Finding a morning work routine that works for you and your students in the morning can take a while to figure out depending on what type of class you have.
Having a morning routine is so important, as it sets the tone for the whole day. Sometimes it helps to get a variety of suggestions can be helpful, because you can find the perfect blend that will work perfectly in your classroom.
We were chatting morning routine ideas in The Primary Teacher Group, and so many teachers had great suggestions. I really thought it would be helpful to share these suggestions with you so you can formulate a routine that works for you in your classroom.
Before we start, I just wanted to make sure all K-2 teachers have had the opportunity to download my FREE Two Weeks of Morning Work. Be sure to click the picture or the link above to download!
1. Our kids come in at staggered times. So having morning work helps keep them settled as the rest come in. We do quick writes and quick math. They hang up their backpacks take out their folder and it goes in a plastic bin. I check them later in the day. -Alisa from First Grade Fun Times
2. My morning routine starts off with the students walking into the classroom, taking everything out of their backpacks at their desks, putting their homework away in bins that are labeled and their backpacks and lunch boxes on their hooks in the closet. After they put away everything, I have a pocket chart with each childs name on it. In that pocket chart, there are two cards. One card has a bus and one card has a car on it. Students switch their cards to the bus if they are having lunch from school or switch it to the car if they are having lunch from home. After they do that, they go to the bin labeled “morning work.” They go back to their desks, start their morning work and wait for me to start the rest of the day. -Lisa M.
3. My kids all come in at the same time from morning walking or breakfast. They read the morning message that I write on the board and within that message there is always a task. They put their binder on my table to be checked, move their name on the smart board for attendance, and then usually do some kind of paper pencil task at their desk. When they finish that they can read a book or sometimes work on a task on their iPad. -Angie O. from Lucky Little Learners
4. My Kinders, have morning jobs to do before table centers. They unpack backpacks water bottles, and lunch-boxes, turn in homework, choose lunch, complete their counting jar journals and then get to play at centers until the bell rings. I get to see a quick assessment of their math learning through the counting jars, which change according to our learning target, and it keeps their one to one fresh!
We use a math curriculum that involves a counting jar. So in the jar are objects 1-20, students count the objects and record it in their journals. I change it to reflect new skills like 5 blue bears and 3 green bears and they have to figure the sum, or we do 10-?= what is in the counting jar. Or more and less, etc. it involves counting daily and a quick 5 minute routine. I had ten frames available to glue into the journals if needed. -Ashley S.
5. My students come in and go to their cubbies to unpack. They put a folder in the basket, the lunch box in a bin, and back pack in their cubby. Then then go over to their desk and complete morning work which includes either journal writing or a learned skill we have been over. They also go to the bathroom one at a time while finishing morning work. -Tiffany B.
6. My students come in do their morning routine, I have music playing and I always have a message or announcements on the Smartboard including a positive message! Tess from The Krafty Teacher
7. My students hang up backpacks, come in, eat breakfast in the classroom at their seats, and then we do a morning meeting, responsive classroom style, on the carpet to start the day. -Sarah S.
8. My kindergarteners come in the room at staggered times and I have music playing to welcome them. They hang up their back packs, take out their take-home folders, and put the folders in our homework basket. They sit down do morning work and place their finished work in our designated “done” basket. Then they have free exploration in table tubs until everyone has joined us. This gives me time to give extra help to those who need help and take attendance. We are a %100 free lunch so students do not choose their lunches. -Roxanne F.
9. I greet each of my kiddos at the door, they hang up backpacks, and then get their morning work drawers out and work with their partner until our tardy bell. We then clean up and begin our day with some songs, calendar, and whole group literacy. Finally we transition to centers/small group work. I love my group this year. They are good listeners and work well together. So far it has been a smooth start to our year. -Theresa L.
10. I’m a SPED teacher, so I have students check in during the first 10-15 minutes of the day. Then I check with the office to see who is absent or if there were any issues during breakfast. -Jill I.
11. My routine is just greeting my kids with a “hello or good morning” as they walk into the classroom. The way they come in or greet me dictates to me the direction our morning routine will go. -Brandi C.
12. I always put morning work on the board. I switch between subjects , or sometimes give them something to practice that we are learning about.
This allows them to eat breakfast, go to bathroom, and come in and get settled without disrupting everyone down the halls. -Jessica F.
13. I pick my class up from the blacktop and when they enter the classroom they go their desk and lay out their agenda which should be signed by a parent or quardian. Then they lay their honworkwork out on their agenda. Next, they put their backpack in their cubby and go back to their seat and begin working on their morning work, which is Daily Math since our first subject is math. 🙂 -Beth H.
