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Pre-K & Kindergarten Classroom Routines to Start the Year


Back to School season can feel overwhelming and sometimes the first days may feel a little chaotic. First, remind yourself that this is TOTALLY normal. It’s normal for students to be overly excited and teachers to feel unprepared no matter how much we prepare. Then, check out these Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom routines to teach first to combat the beginning of the year craziness and save yourself some stress along the way!

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Teach these Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom routines first to beat the beginning of the year craziness and save some stress along the way!

Pre-K & Kindergarten Classroom Routines

Does your classroom feel a little “squirrel-like” during the first days of school? It’s not uncommon and I’m right there with you! School is brand new to many of our students which leads to a lot of excitement and higher energy than usual. And normal or not, it can be stressful!

We all know that routines are important and we need to start building them right away. But which ones should we teach first? These Pre-K and Kindergarten routines are a great place to start and just remember – give it time and it’ll get there!

Back to School season can feel overwhelming in a Kindergarten classroom but these routines will help!

Routines for the First Day of School

Almost immediately after students arrive we begin learning and practicing our routines. We start with 3 key classroom routines:

Teaching these 3 routines first means that even on the craziest days, you can get your students’ attention and gather together calmly in one place. This makes all the difference when teaching our other routines!

Routines for the First Week

  • Lining up
  • Using supplies (teach each supply routine SEPARATELY!)
  • Snack/lunch
  • Bathroom
  • Hand washing
  • Center routines
  • Carpet routines
Teach students how to use supplies but teach each supply routine separately.

Building Routines Take Time!

It is important to remember to build time for learning and practicing new routines into your lesson plans. If we want our routines to be successful then we can’t rush the learning process. That’s why we need to set aside specific times of our day to practice.

My typical morning plans for a day during the first week of school may look like this:

In a Kindergarten classroom morning circle time routines take practice.

Building the time into our lessons for practicing routines means we won’t feel rushed. Routines shouldn’t be an afterthought that we squeeze into our day. They are important and take time and focus!

One more important tip – don’t wait until you need a routine to practice it (practice lining up BEFORE you actually need to go anywhere)!

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