Plan, Do, Study, Act to Improve Classroom Routines


Recently, my last period class fell into a habit of struggling to get started each day.  One day, when it took the class ten minutes, I was finally fed up with yelling at students to sit down and get started.  Instead, I asked them “how much time do you need to get started?”  We defined “getting started” as sitting down with the opening out, phones put away, and a student leader starting class.

Student proposals ranged from 3 minutes to 10 minutes and we finally settled on the categories of 3, 5, or 7 minutes.  Three students gave their passionate explanations of why 3 or 5 or 7 were the best for the class (I personally was a fan of the 3 minute speech).  I should have known better than to let the 7-minute delegate talk last but, sure enough, the class voted for 7 minutes.  Fine.  At least it’s better than 10 minutes.

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The first days seemed to go better and they even were able to reach their goal twice.  Then, another bad day set in.  The problem I identified was that the group had set a goal but had not defined any strategies to meet the goal.  What did they need to improve?  Again, after a debate with the class we settled on the following strategies.

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Since that date the time it has taken to start class has continued to decline.  It began to level off at about four minutes this week which I think is a much more reasonable amount of time and similar to the other classes I have throughout the day.  I am now going to start keeping track of how well students follow through with their strategies and maybe we’ll see it decline even more!  Either way, I’m proud of their improvement!