Over the years I’ve learned that some teacher tasks are just not worth the extra time, and other things MOST DEFINITELY are. All teachers (and humans, for that matter!) have a limited amount of time and energy, so it’s essential to put it towards the things that make the biggest impact. Something I have learned is that it is super-duper worth every ounce of effort to create a peaceful classroom morning routine!
The beginning of the day has a lot of potential to get crazy- kids want to share their news, they might be riled up from running around on the playground before school, and there are tons of housekeeping tasks that need to be accomplished so that you can start the day.
It’s so easy to let things slip into chaos! Putting in some effort beforehand to start the day smoothly is so worth it. Getting going in a calm, orderly way each morning truly helps set the tone for the rest of the day.
It allows everyone to focus, let go of whatever might be happening outside of the classroom, and get into the right mindset for the day. I think of it as a kind of reset, a reminder for students- “This is a safe, predictable space where I know what to expect and what’s expected of me.” (And truly, a peaceful start to the day benefits me just as much as it does the students!)
So how can you create a calm, peaceful, chaos-free classroom morning routine for your class? Keep reading for a few of my tried and true secrets!
What Needs to Get Done?
The very first thing to do to establish a classroom morning routine is identify exactly what students need to do when they arrive. In my classroom it is usually the following:
- Hang up coats and backpacks
- Mark lunch choice and take attendance
- Turn in homework/important papers
- Grab morning work
- Start working!
(Of course, this will look different for everyone, you’ll want to adjust for your unique situation.)
Make A Plan for Your Classroom Morning Routine
The next step is to think through how you want students to take care of each item. The goal here is for students to take care of all the little tasks they need to do, get their things put away for the day, and then be in their seats working without the need to check in with you.
Consistency is Key
As much as possible, keep things the same each day. Every day you want students to come in and do the exact same thing, in the same order, so it becomes second nature. If you change aspects of the routine each day (big or small), you are undermining that predictability.
Extra Tips for Your Classroom Morning Routine
Finished Work Basket/Inbox
To help ease the morning chaos, I’ve always found it essential to have two separate baskets for students to “turn in” paperwork. The first basket is labeled Finished Work, and that’s where any homework that was completed the previous night goes. Pretty standard stuff.
My other basket is my secret weapon! This is my Inbox, where students put signed papers, notes from home, or other important paperwork. This way, urgent paperwork, notes, etc. don’t get lost in the shuffle or just plain lost!
I have learned to be very strict about this. I never take a paper from a student. It always has to go into one of the baskets.
Morning Work is an essential aspect of this whole plan! Once students finish the other steps in the routine, they need to have something to keep them occupied, engaged, and learning. This is where Morning Work comes in!
Consistent, predictable Morning Work means that students will be able to complete it on their own. Even better is when the morning work is meaningful, hits the standards, and spirals through the content!
If you are in need of some high-quality morning work, check out my Print & Digital Morning Work Bundles. They will save you so much time and they were specifically created with grade level standards in mind.
You can even try two weeks for free! Just click on your grade level below to check it out!
See, it’s easy! Okay, maybe not easy (is anything in teaching easy?), but it is simple: you just have to create routines and systems and stick to them. This will take hard work and consistency on your part, but it will be so worth it when you get to start your day in a calm, peaceful way, connecting with your students and also making sure to take care of all the little tasks that need doing.
Before you know it, your mornings run as smooth-as-butter! Both you and your students will have better days because of it.