Establishing classroom procedures tops the list of almost every teacher around back-to-school season. This post lists 10 fun ways to teach classroom procedures that are easy to implement and effective!
Not only that, but you can grab FREE back to school lesson plans to cover 30 days of teaching. 🤩
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What is the Purpose of Classroom Procedures?
Procedures and routines help students know what they can and cannot do in your classroom.
When I first starting teaching, my mentor said, “If you don’t do anything else, Tanya, you need to establish clear procedures for EVERYTHING.”
She was SO right! Establishing procedures effectively impacts classroom management in a major way, no matter what grade you teach.
But teaching procedures in a lecture-style with a long list of do’s and do-not’s will backfire!
Here are the goals I set at the beginning of each school year:
- Begin teaching academic content as soon as I can.
- Build community and form relationships.
- Teach procedures starting on Day One.
So each idea below combines all three of these goals for creative and fun ways to teach classroom procedures!
What Are the Three Steps to Teaching Classroom Procedures?
Teaching procedures for back to school can be a piece of cake with a dash of humor and these three simple steps:
- Show and Tell: Don’t just talk about it, model or demonstrate the procedures to your students.
- Practice Makes Perfect: Dive right in! Let the students practice the procedures themselves.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: Keep reinforcing until those procedures become as routine as brushing your teeth.
With these steps, transforming any classroom rule into a back-to-school routine is a breeze! Now let’s dive into 10 creative and fun ways to teach classroom procedures.
1- Introduce Back to School Procedures with Fun Task Cards
One fun way to begin teaching procedures while also reviewing learning standards is with pretend letters and notes through task cards.
Students get letters and notes about back to school procedures written with tons of grammatical errors. The goal is to work as a team to edit and re-write these procedures correctly.
Not only are students learning new classroom procedures in a fun way, but they are also reviewing important grammar and writing skills.
2- Establish Procedures with Interactive Bulletin Boards
I keep my back-to-school classroom decor simple and minimal. It’s important to me that students’ work fill up the walls and bulletin boards, instead of just having pretty decorations.
We learn classroom procedures through our first days of school bulletin board crafts and activities.
Students collaborate to discuss what the theme means, practice the procedures which model that theme, then complete fun follow-up activities with it.
Establishing classroom procedures using bulletin boards sets up your environment for success in more than one way!
But I Need Some Back to School Bulletin Board Ideas!
When it comes to using bulletin boards for teaching procedures, it can feel overwhelming to get started. Trust me, I used to sit paralyzed for the longest time trying to think of what to put on each board. So, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite back to school bulletin board ideas to help you get the ball rolling.
I wanted to features ideas for not only boards, but doors and walls too! Why? Because you may not the space to teach procedures with a bulletin board. Plus, it’s effective to make any surface in your classroom interactive for establishing procedures.
All of the boards, doors, and walls featured in the post will make back to school a little bit easier with fun ways to teach classroom procedures!
3- Include Back to School Read-Alouds with Procedures
Read-alouds are an excellent fun way to teach classroom procedures!
Plus, they allow students to collaborate AND begin practicing academic content, like working on reading comprehension skills.
Here are some ideas on how you can use read-alouds to creatively teach procedures and routines:
- Choose books and characters that break common classroom rules and have students “act out” the story. This helps you model what NOT to do and leads to a discussion on what students SHOULD do.
- Have students re-write sections of the story pretending that character was a student in your class. The requirement is that the character has to follow your classroom procedures in the re-written version.
- I also use fun, free learning tools like Blabberize with my back-to-school read alouds. Students take a picture of a character from our book and record themselves explaining our classroom procedures as if they are the character. Students LOVE this fun way to review our procedures!
As you can see from the video above, there are several diverse back to school read-alouds you can use. But if you’re looking for more, I have a separate list of Read-Alouds for Back to School. You can also see how I implement read-alouds in my routines training with these FREE back to school lesson plans! 👇🏾
4- Play Classroom Procedures Partner Match
Getting students out of their seats really helps them have fun learning classroom procedures. That’s why my kids LOVE playing Procedures Partners.
I type our classroom procedures on index cards. Then I mix them up and give each student a card. They move around the room to find their “procedure partner.”
For instance, one card will say “When my pencil breaks, I…” and the matching card will say “…Get a newly sharpened pencil from my pencil basket.”
This also gives students a chance to collaborate with one another while learning our classroom routines.
Classroom Procedures Ideas for Pencils:
5- Show Classroom Procedure Videos
Another creative way to teach classroom procedures is to use interesting videos about classroom routines.
I use BrainPop Jr. often for learning topics. (No affiliate or sponsorship!) The site also has fun back-to-school videos like this one.
