Sunday, August 12, 2018

Classroom Routines and Procedures for Elementary Checklist

Classroom routines and procedures for elementary checklist to help you know all the little details to teach your students the first few weeks of school to have your entire school year run smoothly - I've compiled them all into a list for you! :)

Morning Routine
- How to politely enter and exit the classroom
- How and when to turn in homework, homework folder, or parent notes
- Where to put packed lunch
- Where to put backpack, coat, etc.
- How to do lunch count if your school does that
- How to do attendance if they help with that (in my Fun Teaching Graphing Ideas blog post, I show how to use a daily graphing question to help take attendance which is also math practice and a fun way to start calendar later in the day)
- What to do after they’ve put away their backpack, done lunch count, etc. (have a specific task like start morning work or start morning tubs)

- What goes in caddies
- When they can access backpacks/cubbies during school day (and IF they are allowed to)
- How to sharpen pencils or get a new pencil / what to do if pencil breaks
- How to safely handle scissors
- How to handle glue
- Where to put items they find in classroom (I have an awesome FREE “I’m Lost” bin label bucket you can download on my 20 Classroom Management Strategies You Can Start Right Away post that also explains quickly how I use it – it helps so much to keep things organized instead of piled on your desk or in your pockets)
- How to push down marker lids until they click
- How to push down glue stick lid until it’s tight
- How to get more glue out of a glue stick (show the height to stop turning it)
- How to use liquid glue (This awesome list of Classroom Management books has a cute book that is PERFECT to read to them about how to use glue)
- How a table/desk should look when it is clean
- How to get textbooks, notebooks, and other supplies when needed (Who gets them – each person or a table leader? Where do they get them? How do they put them back neatly?)

Behavior Management
- How your behavior system works (I share some tips in this 20 Classroom Management Strategies post)
- How to line up
- How to walk in line (check out my tips for How to Have a Quiet Line)
- How to ask to get a drink
- How to ask to go to the bathroom
- How to ask to go to the nurse
- What you should ask to go to the nurse for vs. what they can handle themselves in the classroom (in that same 20 Classroom Management strategies post above, definitely also download the free “Ouchie Lotion” label I put on there to save soo many trips to the nurse)
- How to raise hand to ask a question / talk
- Rules for tattling (I have a huge helpful blog post about How to Tackle Tattling if you’re struggling with this!)
- How to sit (crossed legs, hands in lap, mouths closed, etc.)
- Voice level during each activity (I am obsessed with my Voice Level Chart – I show it and talk all about how to use it in my Chatty Class Classroom Management Strategies post – definitely check that out as I share a ton of tips!)
- How to sit at their desks/on the carpet/at small group table when you’re teaching
- Classroom jobs and how they work (Here’s a giant list of Classroom Jobs with cute names to help you figure yours out)
- How to respectfully walk from seat to carpet
- How to respectfully walk from the carpet to their seats
- What to do when someone (child or adult) enters the room (NOTHING. Mind your business :))
- When a student is allowed to approach your desk or small groups table without being called (if they are ever allowed to)

- How and where to turn in work done in class
- How to check their work before they turn it in 
- What to do when they’re done with work (might be different for each time of day)
- What to do with work they don’t finish in class
- What to do when they finish work early (definitely check out my How to Keep Gifted Kids Engaged and Learning post for tips on how to handle students who always finish their work early)
- How to always put their name on their paper and any other info you have them do (first and last name, student number, etc.)
- What to do during a fire drill (I have a super cute No Prep Writing Craft I love to do for this lesson in my October Writing Crafts post called “How to do a Fire Drill” – it’s a perfect way to introduce or practice how to writing while also going over an important classroom procedure)
- How to clean up during transitions
- What to do if they were absent (Blog post about this coming soon!)
- What happens if they don’t finish their work in class
- What happens if they don’t turn in their homework

- How to know what group they’re in
- How to do each center
- How to get center materials
- How to clean up and put away math materials
- The voice level to talk during centers (again, a perfect time to use my voice level chart -  I recommend the Indoor Iguanas level for center time)
- What to do if their partner is absent during math centers

- How to open textbook to page (I have an amazing trick for this!! Go to my Phonics Fluency Notebooks post and scroll until you see the ribbon trick – it saves soo much time opening thick books to the correct page)
- How to always have your finger following along
- How to sit respectfully during reading groups

- How to ask for editing or help
- How to edit their work on their own first
- How to use the word wall (or personal dictionary if you use them) to correctly spell words
- Where to put writing that is in progress (or any work that is in progress for that matter)
- What to do when done with writing (I highly recommend my No Prep Writing Crafts for a fun writing activity they can do when done with their main writing OR as their main writing. That post explains how they’re made and used but I’ve also written posts for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov, and Dec that show the different fun writing crafts for the month. You can get to them all by going to my big Miss Giraffe Blog Posts List to find each post full of pictures and ideas)
- Voice level again (it’s important to establish the voice level you expect during each part of the day since it changes. Writing time is typically Quiet Turtles whereas centers would be Inside Iguanas, in-classroom breaks would be Chatty Chickens, etc.)
- How to respectfully listen to someone else share their writing

