One of the questions that I get asked all the time is, “What should my students do in the morning before academics start?”
Today, I am going to share a student-tested way to start your school day.
The key in this classroom morning routine is that students should be engaging with each other, getting something accomplished, and building a sense of community and belonging each day.
Three Must-Dos for a Classroom Morning Routine
Before they begin their activity that you do in your classroom morning routine, think of three things that you want them to do. Call it the three checks.
In my classroom, it was to go to the bathroom, turn in papers, and put away your items from your bookbag.
Morning Tubs make an AMAZING Classroom Morning Routine
The next part of a great classroom morning routine is morning tubs. Morning tubs are small tubs with items in them for students to experience creativity and imagination during the first few minutes of school.
Morning tubs are essential because…
- They allow students to feel in control of their surroundings right from the start of the day.
- They give students a chance to talk, which lessens the talking throughout the day.
- They promote creativity, independence, and a STEM mindset.
They are truly the bread and butter of a good morning routine, at any grade level!
Essentially, you just fill up tubs with items like dominos, blocks, math manipulatives, or card games. Then, students come in and choose a box and they are allowed to do whatever they want with that box (as long as the noise level stays where you want it and there is no throwing of items).
I always allowed 3 students per box and they couldn’t turn anyone down. So, once there were three people no one else could join, but before that anyone could.
At a certain point, you ring a bell and the students then clean up their tubs quickly and quietly to begin their morning work. I HIGHLY suggest having some type of morning work because it allows you time to get the things you need to get done in the morning (the list is long y’all). It also gets kids’ brains working from the get-go.
One way I suggest doing this is having a morning work notebook. Then, you can put the morning work up on your board for students to work on as soon as you hit the bell. This way you don’t have to copy one more thing or prepare one more thing. If you grab the morning meeting below, this is the first slide you would show each day!
Give them 5-10 minutes to complete the QUICK task while you are finishing up preparing for the day. If they get done early, let them read.
My favorite part of the school day will always be the morning meeting. I LOVE morning meetings. It is truly where the students create a bond and you create a classroom community that lasts.
It is also simple and low prep. It takes 5 minutes, but it sets your students up to feel included and successful all day long.
How do morning meetings work?
Simple, you do a greeting together to welcome each other for the day. Then, you do a fun activity that relates to bonding. You end with a discussion question that allows students to get to know each other more.
It’s that simple. 3 easy activities that will truly bring you closer to your students and create a start to the day that allows your students to feel welcomed.