How to Use Routines in the Cafeteria
The brain is a pattern-seeking device. The more consistent and clearly represented your daily routines are, the more safely, smoothly and cooperatively it will run. Post your cafeteria routines clearly and visually to help children be successful.
Routines are the skeleton that supports a Conscious Discipline School Family. State every routine from the daily schedule, to lining up, to “what to do when you’re finished with your lunch” in pictures and words, and post them throughout the room where those routines occur.
The Daily Routine Cards help to organize your daily classroom schedule visually. In the cafeteria, you will likely need to create your own cards for many routines. Break routines down into 3-5 key steps, represent them visually (with photos or illustrations), add simple descriptive phrases, and post them in the appropriate areas. For example, post the lining up routine at the lunch line and post the “when you’re finished” routine near the tables and trash receptacles.
The Creating the School Family book devotes an entire chapter to creating routines, posting them visually and supporting them with related activities. Music that supports daily routines includes “Skip Count” and “I Gotta Go” on Brain Boogie Boosters.
Photo Examples: Routines in the Cafeteria