Establishing routines early


The beginning of the school year is the best time to institute new routines for your students.  Don’t negotiate them, but decide on the 3, 4 or 5 steps that you want students to follow.  Phrase your routines using positive language (avoid using “don’t” or “no“) and identify explicit behaviours that you expect to see.  A routine for entering the classroom might include, “Equipment on the desk and eyes on me”, rather than, “No talking” or “Don’t put bags on the table”.  Simply posting routines on the wall won’t solve your behaviour management issues.  You need to use praise and positive reinforcement backed up with sanctions, ensuring students are constantly reminded of the routines.  Try introducing one routine at a time until students complain, “Ok, ok, enough already, I know the routine!”  Once you have concreted simple organisational routines (e.g. for entering and leaving the classroom), try routines for groupwork, silent individual tasks, peer evaluation etc