A classroom morning routine is so important in the classroom and can set the day up for success. When students know what to expect, they are less likely to see off-task behaviors. Setting up a classroom morning routine can often lead to a “flow” and students will do things automatically. This, in turn, can free you up to be able to take attendance, check-in with students, and many of the other tasks teachers are required to do each morning.
Planning Your Classroom Morning Routine
When planning your classroom morning routine there are a few questions you can ask yourself prior to setting one up:
- What responsibilities do I need my students to do every morning?
- Will I have centers or activities for them to do?
- What do they need to unpack?
- What do they need to turn in?
- Do they need to make a lunch choice?
- What materials do they need to prepare?
- Will I have work for them each morning?
- What do my students need to do when they finish unpacking?
- Will they be able to read or visit the library?
- How will I communicate this plan to my students?
- Will I have a chart or display a message?
- Will I use words or pictures or both?
My Classroom Morning Routine
Here’s an example of my morning routine:
- Greet Students at Door
- Students Make Lunch Choice
- Unpack and Turn in Folder to designated basket
- Read Morning Message
- Students complete assignment listed on board
- Watch School Morning Show
- Early Finishers read quietly at their seat and/or get new books for the day
Model & Practice Your Morning Routine
As with any type of routine or procedure, you want to model how to complete your classroom morning routine and practice it until students can do it independently. A gradual release of responsibilities is a good idea when introducing new routines to students. I often like to have a class job role as a morning supervisor. This person helps make sure students are staying on track with their tasks and help to monitor progress, so I’m free to do my morning responsibilities without having to constantly remind students what to do.
Keep Your Morning Routine Consistent
Keeping a similar classroom morning routine all year long helps students to feel comfortable and safe in your classroom. But keep in mind, if it’s not working you change it and fix it. Have an open conversation with your students about what’s not working during your morning routine. You can bring this up during a class meeting to discuss and ask for their opinion on how to fix any problems you may be having.