How to you first discuss your classroom procedures in middle school?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by perplexed, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. perplexed

    perplexed Comrade

    Jun 3, 2012
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    Sep 2, 2012

    I don't know why, but being at a new school makes me feel like I'm starting all over again, like it's my first year teaching. I just started becoming nervous this afternoon, I have no idea what to expect of the students, and I want to make sure everything goes smoothy on the first day. It sounds like it's going to be a tough group of students, but I'm not sure how different it'll be from what I just came from. I'm afraid I'm being naive, so then I suddenly became nervous.Over the last three weeks, I have had no time to work in our rooms, except maybe 4 hour total, and I just told myself I'd do work this weekend. Well now it's the weekend, and I'm getting nervous. I don't feel completely ready.
    I also didn't plan anything thoroughly throughout the week because I didn't know if I was getting a projector or if I was using my overhead projector. I just found out I do get a projector in my room (since I begged). I'm not sure if it's all hooked up though, so I don't want to rely on it Tuesday morning. We have a meeting every morning from 7:05-7:35 and kids come at 7:45, so that doesn't leave me too much time to see what's up with it.
    Thinking about the first day, what do you do to teach your classroom procedures? I have a list of what I want to go over. Normally every year, I have copies for the kids, but I thought maybe it was a waste of paper since they don't get looked at again, and I mostly have everything on my wall.

    Should I have my procedures explained on a PowerPoint/Keynote (using my iPad)?

    Should I have kids take notes as I go and I could use my overhead projector with them?

    I want to explain my procedures very well. I will also review them everyday for awhile.

    Ahhhh....I'm so nervous because I don't feel completely prepared yet. I will be ready by Tuesday though.

    This is a long list I have. Should I just stick to a few main ones on the first day?

    Entering the classroom
    Beginning work
    Absences/Make-up procedures
    My attention signal
    Getting out of your seat
    Getting into groups
    Working in groups
    Independent work
    Walking in hall to library/computer lab
    Going to the clinic, office, media center or elsewhere
    Passing in work
    Asking questions
    Finishing work early
    Visitors to the room
    Responding to fire drills, "codes", or other alerts
    Sudden illness
    Cleaning the room at the end of the class
  3. teresateaches

    teresateaches Companion

    Aug 1, 2008
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    Sep 2, 2012

    Personally, procedures likes those are things I do as I go. It would be overwhelming and futile to try to tell the students all of those things up front.

    Go over your syllabus, your expectations, rules, etc. I plan on starting class immediately this year.
  4. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

    Feb 6, 2007
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    Sep 2, 2012

    I do the same thing... I only go over expectations, rules, homework procedures, and what to expect, as in content. Everything else I address as they come about in class.

    I think if you do too much of explaining the rules, they are eventually going to get overwhelmed/bored/tune it out. I think you'll have more of an impact if you keep it brief and only discuss the essentials in the beginning.
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Aug 8, 2005
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    Sep 2, 2012

    I agree. One the first day with my Grade 5/6 class, we'll start by talking about expectations for entering and exiting the classroom (which doors to use), signing in and out of the classroom, and which materials in the classroom they can use. We'll address homework, daily agendas (planners), schedules, etc. at appropriate times during the day. Presenting too much information about routines at one time is overwhelming and the students are not likely to remember if it isn't in a meaningful context.
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    May 8, 2008
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    Sep 2, 2012

    I give a basic, humorous PowerPoint Classroom Dos and Don'ts at the beginning of the year. It uses a bunch of visuals to accent the behaviors that will get them through the class in one piece or sink them. They remember those silly pictures and adjust their behavior accordingly, or they imagine the image of my guinea pigs looking sadly at them.
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Aug 4, 2009
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    Sep 2, 2012

    I'll only get my kids for 2 hours the first day, so I'm going to give them the same Do Now they'll get every day, we'll go over it, and then I've got a scavenger hunt for them. I thought of doing a regular classroom tour, but that seemed kind of boring. Another MS teacher suggested a scavenger hunt where they have to explore the room themselves. This is what I made:

    I'll introduce some things as we go over this, and the rest as issues come up.
  8. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

    Jan 3, 2011
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    Sep 2, 2012

    Students will get a enter/exit sheet to fill out before they leave. I plan to introduce myself and have my ST do the same. Students will get their own copy of procedures, and we will discuss them briefly. I expect their copy to go in their class binder. I will explain the assignment for the day (something very simple that I want all of them to do overnight), and then we'll do a team-building activity. That's it in a nutshell!
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Oct 25, 2005
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    Sep 2, 2012

    I go over them as we use them. The first day I cover entering/exiting the classroom, teacher directed instruction, and independent work because those are the things that we do.

    I use my SmartBoard, and I have a slide for each procedure. It's always visible when we're engaged in that particular activity. I also have posters up on my CHAMPs board, just in case we're using the SmartBoard for something else or don't have it working.
  10. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Feb 27, 2011
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    Sep 2, 2012

    This thread made me feel better. This is going to be my 2nd time starting in September with a class and I'm going to a younger grade. I've been a little worried about teaching procedures, trying to jog my brain and remember how we fit everything in. My AP loved the way things ran in my classroom, he thought everything was extremely smooth and students knew their way around the classroom, they knew all the procedures in and out and it made things so much easier. Now I feel like I have a lot to live up to and I can't remember how I did it!

    But reading this made me remember we did teach most of it as we went along. Obviously the first day we'll focus on lining up, bathroom, unpacking, packing up, the "big ones" but everything else will pretty much come as we go along as long as we're clear and we have high expectations for their behavior and how they follow the procedures.

    Good luck this year!
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Jun 10, 2007
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    Sep 2, 2012

    Like many others, I address procedures as the need arises. On Thursday of last week, we started using the textbook. When it was time to put the books back on the bookshelf, I said, "Okay, class! In a minute I'm going to ask you to return your textbooks to the bookshelf. This is how we do that in my classroom: You grab your textbook and a friend's, then put the books on the bookshelf. In my classroom, the bookshelf needs to be neat and tidy, so this means that all the spines face the same way and all the books are vertical. What questions do you have about putting up books? Okay, go ahead and put up your books." I'll give this spiel the first 4 or 5 times we use textbooks, more if necessary, until the class understands my expectation.

    I don't see the point of talking about how to hand in work until we are actually handing in work. If I take the time to discuss that particular procedure before it's necessary, the students will forget and I'll just have to do it again anyway later when we start turning in work.

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