If you want a classroom that runs so well it can run without you…rules, routines, and procedures is the way. And if you want your small group/center time to be effective this is MANDATORY!
Usually this happens the first 4-6 weeks of school, but if it didn’t- no worries…start at any time but the key to succes is being CONSISTENT! Once students know that you are consistent, you will have less issues.
Learning centers/stations will not be effective if you have not established, modeled, and practiced routines! Here are some quick tips:
- Show them how it should be done.
- Show them how it should NOT be done.
- Have a student show how it should be done.
- Have a student show how it should NOT be done.
- Have a group show how it should be done.
- Have a group how it should NOT be done.
- Have the class show how it should be done.
- Have the class show how it should NOT be done.
- Try it for real.
- If all goes well, continue…if not, go back to #1.
Really, do it over and over until they get it!
As for rules, EVERY center area needs to have rules, procedures, and what to do if your finish early.
Believe me, it will NOT be easy..but it WILL be worth it. Students will be so used to the way things are done, that even if you are not there, they will know what to do AND DO IT!! I’VE SEEN IT HAPPEN EVEN IN KINDERGARTEN!