Classroom Library
- How to put books back & where they go
- How to select a book
- When they are allowed to get a book & if they have to keep the book they select or if they are allowed to switch it out (and, if so, how many times)
- How many people are allowed in the library at a time
- How to treat books
- How to walk with a book (ex: hug it until you get to seat)
- How many books they are allowed to have at their seat at a time

Outside of Classroom
- How to behave in the lunch room
- How to behave in specials
- Hallway behavior (no running, talking, peeking in other classrooms, touching bulletin boards, etc.)
- Bathroom etiquette (what to do/not to do in bathroom, count to 30 (or whatever) while washing hands)
- Recess rules
- How to line up quietly while they wait for you to pick them up from recess or specials

- How to log in to computer and/or devices
- How to handle devices (how to walk with them, get them, put them away, how to use them)
- How to get to websites, apps, etc. you want them to use & how to log in if needed
- When they are allowed to access technology

- How to read daily schedule (this is a great one to teach so they don’t ask you every day when lunch is & also helps them practice Telling Time)

End of the School Day
- How to pack up to go home
- How to line up to go home
- How to exit the classroom and walk out of the school respectfully
- Where to go after school (bus riders, parent pick up, etc.)

If you need some fun materials or want visuals to teach some of these routines, I created these really fun behavior pocket chart centers with 126 different classroom and school rules/routines/situations for kids to sort as a Responsible Choice or NOT Responsible!

Classroom Routines and Procedures for Elementary checklist visual cards you can sort in a pocket chart center or use for whole group lessons about behavior and classroom rules.. you can use these behavior sorts for so many different classroom management lessons!

Each card has a school situation or classroom behavior that kids sort as either being a Responsible Choice or NOT Responsible - these fit perfectly in a pocket chart!

Classroom Management pocket chart sort where students sort each center card as being a responsible choice or not responsible - so many awesome character lessons you could do with this!

They can also be used whole group to show kids on the carpet the cards of what to do and what not to do so kids have visuals when you discuss all the routines and procedures with your new students! They are also a lot of fun to act out together on the carpet (either do it yourself to model or choose a student volunteer for each). The "NOT Responsible" ones are super fun to act out :) They make great discussion starters for talking about rules on the carpet at the beginning of the year or any time they need a reminder.

There are SO many cards including how to behave in the classroom, how to behave at recess, how to behave in the lunch room, how to behave during centers and in reading groups, how to behave in the hallway, how to line up, how to be kind to others, etc. so you can pick out the cards that apply to those specific categories to organize into small lessons for each time of day so you can make a lot of different behavior lessons out of these cards.

Responsible Choice or Not Responsible sort with 126 classroom rules and school situations for students to sort - these are great for beginning of the year behavior management lessons

I plan on using them that way to make a lot of anchor charts out of these at the beginning of the school year for different lessons like Morning Routine Expectations, How to Behave at Recess, How to Behave in the Cafeteria, etc. so I will try to remember to add those to this post as I make them so you can see examples! :)

Here are some more pictures of them so you can see some more examples!

Beginning of the year activities to teach students how to make responsible choices with awesome visuals for what to do AND what not to do

Classroom management lessons for kindergarten or first grade perfect for the beginning of the year and establishing classroom routines and procedures and teaching your new students about all the school rules and classroom rules

You could also pull them out in small groups to teach little behavior lessons at your table! Have kids sort them in front of you, talk about each one, etc.

Classroom Rules for Elementary Ideas and huge list of classroom routines and procedures to teach the first week of school

I hope you enjoy these!!

First week of school activities 1st grade or kindergarten that you can use to teach your new students behavior expectations and classroom rules plus a huge list of what routines to teach!

Great classroom management lesson ideas for the first week of school

If you use them in a different way, I'd love to hear about it!

If you want these, you can get them here:

Also, if you are New to First Grade (or new to Kindergarten or 2nd), definitely check out this post I just published last weekend:

You can also check out all my favorite blog posts organized by topic here:
Go to the Classroom Management section for more fun ideas like these!

If you enjoyed this, I have a LOT more posts I plan on posting soon. Here are some ways you can follow along: 
TeachersPayTeachers (so you can see when I post new resources!)

Thanks so much for reading!!

Here's a pin you can use to save this post to read later if you want! :)

Classroom Routines and Procedures Checklist to teach at the beginning of the year including fun tips for how to do so!


  1. I absolutely love this post! I always worry about being able to cover my classroom procedures. This is going to be so helpful to the start of my school year. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much Danika! I am so happy it's helpful for you!! I so appreciate you taking the time to leave me a kind comment! :)

  2. As a teacher in training, this is a massive help. Thank you Ms. Giraffe.

    1. Yay! I'm so glad to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to leave a sweet comment :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope they can be helpful for you for the new school year. I appreciate your comment! :)