Goodbye Winter Break, Hello Reteaching...

We have been out of school for 16 straight days. Over two weeks of no structure, no expectations, no school rules!
So it's  like 
going in on Day 1.  We're going to go over routines and procedures just like we did in September.  It  may take up a bit of time that first week back, but it will pay off in the long run:)
Now is the best time to make any changes or adjustments in procedures for the rest of the year.  You're going to reteach procedures anyway, right?  


When teaching procedures, I use the modeling method from Responsive Classroom.It looks like this:
Never assume they know anything.  Model exactly the behavior you want.
Observe and Share
I ask the kids the watch what I do and be ready to share what they noticed.   I model the procedure exactly how I want the kids to do it and let the kids tell what they saw.  They will tell all (or most) of the important components of the procedure.  It is so much more meaningful when they discover it for themselves instead of listening to the teacher tell them how.
I model it again and name each step while I do it. 
Now I ask a couple of volunteers to show the class the procedure.  Again, I ask the kids to watch and notice.  The kids will share what they saw. 
This time I ask a group of kids to model the procedure.  Repeat the noticings and sharings.  I do this until everyone has had a chance to model and share.
Now the whole class will practice the procedure and debrief with what they did correctly and where there were shortcomings.


It also helps to get kids to reflect on why classroom procedures and rules are important,  and how the classroom is effected when procedures are not followed.

Here are some questions to ask - these might be good journal prompts, homework assignments, or small group discussion ideas.  Just use the procedure you are trying to reinforce.  For this example, I'll use sitting on the carpet for a whole group lesson.

What does sitting on the carpet for a lesson look like?  
What does it sound like?  
What does it feel like?
You'd be surprised at the introspective answers the students share.  One of my boys told me that sitting on the carpet for a lesson felt 'exhausting because it's really hard to sit still and be quiet for a long time.'  Powerful stuff.

Sitting on the carpet for a lesson IS...
Sitting on the carpet for a lesson IS NOT...

When I do not follow the procedures, I feel...
my classmates feel...
my teacher feels...

What happens when I follow classroom procedures?
What happens when I do NOT follow classroom procedures?

Asking these questions really helps kids to think about their place in the classroom family and how they can impact everyone's day.

I hope you have a wonderful re-entry into the classroom next week!  
Good luck-and remember that it's never too early to pray for snow!

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