Reflecting on classroom routines

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Classroom routines are an important part of making classrooms safe and productive spaces for pupils to learn. Having expected ways of behaving for key transitions or activities means that more time can be spent learning than ‘getting ready’. Routines can be established that will benefit from regular practise and revisiting until they are well embedded for you and your pupils. These reflective questions will help you to consider three key routines in your practice, whether you’re establishing or revisiting them. Entry routines This routine is primarily concerned with pupils entering the classroom with the minimum of fuss, disruption and noise so that learning can begin. You may like to consider: How do you greet your pupils to make them feel welcome and also have the opportunity to reinforce expectations such as uniform, equipment, phone use...? How do you ease the transition between rooms, especially for pupils with SEND who may find the potentially loud and crowded corrido

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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. A
    Angela Murphy

    A super article with some fab questions prompts that can be used to reflect on the all important setting up of routines! I shall be setting this as reading material for our trainees for next week! Perfect. Thank you.

  2. S
    Sakira Arthur

    So many useful questions to ask yourself when observing lessons, as well as points to consider when I begin teaching classes myself. Now more than ever, time is so valuable within lessons, so it is important top have clear routines to maximise this.

  3. G
    George Michels

    Having these questions to hand when observing others setting up their classroom expectations and routines is going to be extremely helpful. They will also help me when I come to decide these things for myself. Thank you!

  4. L
    Luke Mazingham

    Lots of the bullet points above i have already seen during my classroom observations which is good to see. Also plenty of stuff to take out of this article as regards to preparing for the lesson with smooth and quick transitions throughout.

    1. H
      Hannah Tyreman

      Hi Luke, thanks for commenting. Great to hear that you’ve observed a lot of these things already! I wonder which area of your routines you might choose to address first on your journey as a new teacher?

  5. B
    Bethany C Cutter

    This was extremely helpful and I have observed most of this throughout my classroom observations however, as I have been teaching my own lessons I am aware I could improve upon aspects of this and will therefore use these bullet points as a checklist when preparing and planning my lessons!

    1. H
      Hannah Tyreman

      Thanks for sharing your reflections, Bethany. Every teacher takes quite some time to shape their routines in a way that’s most effective for them and their pupils’ learning. It’s a great idea to use this as a planning prompt. Don’t feel pressure to work on everything all at once. You might like to focus on one area you think might make most difference and once that’s secure, move your attention to another area of your routines. Good luck with it!

  6. D
    David Carter

    Some great pointers here for operation in a regular classroom in more “normal” times. However, I would be very interested to read professional opinion on managing the routines in our current Covid dominated world and how schools have reacted and are dealing with new and potentially more disruptive routines within year group bubbles and dedicated classrooms. There may be less impact on transitions inside the lesson as rules and recommendations on social distancing are interpreted and applied but entry and exit routines may be very different to the norm.

  7. G
    Gina Plimley Gadd

    It is quite nice to read this article after a couple of weeks in school – as Luke mentioned, we have already seen most if not all of these in action so far. I think that makes the question prompts easier to take in because I know their relevance and what purpose they serve. Very helpful!

  8. M
    Miss Bethany Gibbs

    A useful resource to have when considering how best to establish your own routines as an early career teacher. This could be used as a crib sheet when setting them up for yourself- what might you be missing each lesson? Where could your routine be improved?

  9. F
    Farahnaaz Rajub

    I’ve observed some of these bullet points already in the classroom, but now I will be able to keep my eyes open for more of those that’s listed.
    When I’ll come to teaching my own lessons, I’ll be able to implement some of these routines.

    1. H
      Hannah Tyreman

      Great to hear, Farahnaaz. Remember that your routines should be shaped to your context so do experiment with these elements and select the things that seem to have most impact for you and your pupils. Good luck!

  10. S
    Sophie Wallis

    Really helpful article where I’ve seen a lot of these used in PE lessons already. Made some good notes I can take in to my own lessons to help them run more smoothly during transitions and routines.

  11. L
    Laura Atkins

    A very helpful article with lots of useful points to consider for setting up classroom routines as well as transitions between lessons.

  12. h

    Thank you. I’m taking on my own class from September after cover teaching this year. I have observed some great teachers who have honed their routines for minimal disruption. I had a revelation recently in a particularly challenging class. My initial reaction was to make the lesson more fun! more engaging! more flashy! but after some very sound advice I realised that until those routines are established, I can deliver the most engaging lesson but the children (primary) will still find it hard to engage as they feel lost without their routines.

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