Establishing classroom procedures and routines is crucial to providing a safe, organized, and welcoming learning environment. Teachers have to think through how they want the classroom to run and students to behave in many different situations. What will the process be for students entering and exiting the classroom? For asking to go to the restroom or get a drink? For asking questions? For turning in papers, sharpening pencils, and walking in the hallway? When done right, these decisions can lead to better classroom management.
It’s no wonder, then, that teachers often feel overwhelmed. And sometimes, students also panic when presented with such an exhaustive list of routines. However, this doesn’t have to be the case — learning classroom procedures can actually be fun! With a little bit of creativity, teachers easily can make this a more exciting and interactive process for students.
20 fun ways to teach classroom procedures
1. Story writing
Ask students to write stories (in pairs or as individuals) imagining rebellious pupils who are not properly following your classroom rules and procedures. These can be creative and even a bit comical. Students can exchange their stories with another classmate or pair who rewrite the story using proper classroom procedures. Add an extra layer to this activity by having students share the stories with the whole class while comparing and contrasting the outcomes.
For this activity, you’ll put students into small groups and give them papers with different classroom scenarios written on them. They then have to act out the examples using the proper classroom procedures. Their classmates can guess which procedure is being demonstrated. Once a group guesses the correct answer, they act out the next given procedure.
3. Song writing
Have groups of students describe a classroom procedure in song by writing their own lyrics. Creative choreography is also welcome! The students can perform their songs in front of their classmates. You can even record these on video and show them throughout the year when reminders are needed.
4. Picture taking
Invite students to take pictures of each other correctly performing classroom routines. You can then post these photos on your classroom wall or put them in a Google Slides presentation to show to the class. (For younger grades, the teacher can photograph the students.)
5. Make a video
Have students make a video showing themselves modeling the proper classroom procedure for a particular scenario. Combine the clips to create a brief classroom behavior expectations video. This can be helpful to show periodically throughout the year and whenever a new student joins the class.
6. Create an individual booklet
In this activity, each student can make a short booklet with a procedure described on each page. Just staple the pages of the booklet together and students can keep it in their desks for personal reference.
7. Create a class book
Have students work in groups to create a page for a manual of your classroom procedures. Each page describes one process in detail. Assemble the completed pages into a book and read it to the class. Keep this book in an accessible place in the classroom for easy reference.
Invite students to draw scenarios involving proper classroom procedures on posters that can be displayed in the classroom. You can even laminate the posters and place them in appropriate areas for students to see throughout the school year.
9. Find someone who …
Give students a paper with descriptions in various boxes such as, “Find someone who can explain what to do if you need to sharpen your pencil,” or, “Find someone who can name the three things you have to do every day when you enter the classroom.” Students walk around the classroom talking to classmates and trying to find someone who can explain the chosen classroom procedure. If the student can explain it, they sign their name on their classmate’s paper and move on to another classmate. No student can sign another person’s paper more than once.
10. Two truths and a lie
Have students write two true and one false statement about a classroom procedure. Students then crumple the papers up like snowballs and toss them into a pile in the center of the room. Ask a student to pick up a “snowball,” read the three statements to the class and try to guess which sentences are true and which one is false.
11. Technology trivia
As the teacher, you can prepare a fun round of trivia questions focused on the procedures in the classroom. Classcraft’s Boss Battles or the website Kahoot are great for preparing interactive games like this. With Kahoot, students answer questions about classroom procedures using a personal device and compete to get the highest score by answering questions accurately and quickly. Boss Battles, a Premium Classcraft feature, students work together or on their own to try to defeat a monster and earn points by answering questions correctly.
12. Procedure race
Have students practice procedures like turning in papers by racing each other. The students on each side of the classroom try to get all their papers collected before the other side of the class. The teacher sets expectations about calmly and quietly passing up papers. Students then pass up their papers as quickly as possible while still remaining calm and quiet. The winning side can be the first to line up at the door at the end of class.
13. Interactive quest
Students can practice procedures by participating in a Classcraft Quest. Classcraft gives teachers the opportunity to create learning quests that ask students to complete tasks and answer questions to earn points and continue on a virtual journey. A teacher can create a quest that explains the class procedures, and students can move through the quest at their own pace while learning about and practicing various routines. The interactive nature of the program motivates students as does the ability to earn virtual rewards for their characters along the way.
14. Scavenger hunt
Students follow clues about classroom procedures to find other clues and objects hidden around the room. Teachers can create instructions such as, “Find the place where you are supposed to turn in your papers. What color is the envelope sitting in this spot today? Write the color of the envelope on your scavenger hunt notes.” Once a team has completed the scavenger hunt, they will have walked through all of the classroom procedures and answered some questions along the way.
15. Power writing
Ask students to write as much as they can in one minute about a particular classroom procedure. They can share these with a partner and then with the class in a think-pair-share format.
16. Expository writing
Have students write a how-to paragraph about the steps of a particular classroom routine. Combine the paragraphs together as a book or posted around the room for reference.
17. Venn diagram
Have students compare and contrast two different classroom procedures. They can illustrate this in a Venn diagram format.
18. Teach other students
As new students enter the classroom, have the current class show them the classroom procedures. This instructional activity will make the procedures more memorable for everyone involved.
19. Class presentation
Using Google Slides or PowerPoint, have students create a slide to explain a particular classroom procedure in detail. Combine the slides to make a whole-class presentation where each group presents its slide.
20. Anchor charts
Students (or the teacher) can create anchor charts to outline the essential points of your most important classroom procedures.
Learning classroom procedures is important (and fun!)
There are many fun ways to teach policies and procedures. With a little creativity, practicing these routines can easily be a fun part of any class. Students will remember your expectations well if they’re having a good time along the way.
Photo credit: Google