I always knew as a teacher that I needed to teach my students the classroom procedures. What I didn’t know was that I should teach EVERY procedure. I just thought that there were some things that they should just know. Boy, was I wrong!
Once I figured that out, I would stand up there and tell them about each one. This is how you do this, and this is how you do that…and then here, do it this way… Can you say BOR-ING?! Then frustration would set in because they didn’t know them.
Fast forward to recent years. I realized if we practiced them in a more engaging way, students would not only know them, but I wouldn’t have to stand up there and go over each one again and again. I always loved using games in my content areas but never thought to do it for classroom procedures. Now I actually look forward to teaching the procedures. Not only do they help each part of the day go more smoothly, but they also help the students within your classroom know what you expect from them. Classroom procedures games are the way to go!
After I’ve introduced some procedures and I think they are ready to start practicing them, I bring out the games. I take the 40 most important procedures that I want them to practice and put them onto cards. I then split the cards up into 10 per pile (so I can have 4 groups and they are all practicing more different procedures). If 10 per group isn’t enough, I print two sets and then put 20 at each station. I then use the cards in different games for them to practice. Here are some ways you can use the free set of cards! Get this FREE DOWNLOAD below.
Don’t get me wrong, you will still have to demonstrate and discuss the procedures, but then students really get to practice and know them in small groups and with partners. I tell them that there will be a fun whole group game after we practice, and they are eager to get started.
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Game 1: Headbandz
For the game Headbandz, students place the pile of cards face down. One student takes a card and, without looking, places the card on his/her forehead so the other students can see. The other students give that student clues to try and get them to guess what is on the card without saying the words on the card. Students can act it out or give any clues to help the other student get the answer. This is always a lot of fun.
Game 2: Tic Tac Toe
For Tic Tac Toe, students can work in partners or groups of four with two people per team. Place the cards face down, and then one team draws the first card. They read it and then say what the procedure is. If correct, they place their “X” or “O” on the game board. If incorrect, they put the card at the bottom of the pile and play moves on to the other team. Get a fun GIANT Tic Tac Toe here.
Game 3: Bowling
For bowling, have the students set up the pins, and one student takes a card and reads it. They then tell the rest of their answer. If correct, they roll for bonus points. If not, the play moves to the next player. When a student gets to roll, I have them set up the pins while the next person is answering their question. Students can keep track of the arbitrary points (they love points) on a white point. I got this bowling set in the Target Dollar Spot, but this one here from Amazon would work, too.
Game 4: Chutes & Ladders
For Chutes & Ladders, you just set up the game board as normal. Instead of spinning right away, a student draws a card. They read it and explain what the procedure is for that card. If correct, they get to spin and move their game piece. If incorrect, they don’t get to spin, and gameplay moves on to the next person. Chutes & Ladders or Snakes and Ladders, or any other variation of the game would work. Yard sales are a great place to pick this game up, or here it is on Amazon.
Game 5: Trouble
For Trouble, set up the game as normal. Students then decide who goes first. The first person draws a card and then says the procedure for that card. If correct, they pop the die and play the game as normal. If incorrect, no popping! The rest of the game is played just like always. Use the original rules.
Game 6: Jenga
For Jenga, the game setup is just like playing the original. Once set up, a student draws one of the cards and states the procedure for that card. If correct, they roll the color die and pull that color from the tower. If incorrect, the play just moves on to the next person. I love this colored wooden block game from Amazon because it comes with a colored die AND a storage bag!
Whole Group Review
After the students play the games, I like to do a whole class review where students will work in small groups to answer questions about our classroom procedures.
Game 7: Classroom Procedures Game Show
Once we’ve practiced for a while, we then play this Game Show to review the classroom procedures! It’s an editable Powerpoint Game that makes reviewing the procedures engaging and fun! I put students into six groups to play. They take turns choosing the categories and amounts, but they all answer every question. If correct, they get the point amounts added to their score on the working scoreboard! Once you add the most important procedures, this game is so great to pull out after winter and spring break or anytime they need a refresher.
Check out this post for more on classroom procedures.