Picture it – the school bell rings and immediately students are racing through the door ready to start the day and wanting your full attention. As teachers, we know that routines are so important in an early childhood classroom and a solid morning routine can set the tone for the entire day. Start the school day with a more peaceful, less stressful environment with these simple and effective tips for morning arrival routines!
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3 Teacher Tips for Morning Arrival Routines
Going slow at the beginning of the year and taking the time to build a strong foundation of routines will lead to more independent students as the year goes on. Building these routines begins first thing in the morning when the students arrive and continues throughout the day.
Be sure to check out my teacher tips for a calm and effective dismissal routine – but first, here are my favorite tips for implementing an independent morning arrival routine!
Tip #1 – Keep the Arrival Routine the Same
If possible, keep the arrival routine the SAME every day. This helps the students to know exactly what to do even if there is a substitute teacher that day. Your routine may begin with something as simple as finding their name and adding it to a pocket chart when they arrive.
This means the students won’t rely on you for direction first thing, which allows you to talk to parents, answer the phone, or see to anything that needs immediate attention.
Tip #2 – Make Morning Activities Open-Ended
For morning work, keep activities open-ended with nothing to technically complete or turn in (for example, no worksheets). My favorite open-ended activity is the cutting jar!
When the morning task is something that needs to be “finished” you then need to teach a second, separate routine for what to do when students are done. Also, some kids may not be done in time or they may need additional assistance to finish. Keep it simple!
Tip #3 – Include a “Check-In” Task
When developing an effective morning arrival routine, I recommend including a “check-in” task that is done right away as part of the routine. This could simply be having students write their name on a white board.
Check-in tasks can be easy while still working on important skills in a built-in, low-prep way as the students arrive.
My Favorite Arrival Routine:
- Check in on a pocket chart
- Backpacks away
- Cutting Jar
I have found that even a small amount of morning play encourages high engagement and also allows time for me to check in with the families, buses, individuals, and more.
This is also quality time for students to develop important social skills!
When it is time to begin our day we clean up and meet at the carpet for Circle Time!
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