Getting your day started can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! With a little extra thought and planning on your part, you can have a class that functions magically day in and day out.
How great would it be to know your class got the day started independently for a sub, when an administrator walked into the room, when an emergency happens (projectile vomiting…that’s for a later discussion) or even when you simply need to step into the hallway for a few extra moments?
Teach Morning Procedures
Procedures are the first and most important step to magically making it happen. Creating a list of how you’d like things run in your classroom on a daily basis will ensure that you have complete control and that things will run smoothly if you are ever absent and a sub is taking over for the day!
Because the students come in at different times because of breakfast, drop off line, bus schedules etc…I don’t start teaching until everyone arrives.
The Procedures for My Class:
✔Walk to desk.
✔Get out folders, check for notes, turn in homework, and get any new papers to go home.
✔Open computer cases, turn on computer, and plug in headphones.
✔Go to the restroom. (Students that always have to go right when I start to teach are assigned this task and reminded daily!)
- Finishing any work from day before.
- Drawing a story picture to use at Writing time or continue working on a story in progress.
- Read Your Library Book.
- Read a book from your Guided Reading Bookbag.
- Practice writing your name.
- Practice your Sight Words Sandwich. Click to See How to Set Up Drill Sandwich.
The Procedures for me:
✔take lunch count/attendance,
✔hand out any notes,
✔possibly pull a child for extra work,
✔talk to the kiddos and hear their stories,
✔And any other task or emergencies!
📌THIS IMAGE FOR LATER
After the procedures are introduced, the next step is to model how the procedures look. Yep, you need to model everything!
Be sure to model how to enter the classroom the correct way. This means showing the students what it should look like. Yep. I use a backpack, computer, desk and I walk them through the process.
Then I have 1 child practice. Then 3-5 at once! I explain that each day we will all be doing it at the same time. (I also remodel if it ever starts to unravel or many seem to have forgotten what to do)
When the students can SEE what you are expecting…entering the room and doing the right thing happens as I say magically…but we all know it’s a LOT of work.
Practice the Models and Call Outs
Practicing the modeled procedures takes some time but is worth the effort in the long run. Each morning until it is perfect…well almost perfect…I help, remind and tell the students what to do and make an extra effort to encourage the students that are independently making the morning happen magically!
Yep, I focus on the positives!
Practice Until Perfect
It’s important for the students to practice until they do it without any assistance. When the students enter the classroom, have them practice the correct way to do the tasks. Sometimes this takes several attempts and changes depending on the day, but always remember “Practice makes perfect.”
Consider Practicing “Wrong” Models
Yep, they wave their magic wands and turn me into a student that does the WRONG thing.
Then we discuss the things I did incorrectly…it does provide a few laughs. Identifying the incorrect behavior allows the student to think about the correct way of performing the tasks. If there is a students that has trouble daily, I often have that child model the correct behavior for me so I can adjust. The students then wave their magic wands and turn me back into a teacher!
Getting a classroom to ”magically” manage itself may seem like it will never happen, but it really can be done. As you continue to reinforce the positive behaviors, routines, and procedures that should take place as soon as they enter the room…you’ll find that the day will start off right and set the stage for the magic show of learning.
Please comment with ways you make morning routines magical!