Classroom procedures: Kinds of procedures, how to develop, teach, and implement classroom procedures


Rationale for developing and teaching procedures: Outstanding teachers develop, teach, model, practice and use procedures in their classrooms to ensure classrooms are: safe, orderly, organized, efficient, and effective.

Developing classroom procedures

Steps to develop classroom procedures

Even if you want to empower students to develop their own procedures, it is still a good idea to think through the following four steps so you will be ready to offer suggestions.

  1. Identify a procedure and information students need to know and do to complete the procedure successfully.
  2. Break the procedure into distinct logical steps.
  3. Identify instructional steps to instruct students in how to perform the procedure (see indirect and direct instructional sequence below).
  4. Identify successive approximations and skill outcomes students will perform from a beginning level to an expert level.
  5. Select or create an effective instructional model for teaching the procedure and for making it a classroom routine.

Sequences can be taught with a direct or indirect instructional procedure.

Indirect instructional sequence:

Direct instructional sequence:

Classroom Procedures - Listed by category

Before class

  1. Coming to class prepared
  2. Taking up students money for lunch and other school activities

Starting Class

  1. Taking attendance
  2. Marking absences
  3. Tardy students
  4. Giving make-up work for absentees
  5. Enrolling new students
  6. Enrolling students
  7. Warm up activity as students enter the room

Instructional Time

  1. Student movement within the classroom
  2. Use of cell phones
  3. Students into and out of the classroom
  4. Students who have to leave early
  5. Going to restroom and drinking fountain
  6. Getting students' attention
  7. Students talking during class
  8. What students do when work is completed
  9. Working together as groups
  10. Handing in papers/homework
  11. A process for re-doing and re-submitting corrected papers & projects
  12. Appropriate headings for papers
  13. Bringing, distributing materials, using text book
  14. Sharpening pencils
  15. Leaving room for specials (generally not applicable for 9-12 graders)
  16. Dealing with students who have missed assignments
  17. Dealing with boredom
  18. Students who don't have pencils, paper or other materials
  19. Signals to get attention and seek help on an assignment or project
  20. Touching other students in classroom/school
  21. Eating food in class
  22. Laboratory procedures
  23. Students who get sick during class
  24. Listing assignments, homework, due dates
  25. Systematically monitoring student learning during instruction

Ending Class

  1. Putting things away
  2. Cleaning up the classroom
  3. Dismissing the class
  4. Collecting papers and assignments


  1. Lining up for lunch/recess/special events
  2. Walking to lunch/recess
  3. Putting away coats and backpacks
  4. Cleaning out desks/cubbies/lockers
  5. Preparing for fire drills, evacuation, tornado, intruders, lock down, and other emergencies
  6. Going to gym for assemblies/pep rallies
  7. Respecting teacher's desk and storage area
  8. Appropriately handling/using computers/equipment

Student Accountability

  1. Late work
  2. Missing work
  3. Extra credit
  4. Redoing work and/or retaking tests
  5. Incomplete work
  6. Neatness
  7. Papers with no names
  8. Using pens, pencils, colored markers
  9. Using computer generated products
  10. lnternet access on computers
  11. Setting and assigning due dates
  12. Writing on back of paper
  13. Make up work and amount of time for makeup work
  14. Letting students know assignments missed while absent
  15. Percentage of grade for major tests, homework, etc.
  16. Explaining your grading policies
  17. Letting new students know your procedures
  18. Having contact with all students at least once during the week/day
  19. Exchanging papers
  20. Using internet for posing assignments and sending them in

Teacher Accountability

  1. Determine grades on report cards
  2. Grade daily assignments
  3. Record grades so assignments and dates are included
  4. Have students keep records of own grades
  5. Make sure grades and assignments reflect progress toward standards
  6. Notify parents when students are no passing or having other academic problems
  7. Contact parents if problem arises regarding behavior
  8. Contact parents with positive feedback about their child
  9. Keep records and documentation of student behavior
  10. Document adherence to IEPs
  11. Return graded papers
  12. Monitor students who have serious health issues (peanut allergies, epilepsy, insect stings, diabetes, etc.)

Procedures parents and care givers will want to know and can be put into a letter or classroom handbook or syllabus:


Sample Classroom Procedures

Coming to class prepared

Task or goal: Arrive at class with required materials and be prepared to work.

Step One: Identify a procedure and information to complete the procedure successfully.

Brainstormed Elements

Step Two: Identify indirect or direct instructional sequence to instruct students

Role play

After previewing the elements of the behavior (verbally) the teacher can then model by holding up each required item for all to see. Following that demonstration the teacher can exit the room and then reenter with all the necessary materials so that all can see again.

Looks Like

Self talk asking what is needed for class, selecting those items, and then checking to see everything has been selected and ready to go.

Sounds Like

Feels Like


Following the modeling of the behavior the teacher can then give a simple written quiz on the elements of coming prepared to class. At that point the teacher can indicate that the grade will be recorded as a regular test grade. The teacher should provide the opportunity for students to review for two minutes prior to the quiz. Following the in-class correction of the quiz the teacher can state that the quiz results clearly point out that each student has proven that they know “coming to class prepared.”


It would be desirable to make a comment or two the next day regarding how the students performed on the assignment of coming prepared to class.

Step Three: Identify successive approximations and skill outcomes

Student Outcomes


There are NO WARNINGS!!! If students fail to come to class with all the required materials, the teacher will privately communicate to those students that they need to see the teacher at the end of the class/day to attend a retraining on coming prepared to class.

Step Four: Make it routine

Retraining procedure:

  1. Student(s) read the procedure outline
  2. Student explains the procedure Step By Step
  3. Student models it (show it while saying it)
  4. Check for student understanding
  5. Student practices, by exiting and entering the room) with coaching & monitoring as necessary.
  6. Ask student to commit to being successful an self-monitor.
  7. Review and redo if needed

Guidelines for retraining must be followed

8. Flagrant violations, refusals to comply or insubordination may require more assertive interventions.

Returning homework or distributing materials to students

Task or goal: students will receive returned homework and materials for the lesson in a well-organized process

Step One: Name & Brainstorm the parts of the procedure and information students need to know

List of student Folders Mailboxes Groupings of students Student leader


Listen for name Get up Walk to mailbox Get folder Put in/take out Folder Walk back Work

Step Two: Identify and list parts of the procedure as steps in a logical instructional sequence


Step Three: Expected Outcomes

The classroom will operate in an orderly, predictable, safe, effective and efficient manner.

Make the Job A Routine



Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes [Home: & ]