Fresh Perspective, Fresh Start - Returning to School After the Holidays

Classroom Management Strategies for Creating Classroom RulesJanuary is a great "re-" month; a chance to re-establish and re-model classroom routines, rules, and expectations in order to help your students settle back into the swing of things. It's also a great time to reflect, review, and revise your procedures and planning methods - taking an honest inventory of how the first part of the school year has unfolded.

From transitions and behavior management to group instruction, parent partnership, and daily routines; are there 'hiccups' that demand more time/energy on a given day than you originally accounted for? {Let's face it, even the seasoned teacher cannot account for every nuance that originates from throwing 24+ individuals together - all with different personalities, life experiences, skills, etc. - and entreating them to work together toward a common goal day after day!} If so, your return to the classroom after winter break is a great time to address the inefficiencies and deficiencies in you classroom management plans since, in many ways, it can feel like the start of a new school year.

{Fresh Start, Fresh Perspective} Tips for Revising Routines & Procedures

  • Explain to your students why the original routine/procedure did not work. Not only will it show them what 'real life' problem solving looks like and that, sometimes, your first attempt won't always be the best solution, but helping them make the connection between the routine and the undesired results {hopefully!} cause them to think before they act, creating a smoother integration of the replacement routine/procedure. [NOTE: Make the explanation memorable - perhaps with a humorous demonstration - to keep it fresh in their mind and create a "hook" to "hang their hat on". For example, "I remember Mrs. Nelson pretended to be in a traffic jam while trying to turn in her homework and she dropped all of her papers on the floor. I should take my homework folder to my desk and (insert new procedure here).]
  • Explain and model the new routine/procedure.
  • Revisit the new routine several times in the first week back. {Similar to how you would at the beginning of the school year.}

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