How to Teach Classroom Procedures – Part 3
Today we pick up at Step 6. If you need to review the previous steps please click here.
If you or your friends are parents, this idea would work at home too. So feel free to share this blog with anybody you know that has children at home that may benefit from this as well.
How to Teach Classroom Procedures
- Define what procedures need to be taught
- Brainstorm the steps of the procedure
- Break the process down into as many steps as needed by asking yourself questions
- Answer the questions by thinking through how you want the procedure to go
- Explain the importance of the procedure
- Determine age-appropriate ways to teach the procedure–use the model, practice, review approach
- Practice until you feel comfortable with students’ understanding of the procedure
Determine age-appropriate ways to teach the procedure–use the model, practice, review approach
The sixth step is to make sure that those things are kid friendly in the way that you explain them. This is actually three steps put together, but you’re going to repeat them until you have achieved the mastery level that you expect for this particular procedure. So the three parts are model, practice and review. When I say model, that means you want to make sure that you show them exactly how you want them to do it either by modeling the procedure yourself or having another child do it. Sometimes we also use video or pictures or anchor charts, whatever the procedure may call for. It will vary, of course, depending upon the procedure that you’re teaching and the age of the child.
With the drive-thru example, I have a picture of a drive-thru projected on my Smartboard to help bring up that prior knowledge that they have about it. I would say something like, “You’ve been through a drive-thru, right?” And the most common one at my school was McDonald’s because there was a McDonald’s very close to our school. Next, I would say, “How many of you like French fries?” and most kids would raise their hands. “And how many of you go to McDonald’s for French fries?” And they’d raised their hands again. “How many of you have ever gone through the drive-through to get some?” So I’m building that up and again accessing that prior knowledge of theirs.
And then we talk about, “Okay, well, when you go through the drive-thru, can you just speed around someone if the line isn’t going as fast as you would like or if there is someone who maybe isn’t pulling up? Like if you’re super hungry, do you just get to go to the front of the line?” And immediately, of course, they’re like, no, no, you have to stay in your spot in the line. And I would respond by saying, “You know, that’s right–you have to pay attention to what cars are in front of you when you come in and no, you can’t just speed past them. If you did, you’d get in an accident or make them angry because you cut in line.” And so, right then, I’m explaining to them and modeling to them, giving them a specific picture in their mind of how it is they need to think about lining up. Next, I would tie it into our classroom and explain that lining up is just the same. We have to go from where we are to the line in an orderly way and not just push past or zoom around others.
I would show them exactly where I would want them to walk, how I would want them to walk and what I would want them to do. And then I would have the students practice. And as they say, perfect practice makes perfect. So we would practice until I felt they had achieved the method of lining up I wanted them to do. It’s also important at this stage to be sure if they aren’t quite doing it the way you expect, that you stop right then and in a calm, respectful manner explain what was wrong and what correction is needed. This is not to call anyone out or make them feel bad, but rather, to help students understand each specific part of the process. We want them to understand what the wrong way looks like and what the right way looks like from the start.
The class would work towards the mastery that I wanted them to have, and if they were even slightly off, I would say, “Nope, this is what I saw (and explain where the procedure was executed incorrectly). So let’s go back and try that again.”
Practice until you feel comfortable with students’ understanding of the procedure
For step seven, you’ll do the model, practice and review until you get to the point that you feel like the procedure is completed the way you want it to be. Then you will just need to go back and review as needed. This will likely be each time you line up for the next several days, so plan a little extra time to line up so that you can fix any missteps right on the spot and still get to where you are going on time!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a DM on Instagram @yourteachingmentor.