In general, during the initial days, the most important learning for students will be the rules, regulations and routines you wish them to follow. Homework will be assigned and checked, of course, but establishing routines should be a priority for future student discipline and academic achievement. The Code of Discipline, Grading Policy and Course Outline should be distributed, reviewed and discussed with all classes.
Each teacher's routines should be explained and questions
answered. To promote student "buy-in", it also helps to generate
a list of classroom rules with the students and display these
prominently. The best way to learn any routine is byrepetition
under supervision. The first few classes should emphasize
routines and reinforce the Code of Discipline. Students want routines and discipline. Remember that establishing discipline is easier if you have a meaningful lesson. Be prepared to teach.
The following procedures are "tried and true" classroom management techniques that will help in establishing the necessary and desirable atmosphere for productive instruction:
1. Know your students by name. Names can be learned early on by establishing seating arrangements, keeping accurate Delaney cards, and calling on non-volunteers.
2. Model excellent punctuality by being on time to class each day yourself and starting your lesson promptly.
3. Usher into your room students who are in the hallway after the late bell.
4. Always challenge latecomers. (e.g., "Paul, please get to class on time."). In addition, maintain a late book on a desk near the door and remind late students to sign as they come in. A late book becomes a more powerful tool when there is a penalty attached to it, e.g., a home phone call by the teacher; the threat of a referral to the principal; a loss of a valued privilege;points deducted from a student's grade, etc. (Reminder: late books are required in all classes).
5. Short quizzes (in lieu of a do-now, and no more than ten minutes) can be given on a daily basis as a way of getting students to come to class on time. To avoid excessive clerical work, papers can be exchanged and corrected by the class.
6. Use positive approaches. Award "bonus points" and awards to students who exhibit outstanding attendance and punctuality.
7. Have work for your students to do as soon as they enter the room. Such "donow's" should be brief (no more than ten minutes), may serve as a review of previous work, or motivate the lesson for the day.
8. With classes returning from lunch, procedural do-nows are very helpful in focusing students as they enter: e.g.: Do-Now:Take out your text and homework. Copy your heading and homework assignment. Copy today's vocabulary words and definitions. (no more than two items).
9. Do-now's should always be reviewed with the class, or they will become perceived as "busy work."
10. Vary your instructional approaches to avoid monotony. In addition to the developmental lesson, approaches such as collaborative learning (with partners and/or groups), demonstrations, and oral presentations, should be incorporated on a regular basis.
11. Be business-like; you are a professional. Show the class you expect them to be business-like as well.
12. Check and follow up on homework assignments.
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