3 Steps to Take to Fix a Failing Routine

“Anything you ask your students to do repeatedly should be made into a routine.” -Michael Linsin, The Classroom Management Secret.

Routines help us preserve learning time. They help cut down on misbehavior, and they allow our rooms to run like well-oiled machines. When our routines go awry and communication falters, it’s frustrating for all parties involved. When this happens, it’s important not to give up! There are steps you can take to help fix your failing routines. Check out the video to see how!

When reevaluating your routines and expectations you should:

1. Reevaluate the purpose and function of the routine.
Does the routine actually improve the learning environment of your classroom? Is it something that your students should do every day?

2. Have a conversation with students about what is or isn’t working as it relates to the routine.
Which of your expectations or communication methods are unclear?

3. Reteach, model, and practice, practice, practice.
Repeat this sequence as needed. It is important for students to feel successful. Linsin emphasizes that this feeling of success will help to further ensure correct performance of each routine.

How do you teach routines in your art room?

What do you do when a routine is failing?



Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek


Alecia is an elementary art teacher in central Iowa who is passionate about teaching and reaching her students with an innovative and meaningful arts education.


  • Mr. Post

    I make routines a game. When kids get clay supplies I tell them it is like going down the cafeteria line. First they get a tray (canvas mat) then they get their silverware (clay tools). Then when I hand them the clay I say “Enjoy your lunchie”. When they ask me what lunchie is today, I tell them “Same as always – meatloaf”. Because it’s a game and they think it’s funny, passing out clay always goes smoothly.

    I solved not getting my erasers returned by making the eraser parking lot. A kid brought in a Matchbox car just so he could park it in the lot.

    • Abby Schukei

      Oh I love this parking lot!

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