The Easiest Way to Teach Routines

Do you find it cumbersome to teach your routines over and over, year after year? Are you and your students bored as you cover this essential information? Why not make those first days fun and engaging by creating a video scavenger hunt?

A few weeks before the school year began, I went into my room to take photos and record videos. I chose to photograph specific areas where routines and expectations are essential. Because routines are generally the same year to year, most kiddos just need a quick review! These videos are the perfect engagement tool for those first days! Check out my overview of this process in the video.

Here’s how to make your own Tellagami Scavenger Hunt.

1. Create your videos.
Use the Tellagami EDU app to create an avatar. Then, superimpose it over images of important areas in your room. These areas should require specific directions, routines, or expectations. Record yourself talking about each designated area.

2. Put the videos on YouTube.
Upload your videos to your YouTube channel. Create a playlist of all the videos so you can easily find them later. You can see all of the videos in my playlist here.

3. Create and place QR codes.
Create a QR code to link to each video. Make sure you organize, label, or keep track of each specific one, otherwise they will get all mixed up! Print out the QR codes. I glued them to colored pieces of paper before placing them at the locations they described.

4. Create your clues.
My clues involved color theory. For example, one clue said, “This color is created by mixing red and yellow.” Students then found the orange QR code and watched the corresponding video for that location.

The best thing about the videos is their flexibility. For example, in my kindergarten and first-grade classes, we watched the videos together. You can also add or delete videos as you create new areas, expectations, or routines. Plus, students can review the videos as needed. It’s a great way to get students moving and thinking on the very first day of art!

How do you teach routines year-to-year?

Do you create videos? Post them below!

 

Comments

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

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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.

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  • Diana

    Hi Alecia,
    Yes too bad we don’t have iPads for every kid :(. Please tell me what are the plastic boxes on top of your Supply shelves. Are they all the materials you need for each unit you teach? Thank you!

  • Diana

    Hi Alecia,
    Could you tell me your system for distributing and collecting supplies? I’m asking because I see how you have markers separated by color in jars. For my basic supplies I use supply boxes already packed which kids get and take to their tables. Thank you !

    • Alecia Eggers

      Hi Diana,
      I have 4 table groups. Each week I rotate the jobs each table group does. One of these jobs is the “Materials Masters”. (I included a pic of my poster below). This table is in charge of distributing supplies. As for the colored pencils and skinny markers, students have the ability to get up and get those as they choose on their own. They understand that if they wander off and talk with their friends on the way back and forth to the materials shelf that they will lose the privilege of getting up to get their own colored pencils. I found that I didn’t need to open as many skinny markers and colored pencils sorting them this way, but I’m not opposed to going back to sets with a variety of colors. Always a work in progress :)

      • Diana

        Hi Alecia,
        I have given up on colored pencils for past several years because of the constant pencil sharpening. I did buy individual little sharpeners but haven’t used them yet. Any tips? Thank you !

        • Alecia Eggers

          Hey Diana! Yeah, that is a tricky conundrum! For now I have table baskets that hold regular #2 pencils, handheld sharpeners, and erasers. It seems to cut down on traffic to the wall and electric sharpeners.

  • Kate

    Hi Alecia,
    This is great! Unfortunately I do not have iPads for my art room. Is there a way you can just show the whole class at once on my smart board somehow? Thanks!
    ~Kate

    • Alecia Eggers

      Absolutely Kate! That’s actually what I did with my Kinders, 1st, and 2nd grade students. We watched a few videos, then worked on our projects for the first few class periods!

      • Kate

        Great! A few more questions, did you use the free app or the paid one? Just wasn’t sure of the big differences. Also, how did you show the videos, since I am making more than one, is there an easy way to make the videos flow & transition from one to the other? Just curious what you did. Thanks! ?

        • Alecia Eggers

          Hi Kate,
          I believe I used the paid EDU version because of more background/customizable choices, but it doesn’t hurt to mess around with the free one and see if that will suit your needs! As far as video flow: I would load them all into one playlist on YouTube, and it will play all the way through them! Let me know if you have any more questions!

          • Kate

            Thanks, Alecia. That helps me greatly!!

  • Jodi Youngman

    Great idea! Too expand off it, instead of using QR codes you could use Aurasma. You can use any image add the trigger (QR) and the video appears on screen.

    • Alecia Eggers

      YES! That’s a fantastic idea Jodi!

  • Megan Forker Wallen

    Hi Alecia,
    Quick question about your tellegami videos. Did you use QR codes for those as well or did you just show those before hand? I noticed in one of the tellegami vids you said something along the lines of “check out the QR code for more detailed information about this spot”. I wasn’t sure how you did both videos and wanted your thoughts before making both sets of videos! Thanks!!

