CM IndexSchool ClimateEDEL 414EDSE 415


Using Cues, Directions, and Procedures Effectively


1.    Create a picture in your mind that you can live with regarding technical management and then accept nothing less.


2.      Cues: Have a simple, short, audible, regular cue to gain attention (i.e., a short word, a signal, a clap, a sound).  Use the 100% rule whenever you elicit attention with your cue (i.e., you need to have all eyes, ears, and minds ready before you start).  Have an active consequence every time you lose 100% (i.e., stop and wait for a moment, or stop and then start again.)


3.      Directions: Always begin with a cue (w/100% attention), then a finish word (i.e., Go! Now! Start! etc), then a call for any questions, and then give the actual directions (i.e., “Eyes! When I say go, I need to have . . . Are there any questions? (Wait), OK, Go!”).  Use random checks to enhance accountability (i.e., “.. Are there any questions, (wait) OK, Billy what are the groups supposed to do first? (Billy’s response) Good! OK, Go!”)


4.    Transitions and Procedures

·         Create a routine for each kind of transition (“OK, Science!”)

·         Practice them (“That was really good, think we could do it faster?”), especially early in the year (i.e., line up many times a day for the first week until it looks the way you want)

·         Sequence-

·         A transition warning (“In 2 minutes we need to . . .”)

·         Cue, “OK.  Time to . . .”

·         A time goal (“This should take about 30 seconds”)

·         A consequence, if the goal was not met (“That took us about 2 minutes, it should have taken about 1, let’s take our things out and try again”). Take action, don’t lecture, shame or complain.

·         Reinforce quality procedures and transitions.  Point out why doing a good job of procedures benefits the class.  Show your sincere appreciation.


5.    Redirection during an activity

(when a few student are off task)

·         Use positive language that helps teach the desired behavior.

·         Avoid: “______ is not paying attention”

·         Instead: “We are all writing our heading right now” or “we all have our eyes up here.”

·         Take action instead of giving lectures or shaming students.

·         Avoid: “that was not a very good job of ____”

·         Instead: wait, redo, pick up materials, practice doing it over, and if it is really serious, don’t be afraid to follow through in withholding an opportunity.

·         Provide for success/learning.

·         Avoid: being disappointed in what is not happening.

·         Instead: have students practice doing the procedure until everyone feels successful and capable.

·         Shape behavior with recognition and appreciation

·         Acknowledge behavior that is close to your emerging vision.

·         Stop when things have been done well to recognize both the effort and the benefits of showing so much self-control.


6.    Beginning the Period

·         Don’t take instructional time away from class to take roll.

·         Have a system for identifying missing students that is covert and effective.

·         Use of a single designated student assistant can be useful.

·         Get the students involved immediately!


7.    Dismissals

·         Practice your routine.

·         You dismiss, not the bell.

·         Have clear expectations/boundaries for line behavior.

·         Use most “ready” group if dismissing the whole group is problematic. 

·         Try using student of the week as “dismisser.”



Technical Management Style Comparison

Teacher 2

Teacher 1

Goal – absolute consistency and efficiency

Goal – self-direction and training your way out of the leadership role.

Teacher directs activities with students very clear about what is expected

Teacher develops rituals and expectations that students internalize

The end of the year looks much like the second week – orderly and efficient

By the end of the year the teacher has shifted responsibility to the students

Students learn that procedures are approached consistently with a regular pattern and structure

Students begin to see the purpose behind procedures so that over time they act increasingly with their own internal motivations

Poor procedures require more practice and more meaningful consequences

A Poor transition calls for a discussion of why it should improve and then likely practice of what is decided is the problem

Students show attention because the consequences are clear and automatic

Students attend because they appreciate the idea of mutual respect for those speaking