I just wanted to give you guys a peek inside my classroom morning routine for when the kids first in.
The first twenty minutes of your school day can be very stressful. You have kids coming in at all different times, and they’re all doing different things. Then, as a teacher, you’re required to organize all paperwork, lunches, morning work activities, money, attendance, etc. It’s a lot to balance. So, I’m going to review a few staples that my kids know to do right away when they come into the classroom. These are things that happen daily, so they’ll know what’s expected of them throughout the year.
The five things my students are expected to do every single morning are…
- Check-in for attendance
- Mark what type of lunch they’re eating
- Drop of their OWL binders (these are take-home materials)
- Check their job (perform it if it’s a morning job)
- Grab some morning work
I’m guilty of constantly getting that page or that phone call saying that I’ve forgotten to post my attendance. Some mornings, I’m just too busy. I started using a check-in chart to streamline my attendance. I have a “Whoo’s Here” chart and lots of little labeled owls. When kids come into our classroom, they find their owl, which is a magnet on the whiteboard, and they fly into the tree. That way, once it’s time to mark attendance, I just glance at the tree and see who is here and who isn’t here! It really helps with my classroom morning routine.
Here is a look at the before/after.
Here are a few of the other check-in charts from various decor sets I have. From left to right, you see Monsters, Pirates, Superheroes, and Ocean theme! Shop all my decor sets here.
What’s for Lunch?
Another thing that happens in my school during morning routine is that teachers are required to give a headcount of how many students will be buying lunch so that the cafeteria staff can prep the right amount of food. Instead of asking students one at a time, I have them mark which type of lunch they have. That way, when I’m taking attendance, I can very quickly mark lunch count, too. They’ll have their lunch clip to put on the “packers” or “buyers” ribbon. (And yes, sometimes, our buyer’s ribbon gets a bit weighed down!)
Here’s a peek at the before and after.
Each clip has the student’s name on it and their lunch number that they have to type in to buy their lunches. At the beginning of the year, the students may not know their numbers, so we take the clothespins off the ribbon, clip it to their shirts, and they can use it while they punch their lunch numbers in. 15 days into school and ALL my students know their numbers! Woo hoo!! Smarties.
Drop Off Your Take-Home Materials
My students use an “OWL” binder. This stands for Organized While Learning. In this binder, we have a spot for behavior, homework, lunch menus, important papers, parent communication log, reading log, etc. It’s a one-stop-shop for all things communication. And, it teaches the kids great responsibility. If you’re interested in learning more about these binders, read this blog to give you an outline of how you can use them in your classroom.
Students put their red folders in the black bin and make a stack of their O.W.L. binders. While they do their morning work, I check homework and their zipper pouches for any notes/money.
These O.W.L. Binder Documents are available for purchase here.
Begin Morning Work
Spiraling morning work is a great time to review material you may have taught in the past few months but haven’t had a chance to reteach. It keeps the material fresh in the kids’ minds. After students check-in and unload all their materials from their backpack, it’s time for them to begin morning work. They’ll grab it from a spot in the classroom or it’ll be waiting on their desks for them in the morning. If you have students struggling, they can work with partners. I always take five minutes during morning meeting to check their morning work as a team so they can learn the material if they were struggling with it. I do not take these for grades or credit. It’s more of an opportunity for students to work on their review and stay engaged in the morning.
Check Your Daily Job
In our class, we also have daily jobs. These jobs switch every single day, so kids have a new job each time they come in. I print pictures of the kids and put them on the job cards. They move up the job chart one at a time. For example, Hajar’s job on Monday is Chair Monitor, but her job on Tuesday is Weather Reporter. Each job has different responsibilities during different times of the day. Some of these jobs are required to do in the morning, so it’s important for them to check it in the morning before we start our day.
On the left, you see a sample job chart that comes from any of my decor sets. I have 13 decor sets to pick from! On the right, you see my general classroom jobs set that isn’t fixed to a certain classroom theme. Both are available for you to purchase.
Want more Classroom Morning Routine tips?
I made a YouTube video for morning routines. There is even a freebie. Check it out here…