Time spent of procedures, rules, etc?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeachTN, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2014

    I was hired a few weeks after school started last year, so this will be my first "first week of school" to experience as a teacher. I am not sure how long I should spend going over procedures, rules, groups, etc. We start school on a Friday (August 1st), then the following week we have a day off for election day.

    I am not sure how long I should go over the same things, practice our routine, set up our interactive notebooks (I figure that will take an entire class period), etc. Thanks!
     
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  3. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Jul 10, 2014

    In elementary I keep going over rules, procedures, groups, walking in line and transitions intensely for a about a week. We practice a lot of these things the first 2-3 days. After that, it's just a verbal reminder of what is expected and if they don't do it correctly we practice. For example, if they are noisy walking in the hallway 2 weeks into school I'll stop, we will walk back to the classroom and practice lining up and walking down the hallway again. I'll do it the same procedure again if it happens throughout the school year.

    In middle school I don't think you'll need more than a day or two honestly. I would also set procedures as things come up. For example since you teach science each time you do a lab activity you explain your expectations. However it should feed off the rules you established the first day.

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Jul 10, 2014

    The first day I give the kids classroom rules, go over everything, and tell them they have a quiz on it the next day. That's about it.

    Lab safety/equipment I do during the first and second day.
     
  5. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jul 10, 2014

    Until they get them right. It's tough to put a time limit on teaching R&Rs. Some teachers are in a hurry to get to the curriculum and, thus, do a quick and sloppy job of teaching their management plan. For students quick and sloppy translates to rules and routines don't mean that much in this class or why else would the teacher cover them so quickly?

    Like anything important, students don't read your R&Rs by how many you announce or "go over". They have heard dozens of pitches from teachers since kindergarten and already know how to behave. What they want to know is "Do we have to behave in your class?" For this answer words are cheap and action is expensive. Bunnie mentioned practicing line-up two weeks into the semester even though the procedure was taught and practiced the first day. This is what sends the message, "I say what I mean and I mean what I say", and, although not fun, saves time in the long run as students test your R&Rs and find out you are prepared to follow through any time and any place. Teachers who are not prepared to invest the time and commitment up front end up chasing after students on a daily basis until June.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 11, 2014

    I dedicate at least 2 full days to doing procedures only. i.e. the first day will be the basic procedures of the class, and the second day might be practice of the first days procedures as well as how to organize binders, lab notebooks, etc.

    Then for about a week or two or even longer, if it doesn't seem like they're getting it, we will practice the procedures daily at the beginning of the day, but still have our lessons afterwards. I will quiz as needed and have them redo things as needed. This is a higher priority to me than my curriculum. If I have to toss out a days lessons to practice procedures if need be, I will do it.

    Agreed with Loomis. If they aren't following your procedures, stop everything and have them do it until they get it right. This shows that you are dedicated to upholding your rules and regulations.

    But, we can say be consistent, and show that you mean what you say all we want. When it gets to that moment, it's easier said than done. As a new teacher you will probably experience a lot of things you don't expect, and your best laid plans may fall to shambles leaving you at a loss of what to do.

    Someone posted a video by the author of this book: http://www.amazon.com/See-Me-After-...=8-1&keywords=advice+for+teachers+by+teachers

    I've been reading it, and I think it is good advice and a good mental/emotional support that I wish I had known about in my first year. She does advocate some procedures in there that I am personally not a fan of, but the book as a whole is pretty good if you use it more as a mental relief rather than a classroom management how-to book.
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 11, 2014

    As long as it takes. Now that doesn't mean you ONLY do rules and procedures - that would be really boring and tedious. But before every single activity explain and model exactly what you want the students to do. Then have a couple of students model your instructions. If anyone does not follow the instructions, re-explain and then have them practice and model again. Lather, rinse, repeat. You'll need to do this often in the first few weeks and eventually your students realize you are serious about your expectations. Once they start having to practice procedures during recess, they really get motivated to follow instructions the first time ;).

    Be prepared to revisit rules and procedures throughout the year - especially after lengthy breaks in the school year.
     
