Getting Into Routine with Our Students
As a classroom teacher for many years, I would say, hands down, that the number one classroom management tool is having a visual routine, or a “shape of the day,” in the front of the classroom. It has been proven that children cooperate better, are more independent, and are less anxious, all because they can see and know what is happening next with a visual routine. Like many other elementary school teachers, I created a visual routine in the front of my classroom that showed students with a word and picture what we were doing today. We would go over the shape of the day first thing in the morning. For example, my class’ shape of the day might state:
“Morning Bell Work“
Having a visual routine is probably the only way I could get my twenty- two grade one students to stop what they were doing, line up and go from the class, to the Gym, and to the Library, without a single meltdown or tantrum – all because they saw and knew what we were going to do that day. Children felt confident, safe, and empowered. As much as I was thrilled that the children thrived off my class room visual routine, little did I know I would soon be making a home version by parent demand!
In the first eight years of my teaching career, I had many parents ask me for help with their children’s independence and co-operation at home. I had many parents over the years ask me to create a visual routine similar to what I made for the front of my classroom to help their kids at home be more cooperative, less anxious, and more independent with morning routines and after-school routines. One day, I realized that if I have been making these visual routines for years, and for free, there must be a market for such a product. I did the research and discovered that there was nothing out there like it and decided to make it into a product, which I happened to launch two days after my third child was born. My product was created off the kitchen table by parent demand to help make days easier for busy families. That is how it got its name, Easy Daysies®! The orders kept coming in at a pace beyond what my kitchen table could handle! Then I was urged to go on the popular Dragons’ Den investor TV show. With three little ones in tow, I presented my product and incited a bidding war between all five investors. My business is a huge learning curve every day, but is a blessing to see how Easy Daysies Magnetic Schedules continue to help families. Easy Daysies continues to win many awards. All of this is very humbling but shows us that we are on the right track. I am blessed with a wonderful and supportive husband, who is my partner in every way. He already has two other jobs but uses his vacation time to help me at trade shows.
We have gone from selling by word of mouth to a presence in stores nationwide in both Canada and the USA, and on the web where we receive orders from around the globe.
I love teaching. I love learning. I find that every day brings on new lessons: some come harder than others, but it is all a blessing.
Written by Elaine Tan Comeau, who is a mother of three young children, a wife, an elementary school teacher, an award-winning entrepreneur, the CEO and founder of Easy Daysies Ltd., and a Dragons’ Den Winner.Pin It