3 Tips For Creating A Classroom Morning Routine

Mornings can be a little hectic in the primary classroom. Students are full of energy first thing in the morning and there's always a ton of things to get done, so it can feel a bit overwhelming. Over the years, I have found there is one tried and true way to tame the morning chaos - a classroom morning routine! Today, I am sharing 3 of my top tips for crafting a classroom morning routine that is functional, fun, and works for YOU!

Use these 3 tips to get started with a classroom morning routine you and your students will find very helpful this school year.

How Can A Classroom Morning Routine Help?  

An effective morning routine is such a valuable tool in the classroom. When your students know what is expected of them right off the bat and come into your classroom knowing where to go and what to do, things just run so much more smoothly!

Start your day AND your student's day on the right foot with a calm beginning of the day using a classroom morning routine.
Personally, I know that having a great classroom morning routine will help me make sure I can start the day off on the right foot with patience and clarity rather than chaos! 

By adding a morning routine, you can also build in some extra practice for your kiddos each and every day that is outside of your daily lesson plan. Students will get in the habit of working on specific tasks at this time and you can sneak in that much-needed, repetitive practice.

Ready to hear my tips on how to get started? Let's dive in! 

1. Consider Goals For Your Classroom Morning Routine

First off, consider why you want to add a classroom morning routine. Consider the current pain points in your room and how you might like to address them. For example...

  • Do you need a few minutes to catch your breath, take attendance and prepare for the day?
  • Do you want to sneak in more practice for your students on key skills? 
  • Are your students getting noisy and/or rowdy right off the bat?
  • All of the above? Or something else?

Think for a few moments about what you're facing in your classroom and consider this when building your routine. If you're finding you need a few minutes to get things ready first thing in the morning, it's probably not a great idea to start a new group activity routine. Instead, maybe consider some independent activities that your students can work on when they arrive.

Creating a classroom morning routine can be as simple or complex as you like. Using worksheets like these for independent work will help your students get ready to take on the learning of the day.
In my classroom, I find that no-prep, printable activities first thing in the morning really help check all the boxes on my list. Using no-prep printables allows students to jump right into some practice without needing my help to get started. Plus, these are just SO easy to prepare each day, which is always a positive in my book!

In our room, I love using No Prep Sight Word Worksheets as our very first activity of the day. When students arrive, they know to put their bags away and grab a worksheet from the daily activity bin by the door. They sit down and get started with their warm-up work while I take attendance, handle lunch count, and any other pressing matters. 

These no-prep sight word pages are fantastic for a warm activity because they are predictable and easy for the children to work on independently. Plus, these give my kiddos daily sight word practice first thing in the morning!

2. Plan To Use Familiar Activities

While this also goes hand-in-hand with what I mentioned above, it's worth mentioning again. Having a successful morning routine is highly dependent on making things familiar. Our first activity is always a sight word practice page, but after that, my students move on to morning tubs. 

My kiddos are grouped in "tables" and each group has its own bin of morning activities. I rotate these each day so that my kiddos will get a chance to use each set of activities during a week's time. Once my students have finished their sight word practice page, they know to drop their page in the "to grade" file and then grab an activity from the tub. 

Use Phonics Scrambles like this as part of your morning routine even if you already use them in centers. It's a familiar activity your students will be able to complete independently.
In these morning tubs, I have 4x6 photo cases with activity cards inside them along with corresponding manipulatives. My students know that they can choose 1 photo box and share the manipulatives to complete the activity inside. 

This idea works with a wide variety of activities, but I love using Phonics Scrambles for this! I just prep the cards and divide them among the boxes and then add some magnetic letters or letter tiles to the tub. Students will work on making words with the letter manipulatives to correspond with the cards in their box.

Typically, I set a timer right as students arrive in the morning and the kiddos will work on this activity until the timer goes off. If they finish early, they know they can swap their box with a friend in their group. 

3. End On A Fun Note

Finally, don't forget to add a dash of fun too! Typically, I like our final activity to be some kind of game, puzzle activity, or color by number worksheet. These types of activities still allow for student independence and are always my students' favorite. 

Use puzzles like these not only for fun during your classroom morning routine, but also as a great way to get in some extra phonics practice.
I like to vary these by day, to keep my kiddos interested. Once the timer goes off, my students know to get their morning tubs packed up and prepare for our final "mystery" activity of the morning. Keeping in line with the "mystery" theme- I love using CVCE Word Picture Puzzle Games. 

This activity is no-prep and predictable for my students. Once they have done this activity a time or two they can jump right in without any further instructions from me. Our "paper passer" distributes the activity and my kiddos get to work cutting out the pictures and solving the puzzle. 

This is a great activity to close out your morning routine as the children can be totally independent while also having fun solving a puzzle. Once they solve their puzzle and attach their pieces, they can take a few moments to color their picture. Ending with coloring is fun for my kiddos and helps them feel calm and "ready" to jump right into our lessons for the day afterward. 

Start Using A Classroom Morning Routine

So, what do you think? Ready to jump in and start crafting an effective morning routine for your classroom? Having a predictable lineup of activities first thing in the morning has really helped me tame the morning chaos in my classroom and start out the day on the right foot. 

Creating a classroom morning routine can be as simple or complex as you like. Using worksheets like these for independent work will help your students get ready to take on the learning of the day.Another great benefit to choosing a "framework" for your morning activities is that it makes it super simple to choose activities for each week. As a recap, in our room we...
  1. Start with a no-prep practice page. 
  2. Work on morning tubs for the assigned time. 
  3. Finish with a fun game, puzzle, or coloring activity. 

Knowing that we will do these 3 things every morning makes it super easy to plan activities each week. So, what's on your classroom morning routine list? 

Have fun building your perfect morning block, and remember- make it work for YOU!  Depending on the time you have available you might want to choose just one activity. 

The important part of a solid classroom morning routine is consistency.  Start the routine on day one and practice, practice, practice.  Before you know it students will be coming to class and jumping right in.

Save These Classroom Morning Routine Ideas 

Don't forget to Pin these ideas to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so that you will be all set when you're ready to start crafting an awesome classroom morning routine! 

Setting a morning routine for your students is one of the most important and helpful things you can do as a teacher. Use these 3 tips for creating a classroom morning routine to get your mornings started on a stress-free and productive foot. When your students are engaged in morning work, you will have more time to get your day planned. Whether you use worksheets, activities, or centers, creating a classroom morning routine will be a life-saver. #classroommorningroutine #morningroutine #studentmorningroutine #tipsforsettingupamorningclassroomroutine

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