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The First Days of School – Procedures and Transitions

September 9, 2011

Classroom procedures and signals are important to make the most of instructional time in the classroom. For smooth transitions and a productive classroom environment, spend the first few days of school teaching and reviewing the routines of your classroom. In an active, hands-on environment it is important to have clear signals that students will easily recognize. Learning and working together will be fun when these signals are unique, memorable or peculiar.

Here are some ideas to try. If you have an original idea you have found useful, please share it with us.

Bells and Sounds

  • Wireless doorbell: Inexpensive wireless doorbells are available at your hardware store.  Keep the button in a special place.  Be careful not to overuse it, so your students will know that when they hear the doorbell, they need to stop and listen. Most have multiple tunes.
  • Bicycle bell: I have a  cheeseburger bicycle bell. It is unique and the kids love it.
  • Jingle bells: Not just for Santa.
  • Desk bell: Listen please.
  • School bell: Put it to good use.
  • Dinner bell: Check at thrift stores or Goodwill.
  • Tambourine
  • Maracas
  • Train whistle
  • Clickers
  • Rain stick
  • Wind chimes
  • Table chimes

Music Box: Wind it up on Monday (or every morning.) Throughout the week, open it when you need quiet or attention. If there is music left on Friday (or the end of the day), CELEBRATE.

Attention Getters: Animated stuffed animals or characters. When you push the button, it plays a catchy tune. Students stop talking and listen. Remember those singing fish?

What other signals have you seen or used? Please share.

Remember to make learning fun and your classroom a safe and welcoming destination.

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