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    meshing procedures & content during 1st days...
    By Beth S

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    Hi Trish- When I taught 7th grade, I would introduce one (or maybe two) new procedures each day & then tell students that we would practice them during our activities. These activities might be "getting to know you" or might be introduction to some content.

    For example: On day one, I introduced my "Beginning Class" procedures by having them posted as the students entered:
    Mrs. Smith's Beginning Class Procedures!
    1)Greet Mrs. Smith with a high-five, handshake, or smile!
    2)Enter quietly, go directly to your desk, & square away materials.
    3)Immediately begin the "warm up" assignment on the board.
    4)Wait for further instructions.
    After all students entered the room, I called the class to a stopping point & pointed out that those procedures posted would be the exact way we would begin class each day. Then I moved on to introducing myself, passing out my syllabus, etc. (The "warm up" assignment on the first day might be to write me a "Dear Mrs. Smith" letter introducing themselves to me.)

    Day One was also the day to introduce & practice my signal for attention (I use "Give Me 5" from his book, but whatever works for you). First, I explained it to them & showed them what it would look like. Then, I gave them instructions for a "getting to know you" activity in which they would do a QUICK interview of someone sitting near them, but I let them know that at some point during the activity, I would randomly ask for their attention so I could see how well they understood the "Give Me Five" procedure. I would rehearse it two or three times if possible.

    Day Two would be the day I would teach them the procedure for moving their desks into group formations. Yes, I literally taught them procedures for doing this- and I timed them, which made it fun. And then there would be a group activity, during which I would check their memory on the "Give Me Five" procedure once or twice. The group activity could be a lit. book scavenger hunt or something else content related, or more getting to know you (depending on your preference & timeframe).

    Day Three would be the day to teach them how to pass in their papers (again, I made it fun by timing them) and I use Dr. Wong's procedure for that, too (passing across instead of 'up'). I did this by having them write a paragraph response to some prompt (I taught language arts & wanted to keep this as a beginning-of-the-year writing sample) & then taught them how to pass them in. And of course, on Day Three we again rehearse all formerly introduced procedures (beginning class, give me 5, moving desks into groups).

    I hope that you are getting an idea of how I embedded procedures rehearsals within other activities, such as getting-go-know-you, team building, or introduction of content. I think that we have to remember that "rules" ("No chewing gum") are very different than procedures ("Beginning Class"). You can read out a list of rules in 5 minutes, but if you want your class to run like clockwork, procedures must be rehearsed until they are second nature. Best wishes to you!

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