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Back to basics - good routines

Although most of us would like to keep our lessons varied, with a small dose of the unexpected, we also value the fact that children need and want clear routines.

Here are a few which worked for me and my colleagues:
  • Have any equipment ready and materials for the lesson laid out before the class enters the room.
  • Make sure the class is lined up appropriately and not making too much noise.
  • Greet the class at the door as they come. Have a cheerful word with a few as they file in. Rigorously check uniform at this point. (I was never a uniform fan, but I rarely left sloppy appearance unchecked.)
  • With younger ones have them sing a song as they walk in (e.g. books have to be out by the time they get to the end of the song).
  • If the class is excessively noisy as they stand behind their tables, make them go out and start again. Classes need training until they get things right.
  • Check seating plan is in order. We found boy-girl pairs worked well in Y7 and Y8.
  • Have a choral greeting routine as they stand at their tables. Ensure eye contact.
  • Use a countdown in French to ensure any books are removed promptly from bags .
  • Have a couple of volunteers had out marked books - or leave this until later if you want a brisk start.
  • Have clear signs for lesson transitions (e.g. a clap, raised arm, countdown, small bell, tap on wooden frog).
  • Have a goodbye routine as students stand behind their tables.
  • Make classes leave in selected groups (row by row, boys/girls, by first letter of name etc) to avoid crowding at the door.
  • Use this time for discrete one-to-ones with chosen pupils.
Let me know if you have any other tips about routines.

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