  8. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 11, 2014

    Well Said! I agree! My policy is....You have been in school several years. You know what types of rules we have in school. I expect you to show you have common sense. I will hold you accountable. I tell them my #1 rule---Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy. Then I have THEM tell me what is expected from them in order to keep the teacher happy. They know. I call them out on the slightest infraction and I do it in front of everyone, just like they break the rule in front of everyone. They see right away that I will go there if they open that door. After two or three incidences, I usually don't experience any problems. What's great is that they like to see me happy and they know from the start, it's their responsibility to set the tone for how happy I am with them. I let them know that I will never bring my own troubles to their learning environment because it's not fair to them and it's not their responsibility to deal with my personal issues. We are all here to work. My job is to teach them and their job is to contribute and participate in that learning. We can't get our work done if there is madness and mayhem. They get it. :)
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jul 11, 2014

    I think everyone has their own take on this, based on experience, philosophy, student age and population.
    The important part is that the students know what's expected of them and they also know how to fulfill those requirements and the teacher takes the time for this in the beginning of the school year.

    My students get 'recycled'. This will be my 2nd full year, by my 3rd 'first day of school' moment. About 60 percent of my student will have been in my classes already, with the rest either brand new students or returning students from before.

    I haven't yet figured it out already completely, but my plan is to very briefly go over the procedures and rules and then get to an activity on the first day. Then (starting with day 2) in the coming days / weeks go straight to content but allow time to enforce everything 100 %.
    The more time you spend on this in the beginning, you less frustrations you will have later.
     
  10. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 11, 2014

    Since school starts on a Thursday, I usually spend the first 2 days doing "new school year" activities- like going over procedures and rules. I do that mixed in with other activities to break up the day for the kids so it's not boring or tedious. Then of course I have to continue to practice them the following week (especially since there's always a few kids who don't show up until the first Monday.)
     
  11. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jul 11, 2014

    In 7th grade about 5 minutes is plenty. They know how to be students. If you have anything out of the ordinary you are expecting that 5 minutes should cover it.

    Otherwise hit them as they come up in class.
     
  12. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

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    Jul 11, 2014

    Oh, you mean the rules/procedures... :)
     
  13. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

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    Jul 11, 2014

    What do you do for kids that come in after you've covered rules/procedures? I thought of having folders with information, like a "welcome kit" for new students with this type of information.
     
  14. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jul 11, 2014

    Once the class is up and running you shouldn't have to do anything with new students coming in. For my elective I do give them a "welcome to the family" packet because it is so different from a typical course but for social studies I simply tell the person sitting next to them to explain the start-of-class procedures and they easily pick up the rest from there.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jul 11, 2014

    As far as rules and routines, I believe a bit of buy in from the students can be helpful. I find it is better to have our rules that we come up with together, than 5 the teacher dictates on the first day of school. This is not necessary, but helpful in my experience.

    When it comes to how you want work to be done and other issues of quality, I say take as much time as you need...and then a little bit more. The one thing that 7th graders need to see early on is that in your class you have high expectations for how the work is done, and you will be very clear in your definition of what quality work is. Then the hardest part comes which is the follow through. Expect some students to hand in messy work that is of poor quality. Then here comes the $64,000 question, how do you know that the work is below what they are capable of doing?

    The first week or two is a bit of a honeymoon time. It is a time most students want to get off to a good start and often will do what you ask. It is a great time to pre-test, have them write, and do activities that show you where each student is at. Then accept no less than that level work--ever.

    The first 2 to 3 weeks (depends on the class) to me are very much getting down to business as much as it is rules and routines. I am not mean, and yes I smile, but in 7th grade (which I use to teach) they need to see school is first work. After 2 to 3 weeks we start getting into Science experiments, review games, group activities, and other parts of the curriculum which are less structured and more fun. I then feel free to let my hair down because they know what is expected and they know the routines. Don't be too stern, but in a clear manner it must be communicated to them how things are done in 7th grade Science from the first week.
     

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