Teach Procedures: Four Steps to Success

STEP ONE
EXPLAIN

EXPLAIN BRIEFLY, for example:

"To be help us work easily together, we will learn some procedures. Procedures are the way we do things each time we do them.

The first procedure we are going to learn is how I will get your attention as a class."

KEEP IT LIGHT AND FUN!

Elementary students will enjoy this process openly, but sometimes secondary students are a little reticent to show their enjoyment. Just keep bringing those students along, keeping it light and fun. You can even tell middle school and high school students, “ Yes, I know it seems silly to do this, but please just humor me. I want to be sure we all know how to do this.”

 

Use these four steps to teach procedures to your class. An example is included.

Use these four steps to teach procedures to your class. An example is included.

STEP TWO
MODEL

SHOW IT CORRECTLY

“Are you ready? OK, watch me.”

                Raise your hand in the air silently and look at the class.

“That’s it. When you see me raise my hand, then you silently raise yours to signal everyone else that the teacher needs your attention. Then you sit silently and look at me with your hand up. The trick is to get everyone with a hand up as quickly as possible. You can tap your neighbor or signal them silently to clue them in if you need to. Then, I’ll say, ‘Thank you,’ and you’ll follow the next direction.”

SHOW IT INCORRECTLY (MAKE THEM LAUGH)

“OK, is this how it’s done? 'CLAAAA---AAASS! CLAAAA-AASSS! BE QUIET!!!!' Right, that’s not it at all."

SHOW IT CORRECTLY AGAIN

“Here we go, again. See if this is correct.”

Raise your hand in the air silently and look at the class.

“Now THAT’S what you’ll see!”

 

STEP THREE
PRACTICE

STUDENT PRACTICE

"Now you get a chance to practice! The first time, I’ll just show you my hand in the air, and you will give the appropriate response, raise your hand and look at me silently as quickly as possible. Ready, here we go!"

Raise your hand in the air and look at the class. Wait for just about everyone to raise their hand and for EVERY SINGLE ONE to be silent.

“Thank you. You did that so well, let’s make it a little harder. This time, you go ahead and talk to your neighbors, and I’ll raise my hand to get your attention. Let’s see how fast you can do it.”

REMEMBER, PROBLEMS ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPLAIN MORE.

Thank them for good examples and problems. Correct any misconceptions exhibited by the errors students make. Then ask the class to do it once more so you can write down their time. Record the time it takes to come to attention on the board. Challenge them to beat that time the next chance they get!

 

STEP FOUR
REINFORCE

REINFORCE BY CELEBRATING THAT THEY LEARNED A NEW PROCEDURE:

´  HIGH FIVES

´  SILENT APPLAUSE

´  PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK

´  TAKE A BOW

Reinforce the procedure frequently, at first, then less frequently as time goes on for about two weeks.

 

Once they have learned the procedure

Teaching procedures using these four steps leads to a class of students who know the procedures. Once they have been taught, you can expect them to be followed each time students encounter the situations for the procedure. If they don't, be consistent in reminding them to use the procedure they were taught.

With some classes, you have to remind them just before the procedure comes up each time for quite a while. You can do that by simply asking a couple of students to explain the procedure you are about to use. With some students, you will help them remember procedures nearly all year.

In general, failure to follow a procedure is not grounds for issuing a consequence to a student. However, there may be cases where students intentionally disrupt by not complying with procedures. In that case, you probably need to consider consequences.

 

USE THE FOUR STEP PROCESS

WHENEVER YOU ARE TEACHING A NEW PROCEDURE FOR:

´  CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

´  EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS SUCH AS FIRE DRILLS

´  OUT OF CLASS SUCH AS WALKING IN LINE, GOING TO THE CAFETERIA

´  SMALL GROUP SUCH AS HOW TO MOVE TO YOUR NEXT GROUP

´  NEW LESSON ACTIVITIES SUCH AS A NEW LEARNING GAME

´  ANY OTHER TASK WHERE STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO ACT A CERTAIN WAY