Do you ever feel overwhelmed before the day even begins? Is this due to students running into your classroom while you are trying to manage so many things? Please do not think you are the only teacher feeling this way! There is just so much to get done in the morning between checking folders, collecting lunch counts, and submitting attendance. However, it is awful beginning each day feeling flustered and stressed. I decided I did not want to feel like this anymore. I knew I had to do something to ensure the morning set the tone for an incredible learning day. So, I created a solid morning routine that establishes productivity and calmness among students. I am so excited to share my 5 tips for mastering your morning routine!
#1 – Create a Routine and Stick To It
When students enter the classroom in the morning, some may still be half asleep. However, some will be full of energy. To help manage everything, teachers must create a solid routine and stick to it for the entire year. Students need this consistency to know exactly what to do the minute they step foot in the classroom. Otherwise, they will forget what to do, and chaos will quickly erupt. Therefore, you mustn’t change the routine. It needs to begin on day one and be extremely consistent. Yes, this even means on special event days. No matter what is going on, the morning routine must always be the same.
It takes time for students to learn a new routine. So, I create a visual aid to help. This contains simple directions and pictures to outline the morning routine. Students can reference it whenever needed!
#2 – Model the Morning Routine
Sure, you could tell students to enter the classroom and put their folders in a specific bin. However, some students will interpret this as skipping into the classroom and hopping while placing the folder in the bin. Or, it will mean pretending the bin is a basketball hoop and slam-dunking the folder into the bin. To create a clear, consistent routine, students must see the morning routine in action. They need to see the right and wrong ways to complete the routine. Doing this on the first day of school or during the first week is best. Students must begin the morning routine immediately to maximize their time in the classroom.
#3 – Morning Greeting at the Door
Students enter the classroom with so many different emotions. Sometimes, you have students who are just so happy to be at school because they love to learn. However, there are always students who are happy because it is their safe place. Honestly, it is heartbreaking to see what some of our children go through. To ensure everyone’s day starts with a smile, be at the door to greet each student by name. Now, there are a few key components here.
Yes, this does mean you are at the door while every student enters the classroom. You are not at your desk working or getting the lesson ready. That should all be ready. Secondly, you are saying each student’s name. They need to know you are looking at them as individuals. Additionally, this is the perfect time to ask them how they are or what they ate for dinner last night. You can also give them a high five, a hug, or a special handshake. This short conversation is an incredible way to show students how much you care about them.
#4 – Morning Work Ready to Go for Morning Routine
Before students enter the classroom, have morning work on their desks. This should be part of the morning routine. So, after they put their bookbag and lunch away, they can get right to their desk and get into an academic mindset. Morning work is one of the best ways to get their brains going. I also love how it keeps spiral reviews alive. You can even choose to focus on reading or math during morning work.
For reading, I love using comprehension work to get their brains reading. These Reading Comprehension Morning Work Worksheets are my absolute favorite! Students will focus on reading strategies, context clues, reading skills, comprehension, and responding to the text. I love starting the day with these impactful activities!
If your students are old enough for independent reading, check out Perfecting Independent Reading. They can even share their reading with a classmate to work on comprehension.
For math, I love using Daily Word Problems! My students always struggle with word problems, so this practice is essential! This incredible resource even has 2 levels of differentiation for over 25 concepts.
Both of these resources provide great warm-up activities. Then, I review the questions and answers with my students during the day. So, this warm-up technically is part of the morning routine and the assignments for the core subjects.
#5 – Reward- Reward- Reward!
When you were a student, did you always want to impress your teacher? Or, were there days that you just wanted to be at home relaxing but still did what you were supposed to? I’m sure all teachers can relate to these questions in some way or another. Thankfully, this means they can relate to students! Even when they may not want to, they show up and do what the teacher says. So, they deserve to earn a reward for being on task! Yes, this even includes routine behavior we are expecting of our students. Why? Because they are doing it. They are focusing, learning, and engaging. When they receive a reward, you motivate them to stay on task. You are also showing them how proud you are. Rewards are a powerful way to motivate and encourage all of your students.
Your morning routine sets the tone for the entire day. By utilizing these 5 tips for mastering your morning routine, your students will be ready to learn right away! Honestly, everyone will love the smooth start to the day.
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