10 Classroom Systems You Need to Use
Why do you need to set up a classroom system?
Classroom system is a routine that is followed throughout the day. One might think these are lesson plans or classroom management method, but there are many more tasks that can be set up as a system that you may not have considered. There are tasks that you may already have a system for but it can be improved.
A ‘classroom work manual’ helps to be more effective and save time. The teacher can use that time for correction work in the school itself and spend free time with family and friends. Or, use that saved time to chat with colleagues and create connections in school that you might cherish in your life. Extra time in the day is always an advantage.
When do you need a classroom system?
Any task that you do daily can be put in the system. For example, you brush your teeth in the morning. You have found the best technique to do it, and you keep doing that everyday. A classroom should be no different. Daily tasks of the class should become a habit not only for the teacher, but for students as well. When the teacher is not present, the workings of the day should carry on smoothly.
Of course it would take time. Firstly, awareness about all the classroom systems (tasks) should be made. Then, breakdown the system into smaller steps to improve efficiency. Finally, start implementing the system and work out the bugs as you go along.
What works for one teacher or a group of students may not work for another. Routines may change from teacher to teacher depending on class size, student needs, personal preference, etc. There is no one-size-fits-all model. But once you get a classroom system in place, the classroom becomes an inviting and safe place for students. And that creates an environment which is ideal for learning and student-teacher connections.
Solutions to think about and incorporate in your system
Now that introductions have been made about Classroom Systems, let us take a look at 10 classroom systems you need to be using, and a few questions to think about the current routine.
Pencil Sharpening: How often do students need a pencil sharpened? Are they allowed to sharpen while teaching? What if the student has no pencil?
Queues: How can students line up without mass chaos? Should they be called by tables or by something else such as shirt color? If called by tables, is it by quietest, first ready, or just in order from the door? How to model standing in line once there while waiting for the others to be called in line too?
Calling out to the Teacher: Do the students raise their hand? Do they use a number signal (1 finger means question, 2 fingers means bathroom, etc)? Should they use a 4 color sheet of folded paper which are alerts to what they need? Are there certain times of the day when they are not allowed to interrupt?
Pack up: How to have smaller groups get their materials for dismissal so it is not madness? Should they pack up their backpack at their desk or at the lockers/cubbies? How to make sure any extra papers to go home are distributed? What do the children do once they are packed up and ready?
Paper Filing: Where do papers that need to be filed should be kept until they are ready to be filed? Should teachers file things immediately or once a week? Where to store files that is secure, yet still accessible?
Writing Lesson Plans: What materials will you need to plan next week? Is there a copy of last year’s plans to use as a starting point? What extra resources do I have available for next week’s topics? What can I have pre-filled that never changes from week-to-week?
Taking Attendance: Roll call? Silently look to see who is (or isn’t) in a desk at the beginning of class? Have students move a magnet with their name on it to a different part of the board to see they are “checked in”?
Breaks to go out: Should there be a special signal for Bathroom breaks or other reason? How can they quietly alert without interrupting class time? Does the child need a special hall pass to leave the classroom?
Giving Handouts: Are the papers passed by the teacher or students? Does one person from the row or group go get the materials and pass out? Is there a group role which is assigned to do this?
Each system can have many more questions involved to complete their personal ‘classroom manual’. It takes time to think about how a perfect system would work. But when you have a set plan in writing, you can replicate it with all your classes and control of your day.
This article has excerpts from OrganizedClassroom.com. Read the original here.