Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Morning Routine

I suppose teachers are all different in how they like to start their morning.  Some like high energy music playing to start the day.  I am NOT that teacher.  I need to ease into the morning, so I have built in some routines to help my class's day start in a more low key way.

At my school, teachers pick up their classes from the gym at 7:50.  Before I leave the room to pick up my friends, I either turn on classical music from my iPod or tune in to Pandora on the computer.  I like to use soft music to set the Morning Mood in the room.  Then it is off to the gym!

We have a program at our school that provides free breakfast to all students and staff.  I have two children whose job is to walk ahead of the class and pick up our breakfast bags.  They know how to get everything unzipped and the breakfast trash bag set up.  My classroom jobs rotate every month.  During the first week of the new month, the helpers from the previous month provide "on-the-job" training to the new breakfast helpers.  I have not had to train ANYONE on their classroom job since AUGUST!!!  Can I get an amen??!?

My students line up outside my door, this way I can give any quick announcements and it insures that I can personally greet each child on his/her way in the door.  This also helps set the tone for the morning/day.

We use agendas that the school purchases, so my students unpack their book bags, stow those away in the "Book bag Boxes" (2 big Rubbermaid containers), and sit with their agendas open so that I can quickly walk around and check.  After I check a student's agenda, she can then go and pick up her breakfast and Morning Work.

I have always had Morning Work in various forms over the years, however, this year I decided to finally start making my own that aligns with our reading curriculum.  Each half-sheet covers the phonics, grammar, and vocabulary skills for the week.  They also spiral back to skills from previous units.  One problem that I tried to eliminate from other types of morning work I had used in the past, was the issue of new material on day 1.  I like Morning Work to be something that most students can complete independently.  Each week in my Morning Work set, day 1 is a review of skills from the week prior!  I will eventually have all 6 units posted (sooner rather than later, I hope!).

Since I am celebrating a huge win for the Alabama Crimson Tide, this new set is on sale for the next 24 hours!

Paper is a precious commodity at my school, so I love anything that fits on a half sheet of paper!  I have to give another product shout-out.  I run the fabulously awesome Shelly Sitz's Daily Math Spiral Review on the back.  Check out the first week for free here.  Please be kind and leave feedback!

While my students work on Morning Work and eat breakfast, I am able to post attendance, do the lunch count, and all those other little things that need to be taken care of quickly and in peace and quiet!

I then call my RTI groups.  Other students know that if they finish their Morning Work before I am ready to check, they can get their Just Right Book Box and read quietly.

This routine has kept the first 30 minutes of our day nice and mellow...just the way I like it!  I would love to hear from you!  How do you start your day in the classroom?

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