Off to the Right Start
As I’ve been traveling around to various school districts, I’ve been asking teachers to tell me what’s working. At both the elementary and secondary level, what I’ve heard most often is “routines.” Starting the year off with clear routines in place can make all the difference in the world. Amanda Manoel, first grade teacher at Fallsmead Elementary School in Montgomery County, Maryland shared that by establishing and teaching routines up front, her first graders are now quickly and efficiently transitioning through literacy and math centers. Without having to spend time on the routine anymore, her focus can be on instruction, engagement, and student learning.
It’s a great time to run a mental movie through a day in your class. What routines seem to be established, and which might you need to revisit? One of the beauties of teaching is that we can start fresh at any time. If you haven’t yet taught a routine, start tomorrow. Be sure to teach it as thoroughly as you would teach any kind of content. You’ll know when something has become a routine because you’ll only have to give the instructions one time.
For some examples of helpful routines, take a look here: http://www.dailyteachingtools.com/classroom-routines.html