Back to School Routines and Procedures

Having your Back to School Routines and Procedures for your classroom in place before your students walk through your door is gold for your school year. It will set you up for success. Now you just need to teach them and follow through easy right! Ha Ha!

Setting up routines beforehand is easier said than done. I know! I feel like I go through this each year, I have to mentally make sure I know each procedure before my students come to school. The end of the year is the sweetest, I even get lazy, because the kids know the routines so well that it all just happens. But in order to get to this point, you have to start with the beginning.

A classroom filled with students who know what is going on, where things go, and who can transition between activities quickly will have more time, in the end, to get to the various activities and standards. You will accomplish more as a teacher, therefore the students will learn more.

Now, depending on who your students had the year before, they may already be partially trained and you just need to do some touch-ups. The first year I taught 3rd grade, on the first day of school I excused the students to line up and they all just got in line quietly, they knew how to walk down the hall, they knew how to line back up, it was amazing. I knew as a past younger grade teacher all my hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

I go through my Back to School Routines and Procedures Checklist each year and make sure my room is ready. I walk into my classroom and start checking things off to make sure that I know how my classroom will operate. Those day-to-day routines need to be practiced and worked out.

This year I will be in a new room, so it is starting over again on some procedures, like where students are turning in work, where will the pencils be, where do students line up, how do they put away their Chromebooks, where will I put their morning work. Some ideas are just up in my head and others I write down.

When Are These Taught?

Everyday! All Day!

I will be honest with you, it is redundant and boring. I am always wanting to push to get into curriculum, but without laying down this foundation for the year, our year won’t be very smooth. Your goal is to get your room to be a well-oiled machine. I love when a substitute comes into my classroom and says the classroom can run easily without you. Thank you! I have done my job well, then.

You will want to work on these every day for at least 2 weeks. You can make it a game, give them challenges. But most important, be consistent with it. 

After each long break, you will want to re-address several of the procedures so to students can be reminded. They forget so quickly.

Game Ideas and Challenges

Kids love games!

Not all love competition.

Not all have been taught how to handle competition. I have to teach my students how to be kind losers and not a boastful winner. It’s an art, we play games all year and I don’t want my winners bragging like crazy and my losers crying in a corner of the room (this actually happened one year when I was subbing in a class).

How quickly can they go from the rug to their seats? Time them! Compete with another class. Write their time on the board and try to beat it each time. Give them a goal and if they make it, they get extra recess.

  • How quickly can they go from seats to the rug?
  • How quickly can they line up for recess?
  • Cleanest table at lunch
  • Which group can be the quietest in the class?
  • Can we get the whole class to turn in papers with names? Each time they get a class point.

I call it, healthy competition that is building habits.

Routines and Procedures

Here are some ideas of routines and procedures that you need in place before that new group arrives.

CLICK HERE for a FREE Printable of 60 Routines and Procedures

  • What do your students do when they first walk in for the day?
  • How should they walk inside the classroom after recess?
  • How is attendance taken?
  • How do they line up for recess, lunch, fire drills, etc. 
  • Where do they turn in work?
  • What about unfinished work? In lower grades, I don’t recommend that they keep their unfinished work at the beginning of the year. Collect it all!
  • What are your class jobs? When will the students do them?
  • What are your attention getters? Will you have a few?
  • Do you have set consequences should they not follow school/classroom rules? CLICK HERE for some Ideas
  • Are their supplies personal supplies or do you have communal supplies?


Routines need to be done daily and with consistency. They will become second nature to your students when they do them each day.

Want more ideas?

CLICK HERE for a FREEBIE with 60 Back to School Routines and Procedures to start your year off

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