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February 20, 2017

3 Must-Have Classroom Morning Routines

Written By: Brandi Jordan
Originally Published On: August 2011
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3 Must-Have Classroom Morning Routines - ReallyGoodTeachers.com

3 Must-Have Classroom Morning Routines

Start off the school day with routines and expectations that make students successful.  Whether this is your first class or you have been teaching for years, finding the right routine for this year’s students is important.  The three ideas below are quick ways to start the day off on a positive note.

Ideas for Morning Routines

Greetings

Making students feel welcome is important each and every day.  Start the morning off by greeting them individually and giving them encouragement or praise.  If you know that Sally has been struggling with math this week, say something like, “Sally, I am so proud of you for how hard you’ve been working on math this week!  I can’t wait to help you today!”  Those quick five seconds will help ease Sally’s anxiety about the day and get her excited about math.  Never underestimate the powerful impact your words have on your students.

1, 2, 3

After students have been greeted, have them follow a 1, 2, 3 routine.  This simple routine is a great way to get them immediately focused:

  1. Bags and coats away.
  2. Lunch Report
  3. Journal Jumpstart

After students have put their belongings away and indicated on the lunch board whether they are buying or have brought, they will learn to get out their journals and start writing or drawing about the journal prompt that is displayed on the board.

Sign-In

Students love to write on whiteboards.  There is something about dry erase that just gets them excited.  If you have a large dry erase board in your classroom, have students write their names on the board to sign-in for the day.  Another twist is to have them write their names and something they are excited about learning that day.  If you do not have a large dry erase board, have students sign-in and write their answer on small boards.  During morning meeting, have students quickly share what they are excited about learning.  It is a great way to quickly build enthusiasm and focus for the day.

3 Must-Have Classroom Morning Routines - ReallyGoodTeachers.com

What are some of your favorite morning routines?  Do you use the same ones year after year or do you change them based on your students?  Share with us below!

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17 Comments.
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  • Leah Demain
    May 11, 2012

    Greeting my students is one of the best parts of my day! We can’t start the day without the greeting!

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  • Amanda Lawson
    May 7, 2012

    I love the 1,2,3 idea. Doing this the students get their morning started off on the right foot. I always meet mine at the door and give them a warm greeting.

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  • Maria Smith
    November 3, 2011

    I meet mine at the door, saying good morning and calling each one by name. They go straight to their cubbies and get their journals and begin working on “Hink Pinks” to build vocabulary, thinking skills, dictionary/thesaurus skills and – most importantly – teamwork skills.
    I like the idea of them signing in themselves. I’ll have to give that a try!

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  • Mindy Sidor
    September 4, 2011

    I love the sign in idea & the dry erase boards. I just made a poster with pictures and words to remind them of our morning routine.

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  • Cecilia H,
    September 4, 2011

    For kindergarten students, especially ELL students, it is helpful to have visual connections to print and so as part of our morning routine, I tried to present familiar things, like what is being offered for lunch with pictures labeled with the name of the food. As students walked into our classroom they had to find their own laminated index card with their picture and name (later in the year, just the name) and place it one of three plastic coffee cans, labeled 1, 2, or 3.
    In front of each coffee can, was a labeled picture of a lunch choice. Students had to place their own index card in the can labeled with their food choice. Then in the beginning of the year, with the entire class, we counted the results of each can and made a pocket chart bar graph with the cards. Again, each line in the bar graph was labeled with the name and picture of the food choice.The cards themselves filled up the bars. Then, early in the year, the whole class counted each card with me as a whole group and I gave the totals, using math vocabulary, such as most, more, fewest. Later in the year, after much whole group rehearsal, pairs of students tallied up the results and made the bar graph themselves, and they reported the results to the whole class as part of our math lesson.

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  • Arlene B
    August 30, 2011

    As a preschool teacher, we have our daily routine posted and the first week or two, we go over the daily routine, then refer to it through out the rest of the day as needed. Have a specific routine is so imortant for the students.

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  • Krista Lee
    August 30, 2011

    I love the idea about having students sign-in each morning. They do love writing on whiteboards, and that would be great for litte learners to practice writing their names!

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  • Sara Salguero
    August 29, 2011

    I really like those boards! Never seen them before. I am always looking for exciting ways to practice sight words with kids:)

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  • Kris
    August 29, 2011

    Setting a routine is so positive for students and great to the start of the day. Subs in your room will truly appreciate this.

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  • Cheryl
    August 29, 2011

    Love the ideas! Thanks for sharing! Love the sign in – I teach Kinders and this would be great practice for writing their names! 🙂

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  • Cheryl
    August 29, 2011

    What awesome ideas! Thank you so much! Love the sign in! I have Kinders and this would make great practice for writing their name 🙂

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  • Nikki
    August 29, 2011

    After putting backpacks in lockers and homework folders in cubbies, our kindergarteners use a popsicle stick with their name on it to point to and read their “Star Words” (sight words, one per week that we focus on) on a small bulletin board by the entry. When done, the put their stick in a can and go do some morning work (a worksheet or activity that is waiting for them at their table) until the morning announcements come on.

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  • Kris Mertens
    August 29, 2011

    My kids do have a morning routine… a bit a reminding needed these first few weeks of school, but after a week or so they are on track. Since our “specials” rotation, P.E. Music and computers is first thing in the morning our 1,2,3 is: Change into P.E. shoes, complete bell work (phonics sheet) and journal entry.
    During this time I greet each child with a Good Morning and they repeat back: Good Morning Mrs. Mertens and then tell me hot or cold lunch. I love the greeting and I feel it makes everyone feel welcome.

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  • Regina Giles
    August 29, 2011

    love the black dry erase boards!

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  • Laurie
    August 29, 2011

    Along with a greeting, I always start the day with upbeat music playing while my third graders enter the room. Today was “Build Me Up Buttercup.” They loved it!

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  • Brian
    August 29, 2011

    Terrific ideas! A greeting sure does help get their day started off right. My students get a handshake from me.

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  • Kim
    August 29, 2011

    Love the 1…2…3…. idea we use that a lot for other tings (1,2,3, journal writing, relfections, and so on)

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