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Home : 2003 : Aug : 17

    By Nancy

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    You didn't say whether you were teaching in an elementary of middle school setting. I teach 6th grade in a Middle School, and our administration stresses procedures from the very beginning of school (in fact, I've been told that if I do nothing. I truly had my students practice going to the locker and the bathroom in less than 4 minutes.
    2. Lining up (my students have to line up for both lunch and end of the day). They are required to line up in the hallway, with my line leader even with the firehose in the wall. Each student stands on the 4th tile block from the lockers on the right side of the hallway (this allows students going to their lockers room to maneuver).
    3. Pencil sharpening--do it at the beginning of class! I also went over HOW to sharpen a pencil with the electric sharpener. They have a tendency to sit there and grind away at the sharpener. I required each student to show me they knew how to sharpen their pencil.
    4. Moving to stations--I use reading stations, and my students practice moving their desks and tables and needed, in a quiet (no talking) and efficient manner (quickly).
    5. Retrieving materials that stay in my classroom--Each student in my class has a hanging file with their name on it. They keep their journal, reading and writing folders, and an independent reading book in it. Each student's file folder is color coded. We practice memorizing your color, going to the area with no noise, getting your materials, and returning to your seat.
    6. Passing in homework--I have them pass down the rows to their left, back row passes up to 2nd row, and 2nd row passes up to 1st row. All papers are in one person's hand (my classroom is setting up in a "flying V" formation--like geese).
    7. Turning in homework to the homework tray--designate an area, and have them use it.
    8. Heading your paper--after the first week, I still have students who cannot head their paper properly. I require, first and last name, period, and date in the upper right hand corner.
    9. Bringing homework from home--My school is notorious for students not bringing homework from home. I had students practice this by taking a piece of paper home every night the first week, having their parents sign it, and returning it the next day. Every student that was able to do it 5 days in a row, got a nice prize. 4 days in a row, a smaller prize, less than 4...nada.
    10. Emergency drills--fire, tornado, lock down--yep, I make them go outside in single file, or go to the designated area of the room with absolutely NO TALKING or horseplay.

    I know I've rambled, and my procedures may seem strict to some of you. However, this is middle school, and this age will take advantage if you allow them. I'm setting firm guidelines the first month (and if I want to be more lax in the future I can). However, so far, my class is, without a doubt, one of the best behaved classes in the school. It'll definitely make my life less chaotic.

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