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Dr. Tisha Shipley has been in education for over 23 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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Using Morning Procedures to Start the Day

Dr. Shipley hears the school bell ring and knows that the children will be entering the classroom soon. Everything is set up, organized, and ready for the day. The room is spacious and quiet, but any minute it will be busy and inhabited by the community members that live there each day. Daily procedures are taught from day one and continue throughout the entire school year. Students know what to expect and what comes next. Each child will sign in to the classroom, greet the teacher with a handshake and smile, and proceed to their classroom job or the regular procedure.        

When children enter the classroom in the mornings, there are many ways to welcome them. We should make sure that they feel engaged, warm, and excited. Morning procedures set the tone for the entire day. Some things to try are:

  1. Set up a desk/table outside the door. I like to put a fun tablecloth on it and change it out for the seasons. On the desk is a piece of paper, a fun pen or pencil (I like to use one with a big feather), a lamp/vase with flowers, and a clock. Children sign in to the classroom community each day while I am at the door to welcome them. This not only helps the child learn to spell their name and to write letters but also takes attendance.
  2. The teacher should stand at the door each morning. I like to shake each child’s hand, be on their height level and welcome them by saying, “Good Morning Katie, we are going to have a great day.” They then, in turn, say, “Good Morning Dr. Shipley”. During this procedure, we are practicing oral skills, children learning how to communicate with others and adults, and the importance of a handshake. They look forward to this each morning.
  3. Children then know to clean out their backpacks, hang up their coats and bags and find a table activity or do their classroom community job. The table activity is something that is a free choice, a center they can pull off the shelf, or a color sheet. Once per week, they can use Kindles and iPads during this time. Each child has a job that helps the classroom run, and different jobs are completed throughout the day.
  4. Music is played (the same song each day) to clean up their area from the table activities. When you choose your music, make sure it is something you want to hear every day at the same time, the procedure music should not change.
  5. Group learning is the next scheduled time. Morning procedures continue with transitioning into small groups and one on one conferencing and centers.

Each day the children should know what to expect as they enter the classroom. How can you set up your schedule to fit some of these ideas into your day? What procedures can you see yourself implementing? Procedures must be taught and practiced over and over. The morning procedures set the tone for the entire day.

Other morning procedures to try:

  1. Gathering names/whiteboard/traceable laminated etc, practice writing and recognizing names.
  2. Graphing with names: “Did you eat breakfast” “Did you brush your teeth”
  3. Small group activities
  4. Small cooking breakfast activities
  5. Art projects (painting, chalk) are something you have limited time to incorporate