The fun part is that each video lists rules of what to do and not to do in school. Students can compare and contrast these lists with our classroom procedures lists.
Plus, I will be honest…with so many things that need to be completed for back-to-school, I need a few minutes to get organized while my students quietly watch the video.
6- Use Technology for a Fun Way to Teach Classroom Procedures
In addition to using videos, incorporating technology can be a fun way to teach procedures as well.
Plickers are a lot like QR Codes and each students gets their own Plicker. I create questions in a game-style format like Jeopardy. Students form teams and use their Plickers to answer questions about our classroom procedures.
You can use this same idea with the free online system Kahoot. Students LOVE the high-energy format of Kahoot, which keeps them engaged.
Since they’re engaged, they are more likely to remember the procedures.
Especially when you consider that most teachers are covering LOTS of procedures during the first days of school.
7- Post Classroom Procedures Checklists on Your Students’ Desks
This idea may not seem as fun to students initially, but they will be HAPPY to have these! You will be happy to have these too…trust me!
I attach our classroom’s entrance and exit procedures on students’ desk with small velcro strips.
Students practice following our procedures for entering and exiting the classroom by following the checklist on their desk. Since it’s printed for them, they have no excuse for not learning these procedures quickly!
8- Teach Procedures Using an Exit Tickets “Twitter” Board
Another creative and fun way to teach classroom procedures is to use exit tickets, which review and reinforce all the procedures you teach.
I post a fun Twitter-themed board in my classroom that stays up all year. Each student is assigned a number where they get to post their “tweets.”
And even though Twitter has changed its name to “X,” I still think this is a creative way to review class rules and routines.
This board is our exit ticket board for just about everything we do in class. Students write their responses on sticky notes and post it on their “Twitter” numbers.
Here’s why it works great for reviewing classroom procedures:
- Each “tweet” follows the 280-character limit which forces students to be concise.
- I can easily see who understands the procedure and who needs more practice.
- Students enjoy the idea of “tweeting” in class, which is great for schools that don’t allow classroom social media use.
9- Play Charades to Model Procedures and Routines
As I mentioned earlier with the back-to-school read-alouds, acting out procedures is such a fun way to reinforce your routines.
Charades is a game where a person acts out a word or phrase without using words. Everyone has to guess what is being acted out.
I incorporate this as a fun way to teach procedures by having students act out certain tasks. BUT I revised the rules to keep my students under control while we play. Here’s how it works for us:
- Only one student acts while another student gets to talk in order to guess the action. I do this to prevent everyone from screaming out at the same time.
- Everyone gets a spoon with Y on one side and N on the opposite side. Y=Yes and N=No
- They participate in charades by holding up the spoon to vote on whether the procedure is being acted out correctly or not.
With charades, I try to feed-two-birds-with-one-seed by addressing correct behavior WHILE we play the game.
Not only are we reviewing other classroom procedures, but I use the game as an opportunity to remind them of my expectations of behavior when we have high-energy classroom activities.
10-Transform Popular Board Games into Classroom Procedures Teaching
Fun board games are fantastic for teaching classroom procedures! And they don’t require a lot of teacher prep.
Those same index cards I mentioned earlier where I type our procedures are the same cards I use with my board games. #EfficientTeacherPrep!
Students follow the normal board game rules, but have to answer the classroom procedures cards I include.
Here are my favorite board games to use:
Most students are already familiar with the rules of these games, which is less prep and teaching for me. They can just jump right into this fun way to learn and review our procedures!
BONUS: Set Up Classroom Routines with No-Prep Worksheets
An extra idea that you can use with establishing procedures involves fun back to school printables. Even though it may seem less effective, worksheets can be a very efficient way to begin setting up rules and expectations.
As you consider using worksheets like these during back to school, keep these things in mind:
- No prep printables make great bell-ringer activities
- You can use these to review procedures throughout the first few months of school
- Sit these out during open-house or meet the teacher night to begin setting expectations
- If you need a sub during the first weeks of school, these activities make excellent no-prep sub work
- They are FUN for your students to complete! 🤩
In addition to this list, I like to use them as “lesson warm-ups.” For example, before teaching the procedures for eating in the cafeteria, I have students complete the “Food Rules” crossword puzzle. This warms my kiddos up to learning more about our eating procedures.
More Back-to-School Classroom Ideas
If you are looking for more classroom procedures or back-to-school resources in general, you will enjoy this post:
Each resource and activity is designed to help you and your students have an easier and smoother flow to your routine during those first weeks of school.
These ten ideas featured in this post will help you and your students have fun with establishing classroom procedures.
Be sure to share this post on your favorite social media site to help other teachers!