How to Improve Classroom Management with Effective Routines

Supporting Positive Behavior

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Routines support appropriate behavior. Sean Gallop/Getty Images

All classrooms have students who exhibit inappropriate behavior from time to time, some more frequently than others. Have you ever wondered why some teachers seem to be able to handle behavior situations better than others? The secret is a consistent approach with no exceptions.

Here's your checklist. Ask yourself how you handle each of these situations and do your students know what your expectations are?

  1. What method do you employ to get your student's attention? (Count to three? Raise your hand? Flick the lights or a bell?)
  2. What are your students expected to do when they come in first thing in the morning? from recess? lunch?
  3. What routines are in place when students finish work early?
  4. How do your students ask for assistance?
  5. What are the consequences for unfinished work? late work? sloppy work? the student who refuses to work?
  6. What are the consequences when a student disturbs another student?
  7. Where do students turn their assignments/tasks in?
  8. What are your routines for sharpening pencils?
  9. How does a student ask to leave the room to use the washroom? Can more than one go at a time?
  10. What are your dismissal routines?
  11. What are your tidy up routines?
  12. How are your students aware of all of your routines?

To have effective classroom management, teachers have routines that are well known and that have logical consequences when they're not followed. If you and your students can answer all of the questions above, you're well on your way to creating a positive learning environment with minimal distractions.