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Routines I Teach So Things Run Smoothly

Ruth, and many other TWT Readers, have been back-to-school with the kids for weeks. My students, on the other hand, start classes this Tuesday.

I was cleaning out my closet the other day when I came across this paper, which I created before the start of the last school year.

I found it fascinating to review this list, which is essentially a list of all of the routines I wanted to explicitly teach my students at the start of the school year. I think this list is actually helpful to look at, one year later, and two days before the school year starts, since it helped to remind me of what was really important to model with my students.

Do you keep a list of routines and structures that you explicitly demonstrate for your students year-after-year? If so, I hope you’ll share some items from that list by commenting on this post so that new teachers can reference this post going-forward. THANKS.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

2 thoughts on “Routines I Teach So Things Run Smoothly Leave a comment

  1. Turning is work is a big one in my class. I don’t keep a turn-in basket because it doesn’t work for me. I want kids to turn in their stuff at the end of class all at once, when I ask for it. That is a hard for kids who are coming from a class where there is a basket.

    Another big one for me is making sure they know that books need to be put back where they were found.

    Last, I make sure they know what to do for a fire drill on the first day. Even if they have been in your school before, they might not know which exit your classroom uses, or where you meet when you get outside.


  2. I haven’t kept a list but I think that I should. Too often this year, I was thinking of the routine that I should have taught after the fact. Of course, I stopped what we were doing and taught the routine.

    The best routine I’ve taught is how to go up and down stairs. My classroom is on the 2nd floor. We go up and down stairs many times in a day. I explicitly taught the kids to stay in a line and stay to the right on the stairs. It’s fantastic. Not only is it all going much more smoothly but . . . a couple of the kids came up and thanked me saying, “I didn’t know you were supposed to stay to the right on stairs.” Too cute.

    My class this year is very eager to please. Classroom tasks that have been a huge issue in past years are being done with out my having to remind them this year. Sure, some of it is teaching routines but some of it is just the nature of this group, too.

    I will start that list though and store it on my computer so that next year, I’m not re-inventing the wheel again! 🙂


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