In the days leading up to the Thanksgiving break, I noticed my students were falling off in following the routines of the classroom. Ours is a tiny room so it’s important that certain procedures are followed so no one gets hurt. Their refusal – or is it forgetfulness – caused me quite a bit of angst.
Students have been sliding across the floor on their knees to get to the meeting area. They are lining up willy-nilly. When packing, they traverse the room haphazardly, making multiple trips to the corner behind the door to retrieve items. There is too much chaos and too much potential for harm.
No doubt, much of the blame lies with me. Either we didn’t practice enough or I let things get out of hand before realizing we had to step back and start over.
So today when we return to school, I’m going to start reviewing our classroom routines and have the kids practice them. I’ll present it in a positive way so they’re excited to practice. It will be a good refresher for us all.
It’s a point I’ve made before thanks to the ideas of others: routines need to be practiced at the beginning of the school year and throughout.
What we lose in instructional time due to practicing routines will likely be made up in the future with less time being wasted by students meandering about.