Mornings can be a tricky time - attendance and lunch count need to be taken, homework and forms need to be collected, students might be eating breakfast, and the list goes on. Mornings can get chaotic very quickly. I started this routine last year with my 5th graders and it really helps students start their day off right while allowing me to get everything situated and organized to begin the day smoothly.
My simple rule: Read, Write, Draw or Chill
1. Read - I try to give students the opportunity to read as much as possible. One of my main goals in 5th grade is to teach them the love of reading! If they want to dive back into the book they've been reading, then go for it!
Have you heard of Epic?? My students LOVE this app! I set up an account and added all my students. So many of them enjoy Epic in the morning while I'm getting everything organized!
2. Write - Again, I want to instill the love of writing for 5th graders and students buy into writing more when they can write about things they want to. We're learning about so many different genres and I want students to be able to explore those on their own time.
My students are also really into graphic novels, so they have started making their own!
3. Draw - I love giving my artists a chance to draw and create using their imagination. Several of my students LOVE this option and create sculptures out of paper or build puzzles to solve. One of my students is really into learning Japanese and has started drawing various symbols during his morning time.
4. Chill - Giving students time to just relax before the hustle and bustle of the day is just what some of them really need. They may need time to decompress, maybe try to wake up a little more, or just hang out and relax.
During this time, students are always instructed to stay at their desks. This gives the room more structure and takes away the chance for more chaos. It usually lasts about 15 minutes and works like a charm. Students know their expectations and I am ready to get started after logistical items being taken care of.
How do you run your mornings when students first come into your classroom?