The Perfect Morning Routine for the Classroom
Routines are the backbone of classrooms in schools near and far. Creating a morning routine, in particular, is the best way to ensure a smooth transition into the learning zone for your students. Yes, some days are not always going to go to plan. But, if you start the day right, you are setting yourself and your students up for success for the day ahead.
In my classroom, students had set jobs they had to do before moving onto a morning task! Students knew that they needed to come into the classroom with their homework folders daily – this was so that sight words and readers could be used in the classroom at their level. They also brought in a water bottle (especially on a hot summer’s day in Queensland) and any notes from home. Each of these items had a specific spot in the classroom, and students were required to place their belongings away in the correct spot.
I often had classical music playing in the background when students entered the classroom. This calmed the students and they were less inclined to act up.
For more ideas about using music in the classroom, read our blog, Powerful Ways to Use Music in the Classroom.
Students Express How They are Feeling
Next, the students needed to reflect and think about how they were feeling, they then placed their name on their current emotion. This was a fantastic indication of what you should be doing or planning to do that morning.
If more than half of your class are tired and cranky, maybe getting outside to do some exercise will ease them into the day so that your middle and end sessions are more productive.
Students Get Ready for Learning
After the students had put their belongings away and had expressed how they were feeling. The next thing they needed to do was to get ready for the day. Having a sharpened lead pencil was the number one item that was a must.
I also displayed the classroom schedule schedule for the students to peruse. They could easily see what equipment was needed for the first lesson.
Students needed to make sure that they had that equipment on their desk ready to go.
Morning Activity Ideas
Once the above jobs had been completed, students were then able to start their morning activity. These tasks are not meant to be full on, instead, just a way for the students to relax and get into the learning zone!
These activities worked best if they were set-up as individual work.
Morning Basket Activities
This particular morning activity idea worked really well in my early years classroom. I would pick 4-5 activities and organized them into baskets. These activities stayed the same for the whole week and students were instructed to pick a different activity each morning.
These morning basket activities are designed to be hands-on activities that consolidate basic concepts such as letters and numbers. Harder concepts can be used for older year levels.
Here are some suggested resources that you could use during your morning routine:
Visual Writing Prompts
Use our visual writing prompts widget as a writing prompt. Students can use the illustrations as a stimulus to begin to write a narrative or they could simply describe what they see in the photo.
Another idea is to have a jar of writing prompts printed out, students grab a writing prompt and go back to their desk and write! Our new gratitude journal writing prompts are perfect for this!
Morning Work PowerPoint
A simple morning activity on the whiteboard was another easy task that I would have ready for the students to complete. We have a range of morning work PowerPoints that have around 50 activity ideas available.
Display the PowerPoints for your students to work through the different activities.
Finishing Off Folder
Students often had finishing-off folders in their desk trays in my classroom. If I knew there was a backlog of work that needed finishing, I would just write ‘Finishing-off folders’ on the whiteboard. They knew that this meant they needed to go through their folders and begin to finish off the work.
Classroom Word Grid
Set up a Boggle display for your students to write down as many words as they can when once they have done their morning jobs. Change it up by changing the letters each morning.
Read more about using these letter tiles in the classroom on our blog, 5 Ways to Use Letter Tiles in the Classroom.