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Teaching Procedures

Each teacher runs his or her classroom differently, so it is important to decide on the procedures you need to run your classroom smoothly and then teach students the procedures of your classroom. Regardless of the age of the students, simply posting the expectations or procedures on the wall is not enough: procedures must be taught, practiced, and reinforced throughout the school year.

How to use

1. Write out expectations

For each procedure, students must know what to do and how to do it correctly. The teacher must explicitly describe each step of the procedure. Some teachers choose an acronym to remind students of the most important elements of the procedure.  For example, a teacher could se the acronym “BAC” to help when writing procedure expectations. The “B” is for bodies- how should the students be moving? Can they get up from their seat? The “A” is for assistance- how should the students ask for the teacher’s help? The “C” is for conversation- are the students allowed to talk? If so, to whom? 

2. Prepare visuals

It is very helpful to create a visual to aid in the explanation of a procedure. One example of a visual is a “Looks Like, Sounds Like” chart. A poster listing the “BAC” expectations may also be created for each procedure or activity (see Visuals section to the right).

3. Teach procedures

Using the prepared visual, take time to specifically teach each procedure or activity. Explain what the students should do, how they should move, who they should be talking to, and any other details they are expected to know.

4. Practice procedures

In addition to the teacher’s explanation, students need a chance to actually practice the procedure. For example, after teaching students how to properly enter the classroom, have them line up outside the door and act as if they are just arriving. Students should be able to demonstrate the correct procedure. They also enjoy having fun with this process by showing the “example” and, once mastered, being able to perform the “non-example."

5. Monitor and assess

Within the first few days after teaching the procedure, be sure to monitor the students and assess how well they are meeting the procedural expectations. Implement a class-wide motivation system like Fill-in-the-Blank, 100 Squares, or Marble Jar to reinforce your procedure.

6. Re-teach

After assessing the students’ performance of the procedure, it may be necessary to re-teach the procedure or provide reminders as to how it should be executed properly.

When to use

Common procedures that teachers need to plan and teach to students include one for entering the classroom, leaving the classroom, working independently, working in groups, going to the restroom, and sharpening pencils. Procedures need to be taught at the beginning of the year, but students will need reminders throughout the year. It is especially important to re-teach procedural expectations when students return from an extended break from school, such as Winter Break.


Other procedures

See lists of procedures on the right for more ideas of procedures to plan for and teach.

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