Classroom Management Routines and Procedures For Middle and High School Classrooms

It is essential for teachers to establish effective routines, procedures and learning structures in their classrooms starting the first week of school. During our weekly #2ndaryELA Twitter chat teachers shared their most critical routines for a successful school year from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

For classroom management success, it is essential for teachers to establish effective classroom management routines, procedures and learning structures in their classrooms starting the first week of school.

During our weekly #2ndaryELA Twitter chat teachers shared that these routines were critical to a successful school year:

  • washroom/drink sign out
  • bell ringers or warm-up activities
  • school supplies easily accessible by students
  • proper use of the classroom library
  • how to ask for help
  • attention-getting signals (I use a clapping rhythm or I count down from 5)
  • how to turn in work for grading
  • technology storage/use guidelines
Read the curated Twitter chat below to see what types of routines teachers have established and for some great photos of real classroom spaces.

Q1: Which routines or procedures are most important for keeping your class running smoothly?

  • Bell ringers/warm ups and having a supply center and boxes so students self serve during class students talking to group and not being allowed to say I don’t know when called upon randomly
  • How to use class library, how to ask for help, how to work in small groups/independently
  • Beginning of class routines are key. Agenda/Homework on screen, copied in planner first thing. Also, an attention getting signal! 
  • Retrieving supplies, bell ringer, packing up, asking for help, turning in work 
  • My students have assigned numbers. They drop off their phones when they come in. Works great! https://twitter.com/Eng_Teacher/status/773312348601790464/photo/1
  • Creating a system of student jobs gives students purpose and takes tasks off your plate. Blog post: http://goo.gl/5HQwPA
  • A binder with dividers for each class has make up work, notes, etc. with students’ names on papers 
  • All routines are important – handing in work, independent work expectations, accessing class materials
  • Yes, attention getting is so important in my chatty Pre-AP classes
  • Bell ringer at the beginning of class
  • Designated days for specific skill focus gives structure but leaves room for creativity; every kid speaks everyday policy 
  • Attention signal, “When finished” list, assigned numbers that correspond with student materials, SSR/DEAR, bell ringers, transitions 
  • Clearly labelled areas for supplies/materials/handing in work/absence folders & what to do when someone walks into room 
  • My students have a sheet of 8 passes per semester. Pass is filled out, torn off, taken with student, given to me
  • All graded work is handed back to students to file in file folders that stay in my file cabinet. Great for keeping track of papers
  • Use student selected music as students enter & settle. I use fun call backs/signals for attention. Say thank you for answers rather than right
  • Most imp routines are bell ringers, focused work time, and clearly labeled materials in room
  • I’m kind of into goal-setting, & this class created their rules for tardies, late work, etc.  twitter.com/EHSMrsJ/status/770647659870769152 

Q2: What routines need to change for this year?

  • Something needs changed about submitting papers in Google classroom. I haven’t decided how/what yet
  • I need to implement a few class jobs and some student librarians to take some automated tasks off of my shoulders.  I’m thinking table captains, supply managers, paper sorters, librarians, desk wranglers
  • Working on better class jobs and portfolio system to manage returning papers but still accessing them later in quarter 
  • I need to work on dealing with absences/owed work. Major area of weakness for me 
  • Try @SignUpGenius for jobs! I made one and put the link right into Google Classroom for my kiddos
  • I need to help my kids stay more organized by being more explicit with where I expect them to keep work
  • Still trying to best tweak independent learning/choice reading with structure and schedules
  • I’ve been using Classroom for a couple years but it hasn’t helped me to control the chaos yet
  • I was struggling with Chromebook plugs. Labeled each cord with tape/computer number = problem solved!
  • With new curriculum making learning targets and assignments connect for students. Will post pic tomorrow of my board
  • Streamlining digital submission process with only one platform. Last year, I spent a lot of time looking for digital work
  • As a literacy coach, I’ll be helping classroom teachers implement better classroom routines, having a warm up is a priority if class starts smoothly, it will usually continue smoothly 
  • I need to change homework checking routines – it takes too long. Also assignment submission routines. Also too long
  • I also want to work on students submitting work to digital portfolios all through the year instead of just at end
  • I have a shelf for each class where they store reading notebook and novel (if they want). Crate for writing notebook underneath 
  • I have a bin for each class, colour coded duotangs with list & as they hand in their work, they initial
  • Classroom is a big help for keeping my students organized with their materials but hasn’t helped me with turned in work yet 

Q3: Share any ideas or photos of physical spaces in the classroom that help with routine and procedures. 

Q4: What routines do you use to manage your work/life balance?

  • Check out these Teacher Life Hacks
  • I don’t grade papers all night. New rule this year. Sleep is a necessity
  • I have a list system I learned from @Angela_Watson that has helped so much!! And I meal plan.
  • BOUNDARES. That’s it. Email goes off at 4. No checking from home. Stay late on Friday and prep for upcoming week 
  • I meal plan and prep on Sundays for the week. I also pick out my clothes the night before
  • I use music once bell rings to indicate planner/bell work time. When song is done, students should be too
  • Right now, with a 3-month-old & a husband working long hours I leave school work at work. Get in early and maximize lunch, prep time
  • I don’t take work home; 3 kids under 4 would lose/color/rip them anyway. Makes me more purposeful at work too.  Prep the agenda, date, and warm up day before so even if I’m behind, the kids won’t know and I get time to catch up 
  • I am working towards having set work hours, though it’s tough to just walk away at 5 PM at the beginning of the year! 
  • (For real this time) I do not take work home unless it’s progress report/report card time.  I also try to plan a week ahead for my meals at home like I do for lesson plans.
  • Nothing “routine” yet, but working on creating firmer boundaries between work and home
  • I schedule jobs on certain days of week. I know I need to start lesson plans on Wed. Grade Mon/Thurs. Update gradebook Tues
  • I am working on this! I am aiming for 48-50 hours/week by October once I streamline my systems!
  • I have a farther commute this year, so I am still working on making succinct lists of what tasks I can finish at home

Q5: Share a classroom management resource that you find invaluable (book, article, blog post, technology, reward system, etc.).

  • Great advice in these blog posts
  • I love using these Flexible Seating cards in my classroom
  • Best resource I have is this amazing group 
  • My reward system uses tickets and by golly 6th graders will do just about anything for them! Weekly drawings on Fridays 
  • Old school, but I love Jane Nelson’s Positive Discipline book 
  • I also l love @loveandlogic
  • I use a Google form for checking out classroom library books & added a column for date checked in to the sheet
  • My students love stickers – the jump in discussion participation is amazing! 
  • This group, the 40 Hour Teacher Work Week group, saving webpages to PDF in specific files, @pernilleripp’s posts for focus 
  • Pinterest! And following others like @Alex_Corbitt@coolcatteacher And @NancieAtwell on Twitter
  • http://stressrelief4teachers.net  & podcast One Teaching Tip. @artFling. Always short Always helpful!  Love them!!! Great for all teachers!
  • Also love @MrsSJDonovan’s Ethical ELA blog
  • #brainbreaks

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Science From The South
    September 18, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Love this! Thanks for taking the time to organize and share this information. 🙂

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