14. I’m a little different. At my school in Korea, my 1st grade kids come and greet BOTH their teachers (me and Mr. Jin, their Korean teacher), put their backpacks in their cubbies, take out whatever homework or planners they need to turn in, and then they do their English vocabulary word for the day until it’s time for morning meeting. Then we all gather in the middle of the room (I have one side, my korean counterpart has the other), the student formally greet each other and the teachers, and then we share the days schedule and any reminders for the day. Then I don’t teach them until the afternoon, due to Korean law saying 1st and 2nd grade students can’t have English instruction before lunch. -Nicole L.
15. We always start our morning with a hug or a high five. After they give me a hug or high five, they hang up their back pack, put their NEON folder in the morning basket, and then begin their morning work (which is play based). I check their NEON folders as they are working. -Stephanie S.
16. When they enter classroom they first go to their table and get chair, unpack backpack (lunch box, homework, notes, etc). Morning work packet is on desk which we complete together. -Ku-uipo T.
17. I teach first grade. When they come in, they take out folders, put any notes or collected homework in a special bin, put homework we go over on their desks, then put folders in 2 other bins according to table. Next they put backpacks, jackets and lunch boxes away. Finally they copy homework into their homework notebooks from the Promethean board. If they finish quickly, they can free read any book from a specific basket (sometimes themed for what season it is, or a particular genre) while they wait for everyone else to finish. -Mindi S.
18. We do class business: unpack backpacks, turn in homework and then send them off to listening and speaking the first 30 minutes. Holly A.
19. Ours say hello as they come in, hang their backpack, put their folder in the bin, find their seat and (normally have a simple morning work page… the first week or so, they have hands-on morning work:play dough, lacing, puzzles, coloring, etc.) After they complete their morning work, mine get to go to any of the free centers until time for morning meeting. -Lori A.
20. I pick my firsties up from outside. We have a number they wait on. I had our bags and when the bell rings we go to the cafeteria. The kids put their breakfast items in their bags and then we go to the classroom. I usually give the kids about 12 minutes to eat. If they finish early they can read to self or read to a friend. -Catirin S.
21. I teach 5th grade. In my school teachers and kids come in the clasrooms together and greet. Then teachers read a tale,a story, a sentence or listen a song or watch a short video about a social value, interest, topic or issue to start the day. Later ss talk about what they think about it and we share different points of view.And then we start morning work.On Monday morning I like to talk about our weekends and on Fridays the last task is to talk about how the week was. Ss have breakfast before starting the school. -Carolina L.
22. Students greet teacher as they enter and read the morning message on the board as everyone hangs us backpacks, etc. Then Morning Meeting on my rug. Includes and “moment of piece”/quiet, greeting, reading(related to character building theme) and group activity. I love it and so do my kids! Last about a 1/2 hr. -Dana S.
23. The students come in and hang up their things. If something is to be turned in, it goes in a crate or an inbox. A vast majority of them are free/reduced lunch, so they end up going to the cafeteria for breakfast. They bring it back to the room and eat at their desks while working on their morning work. Each day, I put something on the smartboard for them to respond to. It could be a prompt, a picture, an idea, anything. They take 10-15 minutes to respond in their journals, and then they turn their journals in. If they want me to read and respond to it, then it goes face-up. If they’d rather keep that entry private, it goes face-down. It’s a good way for them to get ideas off their chest, activate that creative center, and get ready for the school day. It builds really good relationships, too! -Annie F.
24. My students come to the class in the morning. They first eat a snack and then we sit on the carpet to read aloud a story. We review some objectives taken and we start doing some activities which are icebreakers. They share some news about themselves and I share some. Then they go back to their seats and I start explaining an objective in a mini lesson. They do the independent practice and I observe them. I give a hand for those who didn’t fully get the objective. -Layal S.
25. We have 5 jobs! First, they put their red homework folder into the basket.Second, if they have a lunchbox they put it into the red tub. Third, they put their water bottle (Arizona very hot) over onto the Counter. Fourth, they go over and find their name and put it into the pocket chart and that’s how I take attendance. Fifth, they have a morning worksheet from education to the core and they work on that. -Lori Schmidt
26. Lastly, I want you to remember that whatever routine you choose, you need to stick with it. Allow your students the time to practice it and refine it as each day goes by. Sure, you can make minor tweaks, but the key is to not change anything until you are absolutely sure it’s not working. Sometimes we think things are not working in our classrooms, and it’s easy to want to fix it, by trying something completely different, but sometimes we just need to give our students time to get used to it.
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