I am a big fan of daily routines. I believe they are so important in the success of your classroom management and organization. In fact, I highly recommend kicking off your first day of school with routines to help your students adjust to your room quickly! Today, I have three quick tips for incorporating routines in your room at the beginning of the year. These procedures will benefit you all year long, and keep your room running smoothly!
I believe that morning meetings are one of the most critical daily routines in the primary classroom. A morning meeting sets the stage for your entire day. No matter what kind of morning your students had at home, they each have the opportunity to have a reset during your morning meeting. If your meeting is structured the same way each day, this helps your students quickly transition into the rhythm of your day.
Additionally, these meetings give you the chance to review academic skills. I created Digital Morning Meeting Slides that review math, science (weather), grammar, speaking and listening, and more! Each day, I simply project the slides and click through to complete the morning meeting. No prep, no stress, and a consistent routine for my students to follow! You can read more about my morning meeting slides HERE.
Daily Routines during Transitions
The way that you approach transitions with your students is so important. The way you leave your room is a good indicator of the way your students will behave in the hallway. This is a good sign of how they will enter the next room. So, if you want your students to enter the cafeteria, the art room, etc. in an orderly, respectful fashion, they need to leave your room that way, too!
Also, the way you transition from one subject to the next in your room makes a big difference in your day! If students are disorganized with the way they clean up centers or move from their desks to the carpet, you will lose instructional time throughout the day. Rather than being reactive to the chaos, be proactive at the beginning of the year and teach routines for each transition! Creating daily routines around your transition times will save you so much sanity.
When students see what is coming up next, they are mentally ready for the next transition. I like to prep schedule cards and hang them in order on the board for students to see. These cards are handy because we all know that schedules change on different days throughout the year. If a schedule change happens, it's easy to re-order the cards so students can see that things are happening differently that day!
Visual Cues for Assignments
When you review an assignment with your students, often there will be more than one step you need them to follow. They will need certain supplies and will need to follow steps in a particular order. This can be a lot for first graders to remember. So, I recommend using visual cues to keep your students on track!
If you are teaching small groups, you do not want to be interrupted to remind students to stay on task. This is where visual cues can help! After you give directions, model the assignment for your students. After modeling, stick the visual reminders up on your whiteboard so they can remember the steps you just followed. This way, your students have a resource for remembering how to complete an assignment, even if you are unavailable.
Using these daily routines will help make this school year great! What routines and procedures do you love teaching the first week of school?