Morning Routine - Arrival

Every teacher knows that your morning can set the tone for the rest of the day. I know that when I wake up on time, have my clothes laid out and lunch packed, I feel SO much happier and more prepared for the day than if I snooze my alarm 1 too many times, end up wearing two different shoes, grab a bag of goldfish for my “lunch”, and FREAK OUT because I am already late and am stuck waiting for the world’s longest train to pass! Phew, that stresses me out just thinking about it! 

Just like you probably make certain preparations and have routines to ensure that your day gets off to a smooth start, it is important that our students have a great morning routine planned so they can start their day off on the right foot! 

Here are some tried and true suggestions of great ways to start your day that I have used in my own classroom:

    •  Morning greeting – I have always loved greeting students at the door as they walk into our classroom. It is a great way to connect with the kids right off the bat and help them feel welcome and loved. You can give them a choice of how they would like to be greeted (hung, handshake, high five, etc.), or you can even come up with special “secret handshakes” or greetings as a class!  

    •   Checking in as part of the class – There are many ways that students can “check in” for the day. Here are some ideas I have used but choose whatever works best for your classroom.

    o   “Who is here today” chart where students can move their picture or name from “at home” to “at school”. (Click image above to get the chart)

    o   A daily question – usually a question with two options where students can answer by placing their name or picture under the answer they have chosen. For example, “Which do you like better, ice cream or cake?” or “Do you have the letter ‘a’ in your name? Yes or No?” 

    o   A sign in sheet – I like to use a large sheet of construction paper where everyone signs in for this. It is amazing to show students the sign in sheet from the first week of school at the end of the year so that everyone can see how far they have come! 

    • A place for everything and everything in its place – make sure students have a clear understanding where EVERYTHING goes when they walk in the door. Think about where students should put anything they might bring with them to school: backpacks, lunches, binders, homework, coats, snacks, and notes from home. Labeling loctions around the room with words and images reminds students where things belong and helps them become more idependent in putting their things away.

    •  Get straight to work! Once students have checked in and put all their things away, they should have something to work on while their classmates are trickling in and you are checking notes from home and speaking with other children. In my classroom, students practiced tracing their names on laminated sheets until they could write their first and last name independently. This is a great font to use for that activity. I have also done morning tubs” which consist of old centers or other activities that the students have had plenty of practice with and can do independently. A few of the kids' favorite hands-on morning activities are:

    Build it, Write it hands on center activities

    What does your morning routine look like? Anything you would add to the list? I would love to hear about it in the comments below! Be on the lookout for next weeks post all about Morning Meeting! 

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