The Top 8 Must Teach Classroom Routines for the Beginning of the School Year

If you are struggling with Classroom Routines and Management, then this post is for you.  Classroom management is built all-around solid classroom routines.  If you do not have clear classroom guidelines and routines in place, then your class can result in complete chaos.

Why do I need classroom routines?

Classroom routines allow students to complete daily tasks that are required. Students will know what is expected of them as they transition from one activity to the next.  Classroom routines can be very beneficial to younger students. Having a set routine can help eliminate disruptions. Students know what they are expected to do.  With solid classroom routines, your classroom management will be in place.

What Classroom Routines Do I need?

To figure out what classroom routines and procedures you need in your classroom, start making a list of daily activities you expect your students to do without being told.  

Here are some examples of daily classroom routines I have in my classroom.

  • entering and exiting the classroom
  • sitting on the carpet. 
  • using the bathroom
  • getting students attention
  • turning in assignments
  • what to do when they finish an assignment
  • what to do if they need help
  • lining up/walking

Entering and Exiting the Classroom.  

Students need to know what you expect them to do each time they enter and exit.  In my kindergarten classroom, as students enter in the morning, they know they need to put their things away then get their Calendar Notebooks and meet me on the carpet.  I remind them of this as they enter.  After a few weeks of the daily morning reminder, they automatically start doing it. It has now become a classroom routine.

Sitting on the Carpet

When it comes to sitting on the carpet, students just need practice.  We talk about the ways they can sit, mountain, mermaid, or crisscross.  We practice the 3 styles of sitting on the carpet each time we come to the carpet for the first week or so.  Eventually, it becomes a classroom routine.  Of course, once in a while, a student will need to be reminded.  However, often it is their peers that remind them and not me.

Using the Bathroom

This is a very important classroom procedure. I am lucky enough to have a bathroom within my classroom. From the very first day of school, we talk about how to use the bathroom and what they are expected to do after they use the bathroom.  This includes using the bathroom with the door closed, flushing the toilet, and turning off the light when finished.  We also talk about how to wash our hands, using soap and paper towels.  They need to be reminded that how they use the bathroom at home might be different than the school routine. 

Getting Your Students Attention

Attention getters are a great way to have all of your students stop what they are doing and pay attention to you.  You will need more than just one.  I use a wireless doorbell as well as call and response attention getters. This classroom procedure is practiced from the very first day of school.  I also like to change up my call and response attention getters throughout the year.  You can learn more about using a classroom doorbell from Classroom Doorbells, More than Just Attention Getter.

Turning in Assignments

Have a plan and a place for your students to turn in their assignments when finished. In my classroom when a student finishes their work, they raise their hand.  After I have checked their work, they file their work into their file folder.  I have two hanging file folder bins that I use to hold finished classwork.  I train my students on how to file their own work.  This classroom routine does take a little longer for some students to understand than others.  However, once they do figure it out you will be glad you taught this classroom procedure. 

What to do when students finish an Assignment?

This is a three-step process.  When my students finish an assignment, they first raise their hand for me to check it, then they file it. Next, they choose a Fast Finishers Work Bin or another activity from the I'm Done Board. Again, my students know what they are expected to do.  Following me around the classroom telling me they are finished is not one of our classroom procedures.

What to do if students need help

This one is simple. I have a classroom rule that simply states Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.  This rule comes from the Whole Brain Teaching philosophy.  I use all 6 rules in my classroom. We go over these rules every day as part of our morning routine. If you would like a free copy of my Classroom Rules you can download this free resource, Whole Brain Teaching Posters

Lining Up/Walking

Lining up can be complete chaos if your students do not know the classroom procedures and expectations.  In my classroom, I use Sit Spots Numbers. Each student is assigned a number.  Their number circle is where they stand every time they get in line. I have a special circle for the line leader, it is in front of the number 1 circle. I model how to leave the carpet and tables for lining up.  Next, I have a few students try it out to model for their classmates.  Then we practice as an entire class. Lining Up procedures can work if students know what they are expected to do. As for walking to and from places, we practice that as well. First, we practice in the classroom.  I walk about the room and they follow quietly and orderly, then we put it into practice outside of the room.  As we begin, I always remind them of the expectations.  Hand at their side or behind their back, voices off, eyes forward.  

Sit-spots to form class lines for classroom managment
I hope these 8 simple classroom routines will help you to start your year off on the right foot.  Implementing these basic classroom routines will not only help your students to know what is expected of them but will drastically cut down opportunities for behavioral issues within your classroom.  When you have clear expectations,  your students are less likely to be disruptive.  If you don't have to continually pause what you are doing to remind students of something, you will be amazed at just how much teaching you can actually do.

Must have classroom routines- start the year off with classroom managment

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