I taught 7th grade the last two years and I'm really big on procedures. In fact, I feel that if you have procedures, rules are kind of secondary to that as proper procedures handle 90% of behavior issues anyway. The past two years I've had a power-point presentation that listed out all my procedures (one slide/procedure) and there were slides in between for practice and reflection. Works great w/middle-schoolers...now how do I teach 1st graders?? They're not fluent readers, so a power-point might not be the best way to handle that...I'm just at a loss! Do you try and teach them all in one day?? Do you break it up? What are some procedures that you would definitely teach the 1st day, 2nd day, etc?? Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!
I don't teach 1st, but I model what I do in 3rd after what I saw the K teachers do, and I'd do the same with 1st grade. She told them the procedure (1 at a time - like what to do when you first get to the classroom), then she modeled it (put on a backpack and walked into the room like she was a student and showed them what to do as she verbalized it). Then the kids got their backpacks and did the same thing (without verbalizing it). She did this with EVERY procedure.
I'm sure she broke up the day some with some art activities or something, but those kids definitely knew what to do! I was amazed.
I like the idea of calling them procedures - I'm going to have to borrow that :-) Basically Chica, I think you're on the right track, but you will have to adjust your presentation to meet the ability of your audience.
I would start with one procedure a day - really model it, have students model it. practice, practice, practice! Also, I've found that discussion with the students about WHY the procedure is important also helps the kids to internalize it (i.e. We only sharpen pencils first thing in the morning because otherwise it's disruptive; we return books where they belong because otherwise no one can find them, etc).
If you read up on Responsive Classroom, there's a good book about "The First Six Weeks of School" It really encourages teachers to take time with teaching procedures so that they're really internalized and this will help carry you through the rest of the school year. The program also talks about Guided Discovery, where you bring out new tools (ie scissors, math manipulatives, etc.) and discuss procedures around using them appropriately.
First graders have a tendency to think about rules and consequences in very extreme ways. If they break a rule, they're bad, and if you ask why should they follow the rules, you'll hear how they want to 'be good'. I really try to get them to understand more of the whys of the rules and how logical consequences work.
Back to what you wrote in the beginning about the Power Point - I think that's a great idea, however, I would wait and put it together with the kids after you have established the procedures (remember to limit it to about 5). Then, you could always refer back to the pp during the year if the kids need reminders.
I agree with you that establishing procedures well helps eliminate behavior issues.
We make T-charts for every important procedure taught. Post the t-chart in the room and revisit frequently. Depending on the procedure, you might have the sections on the T-chart be: What does it look like/sound like or What is the student doing/teacher doing. As mentioned in a previous post-practice, practice, practice. You should also have the students reflect on how they did. Another good pointer is to stop bad habits immediately! Daily 5 has some great ideas for establishing literacy habits/procedures that you can modify to teach any procedure.
I teach the procedures as the need arises. Obviously, there are a lot of procedures needed right away: what do you do when you come into the classroom in the morning, how do we walk down the hallway, lunchtime procedures, recess procedures, fire drill procedures, end of the day procedures, lining up, etc. I practice these procedures frequently the first month of school until students are demonstrating them on their own. We revisit the t-charts as needed...sometimes students will need a reminder and practice mid-year or towards the end of the year!
Yes, procedures and model, model model!
Last year, I had to have a sub the 2nd week of school. She thought my class was terrible and couldn't' do anything. (And she was a powerful sub, the wife of the P.) I looked awful and she offered unwanted help. I knew they just didn't have the procedures down yet!
Well, she had to sub for me again after Christmas. She was all smiles then! She didn't offer any help that time.
...to repeat, repeat, repeat yourself. No matter how well you think you have their attention, there's always someone who's not "tuned in." Assume nothing. Start with a clean slate and model things the way you'd like them to go. The class I had this year could NEVER line up straight and quietly, even when I put yardsticks on the floor for them to straddle. Their K teacher said they were the same way when she had them. Must've been the group. This year I will focus on that early and earnestly.
Also, six yr.olds attention span is short. Don't expect them to sit and listen to you teach or show a power-point for very long. They need hands-on or movement. Break up things like time at their desks, then to the rug for a short time, etc. They fidget a lot and are not very independent for a while (months). In my experience, after the holidays they seem to turn the corner. Then you can do and expect more from them.
Make sure you take the time to enjoy them!!
I teach over and over again the "rules" and the "right way" to do things in the first grade. We are "polite" to each other. We never say the words "stupid" or "shut-up." We keep our hands, feet and mouths to ourselves.
I repeat over and over again what the rules are and what I expect. We work on it from the first day of school to the last day of school. I do like your word "procedures" and may borrow that word instead of "rules."
I talk with the students about being nice to each other. I model being nice and I call out on people when I see them being nice to each other. In the first grade it is a lot of repeating and modeling over and over again.
I agree with all the previous posters, and in addition I have found my students LOVE it when I choose one to show how the procedure looks. "Fernando, will you show the class what it looks like and sounds like to pass out the laptops." First graders love to be the chosen one and when you call attention to those that are doing it correctly, they all respond...hoping to be next!
My advice is to sit down and picture how you want your classroom to function from the minute they walk in to the minute they walk out. Make a list of everything you want them to do. It may seem tedious, but list everything! You can't assume that they know how to do anything, because there will be somebody who doesn't, and lots who know how to do it, but not your way! I always look at it as if I'm not teaching them how to do something, then I can't get upset with them for the way they do it. I have procedures for everything!
Once you have your list, prioritize. Decide what is crucial to be taught the first day and then go from there. Model and practice and model and practice. If you want a step-by-step model for teaching any kind of procedures, look at the 10 steps to independence in The Daily Five. (This by itself is a HUGE part of the reason why D5 is so successful for most people, because it tells them step by step how to teach their kids the procedures of D5, but it works with anything.) I usually spend the 1st 6 weeks hammering away at procedures until they can function in my classroom with their eyes closed!
And, once you get into your year, if other things pop up that you didn't think about, stop and take some time to teach that new procedure. If a procedure isn't working the way you thought it would, talk honestly with your kids about it and change the procedure. But, make sure you still give them practice time with the new one. It will be a work in progress, but it will also make all the difference in the world as you go through your year!
yes, you have to establish your rules and procedures. I agree with "showing" them. I will pretend to be a first grader and walk in the room correctly. I ask for someone to model the correct behavior. Then, I ask for someone to model the incorrect behavior. We talk about it. I think all kids want to know the "whys" of everything. Practice, practice, practice... The first 3 weeks are long but well worth the time spent "showing" them the procedures... and letting them practice
maybe list out for me all the procedures that you teach?? I agree that I need to sit down and decide what I want them to do for everything and I have quite a few in mind that I will be using, but I'm afraid I'll forget something!
Instead of posting "rules," I call them agreements. After we have come up with the agreements together (and I do some leading with them here ) I write them on chart paper and we all sign it. Then we talk about how no one wants to break the agreement. It has worked really well for me I feel b/c the kids are able to show ownership.
Here are some of the procedures that I teach my first graders the first few weeks of school...
Putting things away in lockers
How to line up
How to walk quietly in the hall
What to do when they eat lunch in the lunch room
How to use the centers chart/move to centers
Level of noise in the classroom
Where to put library books that need to get checked in
Where to put completed work
Where to put homework
Raise hands when you want to be called on
How to get a sharp pencil, what to do with a broken pencil
I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of anymore right now.
Dont expect them to know! They have to be shown. At our school first grade is the first year for desk, they have been at tables. You have to start from scratch. Last year, I even did a lesson on the correct way to sit in a chair. Make sure you model exactly what you want and what you dont want!!