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October 1, 2009 Back to the Basics: Explicit Routines and Procedures By Eric Antuna

    Since the introduction of four new students in my classroom, I have been working hard at trying to acclimate the new students to their new classroom. The introduction of the new students created a completely different atmosphere in my classroom - rightfully so, as they came from a different teacher. I had to start from scratch. Here are a few tips that have really helped me get the basics covered.


    This week, I started Monday as I would start the beginning of any year. I met the students where they line up and ushered them into the classroom and sat them down. I called on them, asking their names, making sure that they understood that we were being introduced for the first time. I asked them to go over some rules. I playfully asked if they had the same rules in first grade despite it being week eight of second grade, and every single student played along. I use Chris Biffle's Power Teaching rules at


    While introducing myself to the new students as their replacement teacher, I quickly wrote some procedures that I expected everyone to follow daily. Specifically, I was having trouble with students at transition periods – coming-in in the morning, after recess, after lunch, and last recess.

    The simple lists of explicit instructions shown here has helped curb many of the behavior problems. They may seem rote and mundane, but the students look for them each day and after each transition. It has helped me become more efficient with my time and helps the students clearly understand what's expected of them. We'll see how this works as the weeks go on!


    Do you have any ideas/experiences that we could relate to each other? Please share them here!

    Thanks for reading!



    By the way!

    Scholastic News had a great issue in the September set. The issue in particular had different questions that students had to answer to see if they were a Super Star Second Grader.  It was a cut-in-half-and-staple mini book that students put into their book boxes.  We read it daily to remind them how to become a Super Star Second Grader! You can read about lesson ideas and printables here.


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