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Best of Works 4 Me: Routines & Procedures

These teaching tips and strategies will help you establish and maintain an efficient, productive classroom.

Found in: advice & support; routines & procedures

Works4Me is a free biweekly e-newsletter, showcasing practical classroom tips written by the readers themselves. For more than 10 years we have been gathering great ideas from the real experts, educators like you.

Here are some of the routines & procedures teaching tips we've gathered over the years to help you create an efficient and productive classroom.

Establishing Your Rules, Routines, and Procedures

Class Constitution
In 2004, Congress passed an obscure law requiring schools that receive federal funds to educate students about the Constitution during Constitution Week. Here’s a practical idea for codifying classroom rules that fits the bill.

Class Mission Statement
Instead of establishing classroom rules, Ms. Cashell’s class creates a mission statement. Find how she guides them through the writing process and helps them take ownership of their own learning environment.

End of the Day Routines
Looking for some routines to keep your classroom clean and orderly? This educator's tip can help you do that while teaching students pride, responsibility, and teamwork -- all in one fell swoop!

Re-establishing Routines
When the school year begins, Ms. Hunter's colleagues establish procedures for the hallway, lunchroom, bathroom, etc. The routines are re-established and rotated to make sure everyone knows the rules.

Attendance & Lunch Count

Accurate Lunch Count
What a creative way to keep an accurate lunch count every day. See how Ms Musa's tip can save you some time when things get hectic.

Attendance and Lunch at a Glance
Ms. Kelley's tip is a real time-saver for her, and all it takes is a package of Push-Pins!

Attendance Pictures
Imagine lunch count and attendance taken care of right away, without any time taken from the morning? It's not a dream, it's Ms. Bracker's unique tip - see how you can make it work for you!

Attendance Without Calling Roll 
Ms. Pilgreen uses this strategy to quickly take attendance without having to call roll. Her tip also makes life easier for substitute teachers.

Picture Lunch Count 
Ms. Pickering created a quick way to take lunch count that saves her lots of time at the beginning of the day.

Enlisting Classroom Helpers

Classroom Bosses
Here’s a suggestion for developing a system of classroom helpers that puts this characteristic to good use. It helps students take more ownership of the classroom and allows them to give and show respect to each other.

Class Secretary
Ms. Adman assigns her students leadership positions in her classroom. The secretary of the week takes class notes, records assignments and helps students who return from an absence.

Homework Assistant
Tracking homework, assignments, and getting work to absent students can be time-consuming, so Ms. Kenley "employs" a student assistant as part of her routine. Learn more about her time-saving tip.

Managing Supplies

Book Labels
Accounting for the books you buy for your clasroom can be time-consuming to say the least. Here's a tip from Ms. Newmanto help you keep better track of who borrowed what book while saving you some time, too. 

Textbook Labeling
Lost textbooks are a part of a teacher's life, it seems. So Ms. Lambert came up with this a clever inventory and identification method to give every missing book the best chance of getting returned to students.

Tracking Classroom Supplies
Learn what Ms. Hanson does to make tracking depleted classroom supplies a breeze. She suggests an easy way to record and manage a list throughout the year, so replacing supplies eliminates guesswork and mistakes.


Assignment Schedule
Ms. Mast has a great way to use that gigantic desk calendar that's too big for your overloaded desk. See how she uses it in her daily routine to track student work and keep everyone up-to-date.

Filing Mail and Paperwork
Even though the paperless, digital age is upon us, let’s face it: there’s still a lot of paperwork. If piles of paper are driving you crazy, learn how this organized teacher maintains are sanity with a few simple routines.

Recording Completed Assignments
Ms. Westphal found a great procedure to keep kids on task and to record completed assignments.See what she does with simple 3" x 5" index cards that she claims works like magic!

When Students are Absent

Absence Notebooks
This unique tip can help your students stay organized and responsible for work following an absence. See how this educator makes it happen.

Absent Planner
Ms. Thomas uses this tip to keep her absent students' work on track. Read about how you can make her tip work for you!

Class Logs
Excessive absences prompted Ms. Manley into action! Learn how her tip helps her diminish paperwork, increase make-up work efficiency, and save valuable time.

Class Note Taker
How do you make sure that students who are absent get the materials they missed? Enlist another student's help! See how Ms. Caney makes students helping students work for her.


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