The first routine that affects classroom culture is the one for how students enter. The very first step that students take in the class is a critical time to establish rapport, set the tone, and reinforce the first steps in a routine that makes excellence habitual. With culture, getting it right and keeping it right is much easier than fixing it once it’s gone wrong. Make a habit out of what’s efficient and productive after the greeting and as students take their seats and class begins each day.
Use greetings to engage students briefly to build rapport. After students have greeted the instructor, they should know to sit down, take out their tabs, and login to the class without being asked. The point is to help kids see that your classroom is different from the other places they go.
Since students move through many components during the class, it’s important not to waste time in between the components. With predictable routines in place, students can move smoothly from one component to the next without losing learning time. When routines and procedures are carefully taught and established in the classroom, children know what’s expected of them and how to do certain things on their own. Having these predictable patterns in place allows teachers to spend more time in meaningful instruction. Make sure to establish these routines as early as possible in the term.
Just as the entry routine helps set the tone for the day, the end of the day routine helps students get ready for the next class. You may want to set a time when students are allowed to pack up their things, and review the homework they have to do for the next class.