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Dr. Tisha Shipley has been in education for over 19 years. She has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, Gifted and Talented 3rd-6th Grades, Dr. Shipley was an elementary principal, a cheer coach, and was on...
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A Great Start to the Day

Your classroom community is set up, you have your daily schedule and you are ready to start the day. An exciting part of the day is when the children come in to the classroom community.  They are happy to be there, and they want to learn!  I wanted to share some things that I did in my classroom that worked and geared my students up for success first thing each morning.

1. Greet each student as they come in the room.  (Hug, high five, handshake etc).  Example “Good morning Mr. Cooper” The student will then say “Good morning Miss……….).   It gives each student time with you one on one and for them to practice oral language.

2. Have students do an activity as you welcome them.  For example, graph: Did you brush your teeth, did you eat breakfast, who brought you to school?  Ask questions that allow them to get involved, practice oral language and practice a skill you may be working on.

3.  Have free choice activities when they enter.  This can be anything you want it to be.  It can cover themes you are doing or something completely different that allows them to be creative. Bring in that engagement piece that differentiates for them. (puzzles, games, color, paint pages etc).

4. Allow them to do their classroom community jobs as they enter the room.  This gets the student up and busy:

Jobs/Responsibilities Children are given jobs and responsibilities at the beginning of the school year.  Depending on your teaching style you can also change these jobs as frequently as you   would like, but it is recommended that you allow children to keep the same job for a long period of time, so the community is not too often disrupted.  

Ideas for classroom jobs but not limited too: 

  • Veterinarian (Takes care of class pets)
  • Mechanical Engineer (Sharpens pencils)
  • Author (hands out papers helps the teacher)
  • Gardner (waters plants)
  • Meteorologist (tells about the weather during carpet time)
  • Center Monitor (ensures that all centers are cleaned up)
  • Librarian (works in the library center to ensure is stays neat and tidy)
  • Custodian (ensures all chairs are pushed and floors are clean)
  • Electrician (ensures all lights are on or off depending on if the children are in the room or leaving)
  • Travel attendant (ensures all back packs and coats are hung up)

          (Shipley, 2019).

5. Give children time to engage with others as students filter in. They don’t always get talk about what is going on at home.  This allows students to communicate with each other and learn about likes/dislikes, pets, family members etc.

6. Circle Time/Morning Meeting: This is such a fun time to do so many different things and truly sets the tone for the day:

a. Write a morning message from your classroom mascot.   Tell them what they will be doing for the day. 

b. Sing (music and movement)

c. Get small whiteboards and markers and play games and practice whatever you are learning.

d. Count the days you have been in school.

e. Days of the week.

f. Read books

g. Introduce new concepts

f. Show and Tell

7.  Cooking in the Classroom: have a morning breakfast.  You could try this once a month or once in a while.  You can have a parent volunteer helping make eggs, toast, fruit etc.  Remember not all children get to have breakfast at home, so they may not get to see the process of what cooking takes. You are also teaching them other skills while cooking and let them join in!

You can’t go wrong with building those strong mornings routines with your students. It sets the tone for the day and allows them to engage with you and their peers. This should be a time they are excited about, and every day can be different depending on what time you have set aside in your schedule.  The students look forward to seeing what is happening that day and what they will be doing!