    • Alecia Eggers

      Hey Megan! Great question! For that specific station, I had two QR codes, with two separate videos. One was more general about my materials shelf, and the other detailed the process of getting skinny markers and colored pencils. For each clue there was generally one QR code to scan – let me know if that helps!

  • Suzanne Fox

    Hi Alicia,
    These are great videos! I can see myself reviewing all year with this concept. I am a total novice with technology. How did you record the videos? I have an ipad. Can I use it to create the video and then upload to YouTube? Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Alecia Eggers

      Hi Suzanne,

      I used the Tellegami app to get create my avatar talking in front of various locations around my room. You could simply switch your iPad to “video” instead of “photo” in the camera app and shoot videos! Uploading to YouTube can happen a variety of ways – you can do it directly from your iPad, or load the videos to your computer and upload them that way. There are some great tutorials for uploading if you need help with that! (I used it the first time!)

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  • What a fun way to spice up doing routines using technology. Thanks for sharing! Were your iPads part of your budget or did you write a grant?

  • Janine

    Alecia,
    This idea is amazing! It is so much more interactive for the students to review the routines this way. I made videos for my classes and uploaded them to teachertube.com because other video sites are blocked in my district. I didn’t use an avatar because I got so excited about this creative idea and started filming right away!
    Thank you for the great idea. I am going to try it tomorrow for the first time with my students. I arranged for some classes to bring their own “earbuds” to use with the ipads, and I borrowed some headphones from the tech teacher. I’m very excited about this lesson!

    http://www.teachertube.com/mobile/user/profile/gp101562277051861029819

  • Diana

    Hi Alecia,
    I asked this in past but may I please have more of your thoughts and opinions about NOT writing out steps to a project? I stopped writing and posting the steps this year and instead do my art lesson demo and ask for any questions and then select 3-6 kids who think they’ve really listened to directions well and choose them as DIRECTIONS EXPERTS to wear necklace tags. Whoever still has questions after we’ve started working must see a DIRECTIONS EXPERT. It’s really working well. Yes I think you have that as one of your art jobs. So back to my first question…….. What are your thoughts and opinions on the subject?

    • Alecia Eggers

      Hey Diana,

      I do a little bit of both. It depends how many steps I want students to accomplish in a day, or if students are in vastly different places in a project. I find that if the steps are truly progressive, like do one thing, then the next, and they have to be done in a certain order – I write it out, or have it typed up to display on the projector. Otherwise, I try to only introduce a few steps at a time. It really just depends on the project and your students. It sounds like direction experts is going well for you though, so I’d keep working with that until you run into issues!

  • Diana

    Hi Alecia,
    I tried using NOISE MONITORS as an art job like you do. It’s not working well. I like to keep voice levels at #2 which is soft talking. I also use A-R-T letters and take them down one by one. If all letters come down, they lose the “work quietly” point. They may earn Up to 5 points each class period. This still doesn’t work that well. They bring voices down then get loud again. Any thoughts?

    • Alecia Eggers

      Diana,

      This is a tough one. Some classes are just going to naturally be more talkative than others. When this happens I stick with my plan of A-R-T, and they may lose talking privileges for a certain amount of time each class for however many classes it takes. I truly do believe in allowing students to talk and discuss as they work, but they also need to be able to achieve a creative flow…and usually this doesn’t happen if it’s too loud, or their peers are distracting them. I would stick to your plan like glue, but perhaps also try these two things. Maybe introduce a table trophy, or table points, and maybe after so many times a table wins the trophy/earns points they get to participate in a special art activity the other tables don’t. Or, my students stay really quiet when we play “The Disney Game”. I just turn on Disney Pandora, and the students need to stay quiet enough to hear the songs and song changes. The first person to raise their hand at the start of each song, and correctly guess the movie the song comes from, earns a point for their team. You can decide what the “prize” is for the team with the most points at the end of class. The kids really enjoy this, but they also understand the game ends immediately if the volume level gets to loud. Hopefully that helps! :)

  • Melinda

    Hi Alicia,
    thank you so much for this! I am using this in my next 7th grade introductions and I’ve added it as part of my evaluation goals so that I can teach other teachers how to use QR codes. I also began using table jobs as well and I changed them up a bit since the Noise monitors did not work for me and the direction experts ended up having a day off. So I do Folder/Portfolio collector, Folder/Portfolio distributors, Material Masters, and Neat freaks. Works out well!

    • Alecia Eggers

      That is fantastic Melinda! I really like those ideas as alternatives! Keep me posted on the professional development!

  • wilke35654

    Excellent article you write in here and i hope every students are can make this routines in here. To learn technology so more well such kind of post helps them so more.

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