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Predictability and Novelty

Children will not learn until their needs are met. 
These are two of the most important needs of children:


Predictability and Novelty: Here are some ideas for teachers to help reach these two needs in their students.

 Predictability and Novelty.
Yes, I know what you're thinking, those words are opposites, how can a child need both?

Well, yes, they need each. 

They need a classroom that's predictable. This is a source of security for children. They need to know what to expect. They need to know what's coming up. They need routine.


The first month or so of school is when most classroom routines are established: entering the classroom, morning routines, lunch count, taking attendance, moving between classes, bathroom procedures, lunch procedure, dismissal, recess, and so on. Once these routines are established, the children feel secure in their routines, know what to expect and feel safe. Now the REAL teaching can begin!

For more ideas on teaching procedures, see this blog post: Tips for Teaching Procedures

The trouble with routine, is that it gets boring. They need a change of pace and new experiences. That's when novelty is needed.


Novelty is the way to shake things up! When boredom sets in, the brain tunes out, so it's the job of the teacher to keep things alive. 

Here are some ways to shake things up in the classroom:
Have a backwards day
Change the seating arrangement
Theme days or theme weeks
Create a new routine
Establish higher expectations
Swap classrooms with another teacher for the day
Rearrange or add to your classroom library
Ask your students for ideas

Here's a resource where you can establish a "safe" routine, raise expectations, and it changes every single day, so it never gets boring: Daily Calendar Questions


And by the way, it's not just children that have these two needs!

Predictability and Novelty: Here are some ideas for teachers to help reach these two needs in their students.
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