Instruction Within Routines

Why Routines?

Routines create a meaningful context for learning as they are predictable and consistent. They add structure to daily activities, allowing children to feel safe and secure as they understand "what happens next" and the expectations within that routine (e.g., after I eat breakfast, I brush my teeth).

This structure and consistency provide opportunities to practice and generalize targeted skills and support students in being accountable for their own actions and their consequences (e.g., when the bell rings, recess is over, we line up, and go back inside).

How to Turn Routines into Learning Opportunities

Parents and educators can take every day routines and turn them into meaningful learning opportunities by following the steps outlined below:

  • Identify and observe routines (parents at home and teachers/service providers at school)
  • Break the routine into small steps
  • Consider the role the child can have during each routine (it will depend on their current cognitive, language, motor skills)
  • Select vocabulary/language to target/model within routines
  • Engage in the routine
  • Follow the student's lead
  • Create opportunities to communicate
  • Model language and prompt as needed

How to Support the Routine?

Many strategies can be used to support instruction within the context of routines:


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