How to Make Morning Routines Manageable

By Kirsten Hammond

Whether your classroom mornings are a well-oiled machine or a bit chaotic, finding strategies to make morning routines more manageable is EXTREMELY important!

I’ve been in both situations, and I’m here to share some tips that have been effective in my teaching career.

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Tip 1: Establish Morning Routines from Day One

Set clear expectations for your students from the start. Establish routines for unpacking backpacks, sharpening pencils, and other essential tasks.

This not only instills a sense of order but also provides students with a predictable start to their day, promoting a smooth transition into the learning environment.

Consistency is key – creating a structured environment that helps students know what to do. It helps to foster a sense of order from the beginning of the school year to the very last day.


Tip 2: Project Morning Slides

Consider using a morning slide projected on the board to guide students through their routine. This visual aid can include steps, a greeting, or important announcements.

Having a consistent morning slide helps maintain predictability and allows students to refer to it independently, reducing the need for constant teacher direction.

Additionally, you can infuse creativity by incorporating engaging visuals or theme-related messages (maybe it’s someone’s birthday!) to capture students’ attention and make the morning routine more enjoyable.

Tip 3: Give Students a Purposeful Task

Provide students with a specific activity to focus on as they enter the classroom. Whether it’s journal writing, a grammar warm-up, or a social studies warmup activity, consistency in the morning task helps create a sense of routine and expectation and contributes to a smoother start each day.

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Tip 4: Embrace Consistency and Predictability

Additionally, you can personalize tasks based on student interests or tie them to upcoming lessons, making the morning routine not JUST a routine, but a meaningful and engaging experience for everyone!

As someone who LOVES to change things up, I’ve learned that consistency is a cornerstone of effective morning routines.

Stick to established procedures, even if the morning slide is occasionally missing or the tech isn’t working. Students thrive on predictability, and a consistent routine reduces confusion, making it easier for them to navigate the morning independently.

Consider reinforcing this consistency by incorporating a weekly or monthly review of morning routines, celebrating successes, and addressing any challenges as a whole group. This reflective practice ensures that the routine remains effective and evolves with the needs of your students.

Tip 5: Incorporate Classroom Jobs

Assigning classroom jobs is a powerful strategy to enhance morning routines. Students take on responsibilities like managing the calendar, handling lunch counts, or organizing materials.

This not only streamlines the morning process but also fosters a sense of accountability and independence among students. The best part is that you can tie these jobs to real-world skills, helping students develop a sense of responsibility and teamwork.

To Sum it Up

Mastering morning routines is an ongoing process that requires thoughtful planning and consistent implementation.

By setting clear expectations, leveraging visual aids, giving purposeful tasks, maintaining consistency, and incorporating classroom jobs, you can create a positive and manageable morning routine for both you and your students!

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Check out The Essential Classroom Community, a free five-day series offering practical strategies for building a positive classroom community. This series provides an additional layer of insights into fostering a supportive and collaborative classroom environment, complementing the morning routine strategies discussed in this episode.

kirsten hammond

Kirsten is a former 3rd and 5th grade teacher who loves helping upper elementary teachers by creating resources and sharing ideas that are engaging, research-based, and TEKS-aligned. She is a work-from-home mama of 3 rambunctious little ones and loves running, true crime, and lots of coffee.

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