HQELE Key Element: Routines

Routines - A familiar sequence to the day that allows the child to predict events, anticipate transitions and develop a sense of trust.

A consistent schedule of daily routines offers the child a sense of security through the ability to predict, which, in turn, establishes trust, the fundamental building block of relationships. Together, relationships and routines provide an essential basis for the design of the environment, parent/teacher partnerships, curriculum development and assessment of learning outcomes. Transitions should be minimized and consistent warning provided in order to insure children can anticipate what happens next and prepare accordingly. Likewise, there should be ample time throughout the day devoted to investigations, explorations, projects and interactions with both peers and adults.

The hot spots represented on the panoramic tour represent a sample of this particular Key Element. Explore the Video Clips and Slideshow in this section to learn more.





  • Family Engagement and SEL
    This article discusses how schools and families can have shared behavioral expectations and a common language for social and emotional skills that benefits students, teachers, and families.

  • Resources for Teaching and Learning through Routines and Transitions (1.66 MB PDF)

  • Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behaviors. (770k PDF)
    This article discusses why challenging behavior occurs during transitions, strategies for planning and implementing more effective transitions, ideas for using transitions to teach social skills and emotional competencies, and a planning process for working with children who continue to have difficulty during transitions. (Beyond the Journal – Young Children on the Web. Hemmeter, et al. 2008 )

Many strategies and elements included throughout this site are applicable to all students and their families. Additional information/resources related to students with disabilities and family engagement can be found within the HQELE Online Tool Overview and MiraCosta Child Development Center Overview (Download/Reference Sections).

*These slideshow images are being used with explicit permission from MiraCosta College and their families for the sole purpose of the HQELE professional development online tool. All images remain the property of the California Department of Education, Special Education Division, SEEDS Project, A Special Project of the Sacramento County Office of Education and may not be published, exhibited, broadcast, posted on the Internet, sold, traded, shared, or used in any way not specified without the written permission of CDE- SEEDS Project.