By fifth period, most of the students that come into your room will have heard the same boring procedures repeated endlessly since the start of their first day of school. Instead of just passing out a syllabus and droning through another set of expectations, try these fun and engaging ways to present your classroom procedures in a way that will hook your students from the start.
1. Spice up your presentation with technology
Use PowerPoint or Prezi to project and teach your classroom behaviors. The novelty of tech presented slides with easy to understand procedures is far easier for students to understand and digest. Adding pictures, video, and sound can help liven up the presentation. If you’re feeling courageous, you can even modify internet memes to fit your classroom procedures.
2. Scavenger hunt for your procedures
With this strategy, your procedures are presented as normal but students then get to scavenger hunt for the correct answers to review. Clues can be information from your syllabus or even questions on where items are located within the room. To turn this into an icebreaker activity, have students pair up to search for the answers.
3. Let the students in on creating procedures
Older children, in particular, love the autonomy of helping to create their own classroom rules. Poll students and let them help decide what reasonable classroom expectations are. Not only does this give students a say in the classroom rules they must follow, it also helps them develop critical thinking and questioning skills. Sure, you may end up with a few silly rules tossed out there, but the discussion will be worthwhile and kids will love knowing that they had a hand in their own behavior.
4. Be clear and brief
No matter what method you choose to share your classroom procedures, be clear and keep your rules simple and brief. Having too many rules in a classroom sets your students up for failure – they can’t possibly remember twenty five or thirty procedures and rules! Keep it simple and consider positive phrases. Instead of demanding students “don’t talk,” consider phrasing your expectations in a positive light. “Respect others and listen politely,” is a great substitute for “don’t talk over others.” Narrow down your expectations to the important, big ideas that you need and your students will have more buy-in and a better understanding of the behaviors you want.