier post in order of need (bathrooms, washing up, and sitting on the carpet are immediate needs...using crayons and independent work, not so much). I break it up by introducing math manipulatives or doing a math game as a whole group for math time, browsing books during reading time, a trip to the playground to review expectations and then practice with some free time. I slowly evolve these "practice" sessions into my math and literacy centers and whole group lessons. I don't think of it so much as R&P as I make sure that I have introduced something explicitly and with practice before allowing them to use it independently.
     
  34. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Many of my students have little to no socialization (i.e., normal tone of voice is a yell, way to get something? snatch it, eat with mouth wide open and as full as you can get it, etc.), so I include all of that in with my r & p, as well. like dizzykates, I also include introducing centers and "rotations."
     
  35. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Pisces - Jones (Tools) advocates "teaching" R&Rs. He also suggests you are not teaching anything the students don't already know. What you are really doing is signaling your commitment by investing instructional time teaching R&Rs. This is what the students read - your commitment - not the particular rule. Of course they "Geez!", "Oh, this is baby stuff!", "We already know this!" etc. Don't fall for it. It's all back talk. Students hope (especially the high rollers) a few childish antics will make teacher give up and switch to their agenda. If teacher does a quick and sloppy job or seems in a hurry students will perceive R&Rs are not that important.

    Consider: What's the first rule/routine you will need to teach? If you follow Jones' method of greeting students, learning names, giving them something to do (bell work) you will have "taught" your first rules and routines without having to stop instruction.

    The time to teach line-up is in the classroom before kids go to recess. This should be a lesson presented as carefully as any academic lesson - from set to modeling to guided practice to closure. How many times? Expect about three with a good class maybe five or more with goof offs. Why so many? Because many teachers give up after two or three and kids are used to waiting you out. However, if you are not prepared to follow through until they get it right best to can this rule to begin with. Again, expect eyeballs and whining. Keep teaching as if this is the most important lesson of the year. Anything less and they will sense you don't really mean it.
     
  36. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I teach juniors and seniors, but ...
    no, you don't ignore the eye rolls. That is a teaching moment, too.
     
  37. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    Same here. Content is taught on the very first day. Common assessments are expected to be given by day five. I teach R&P as well, but I throw in games and reviews. Two solid weeks of R&P would drive me insane. By the time the kids get to me they know the basics about school in general, so I spend the first few days laying out my specific R&P.
     
  38. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    I would say that I spend time the first two days of school going through my expectations packet (maybe 30 minutes each day). This packet has all of my classroom rules and expectations. I play one review game with cards taped to the bottom of their desks. "I need help with my math. What should I do?" Students read the card and model the correct response. After that, it's all about in the moment modeling and correction.

    Before you do something, ask students how they are expected to complete the task. Then, if they don't follow expectations, discuss what needs to be fixed and have them try it again. And again and again until it's right. Don't give or budge on any expectation you have at the start of school. If they see it's not important enough to follow now, they'll never meet the expectation the rest of the school year.
     
  39. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Luckily for me, the Lang Arts program that we use provides me the necessary time to do this. The normal program is 2 and 1/2 hours daily, but the Back to School section used the first week (Wed-Fri) doesn't take that long. So the first week I have time to go over my R&P, an All About Me project which includes a writing sample, and anything else.

    I get all of this done while staying on the Pacing Guide. I also have a quiz on my website that every student must take before a certain date that goes over my expectations and procedures.
     
  40. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Oooh! I would be in trouble in your class! :p

    Don't throw things at me, but even when I taught Kinder I did not find it necessary to spend that much time on routines. First day I go over expectations, model behaviors and if for example, we can't walk in line quietly, yes, we "practice" walking in line. This is what you do when you walk in the door-folder goes here, backpack here and that's it. I may have to remind them, but they usually aim to please. I start teaching content from day one-I have to, so much to go over. I've never been a big fan of Wong's book (I know, sacrilege :blush:). Bottom line is do what your kids need. If you have a tough group, you may have to spend more time. I believe if you make your expectations clear from the beginning-this is the way I want things done-things will go smoothly. Hey, that's one benefit of looping with your kids-you don't have to retrain them from someone else's expectations! ;)

    Our campus still hasn't gotten used to common assessments. Every grade level does it differently. Personally I like to have my assessment before I start teaching those objectives to be assessed-hard to do when you are waiting for others to chime in. We've tried everyone take part to come up with the questions-not everyone contributed (or handed in a hand-written questions, which means someone has to retype them). We would have to meet regularly to decide what was going to be tested. We also have 2 bilingual classes on each grade level which means things sometimes get lost in the translation-their phonics skills are much different. It's something I think you will have to work out with your team.
     
  41. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Ya, I would have been in a world of hurt in my own class, but I'm very big on Respect and Responsibility.
     

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