I am loving the motivation to blog Jen is giving me! This week’s Motivation Monday is all about Morning Routines. I talked a tad about it last week in my Daily Schedule post, but I’ll get into some detail here and you may even find something you can add to your routine!
First things first,
I go to McDonald’s every.single.morning. Like I am pretty sure something awful would happen if I didn’t go at this point. And this is an important part of our morning routine because Diet Coke makes me almost ok with waking up and getting to school by 6:45 am…AM!
Before the kiddos arrive I normally start making my copies for the day. I, unlike most teachers, like to make mine the day of because I never really know what I’ll end up using day to day and we only get 1500 copies a semester. That’s 3000 for the entire year. And let’s face it, I can use my first 1500 on the first week prep and Open House stuff! I also try to get to school between 6:30-6:45 so I have a little bit of time to get my bearings!
I also turn on music from You Tube. I look for instrumental stations. Here’s a few we listen to
4D videos-these were a new favorite this year. SOmetimes I would match or theme like if we’re studying life cycles we’d watch the butterflies, or we watched the aquarium during shark week, etc.
Another one I use are the Disney piano music. The kids will always start singing the words!
But Fridays are different! On Fridays we Kidz Bop! I love me some Kidz Bop! Of course they have a Youtube channel, but it has lots of little videos, so I usually watch the Vevo Kidz Bop channel. Just hit play all and you’re good!
7:05! It’s arrival time!
So, 7:05 rolls around and the children begin trickling into the classroom. I am a teacher that has a place for everything because I do NOT want you to hand me anything! I will lose it. I will lay it down and never find it. I am a stacker so if you hand me your lunch money I will set it in a stack and you won’t have lunch money.
Turn in stuff, hand me nothing
So the very first thing my kids do after setting down their backpacks at their desk is to turn in their Homework folder. This is nothing fancy. Just a folder my school gives us. I don’t make any fancy labels like I used to. I literally handwrite (gasp) the names on the folders the night of Open House-or my mom does! Maybe one day when I don’t wait until the last minute to prep! Inside the folder is their daily homework and any envelope of money, papers that needed to be returned, etc. One of my classroom jobs is checking folders, but I’ll get to that!
As I mentioned last week, I like using morning work. When the kids get to school, they grab breakfast from a cart in the hallway (we are low income and have “universal breakfast” which means it’s free for all). They bring it to the room and work on their Early Bird morning work. I have used the same morning work for 5 years now. I know many teachers are going to paperless morning work, and I am super proud of you. But that will not be me. This works because my kids have from 7:05-7:45 when we will head to specials. If a child is tardy, they simply complete it while we check it. If they do not finish it and they had ample time, they complete it while we check it out of the room. I know I am a meanie.
I’m done, now what?
If they finish early they can partner read. This is a good incentive because they love it. I also introduced some puzzles and STEM toys around January that some kids whose to do. Some favorites this year were Dog Pile, Star Wars lenticular puzzles I had laying around the house, and Lego Creator sets. We are adding STEM Bins this year too! (these links are affiliate links. When you make a purchase through the link Amazon tosses me a few pennies, like literally, at no extra cost to you.)
So really, that’s about it! I did want to share a cool thing I did in the past. I previously taught 4th grade for 7 years, and for whatever reason they just are not the kind of kids to come in and sit and work! We also changed classes, so we didn’t have that time in there to check morning work and talk about it. I picked up this awesome idea from a fellow teacher in my county and I just loved it! Each day she pulled up BING! (does that even exist anymore, maybe??) and whatever the picture was they write about it. They could write a list of facts, a fictional story, whatever. I loved this because I felt it was 1) interesting because the pictures were just gorgeous and 2) they had the freedom of choice.
So I am pretty sure this was like my FIRST ever blog post back when my blog had a completely different name, but here’s the original post!
Is your morning routine pretty typical like mine? Check out Jen’s post and see what other people are doing!