It is back to school time which means planning routines and procedures such as effective lining up to create a positive classroom environment.
Do you find transitions and lining up disruptive?
Things are going well and then it is time for a transition. Kids get excited, noisy, and sometimes upset when it comes to changing activities. Making transitions and lining up can be very stressful. It is important to create some classroom routines and procedures to avoid behavior problems and maintain your sanity.
I remember being overwhelmed when I started teaching and had to deal with the craziness of transitions. My lessons would go really well and then we would need to move on to new lessons or line up to go to other areas in the school – gym, music, library, computer lab. There would be pushing, shoving, running, loud talking, and arguments about who was first, who budged, etc. I needed to develop a plan to make this more manageable and positive.
Here are tips for making lining up positive and less crazy
I found that having different prompts made lining up easier. In order to have less arguing about who can stand together, I would get the children to line up with specific instructions. The star of the day was the leader. My most effective one was boy/girl order. If I had more boys than girls I would do grouping like girl/boy/boy or something similar. After a few times, I didn’t have to say anything. They would automatically line up quickly and quietly. The routine removed the behavioral problems and made classroom management easier.
In my last couple of years of teaching, I numbered the kids for assignments and so I used the numbers for lining up. Other people use ABC order. Whatever rule you choose, with practice the kids will follow it and lining up will become a breeze. The routine removes the behavioral problems and makes classroom management easier.
Once the lining up was under control, I took it a step further and worked on how to move throughout the school in a powerful way. This was also an important procedure to learn, but wasn’t very effective if the lining up routine wasn’t working well.
Creating a t-chart helps the children buy into the expectations and procedures. Here is one that I created for walking in the hallway with my class. It helped them to think about what powerful walking in the hallways should look and sound like.
Here is a free set of posters and lining up tips to help you create a routine that works for you.
I hope you have a wonderful year full of great memories and successes.