Tuesday, April 9

Morning Jobs & Book Club Routines


Today I have a big long post about how I make my mornings smoother...semi-decent pics and all...

These morning routines help my first graders build independence and organizational skills (hopefully)...

which ultimately leaves time for me
toscramble to take care of the things I've forgotten to get done connect with each kiddo as they arrive.
Gotta love visuals, so I'm packing in some pictures here...

(please pardon the flash-on-laminate-sheen...it's just easiest to use my
iPhone for the pics since it's the fewest steps to get the photos postable...)

I originally snapped these photos so I didn't have to get too wordy on my sub plans. 

Pictures DO speak a 1000 words!!!

This is what the Morning Job board currently looks like. (Though we're now in unit 8 for math, not unit 4...)

We start at the very beginning of the year with the first 3 items...we build muscle memory for those jobs with step by step practice & choral reading on a daily basis. 

Golden Tickets (thank you 
Teeny Tiny Teacher) are handed out to students for doing all the jobs.

If you want to learn more about Golden Tickets (as opposed to a clip chart), check out
Teeny's first & second posts about how she uses them. 

My grade level all wants to be just like Teeny Tiny, so we use them the way she does!

Once they're pretty solid on those three (and once guided reading and Everyday Math
Homelinks begin), we add jobs 4-6 and repeat the process of building muscle memory in similar ways as at the beginning of the year. More about job 4 in a minute...
After a few weeks of deepening all six routines, we add #7. 

For our Daily Warm Up activities, the main things we use are
printables from my Common Core Crunch (a monthly ELA series) 

If you want to 'try before you buy' go ahead and download the Preview file, since it contains 3 freebie sheets. Just click the picture above to get to it in my store.

and from Kelley Dolling's Good Morning Work - Math (she's the brilliance behind Teacher Idea Factory!).

Commercial over...

Another routine that helps keep me organized with Guided Reading is this handy dandy tub...

I began this routine part way through the year last year and modified it a little bit this year, too.

Each Book Club Group (guided reading) is assigned a color....red, orange, yellow, green, blue...

Each group has a section in the tub, in front of the fancy
dancy divider. 
To make the dividers I trimmed 12x12 cardstock to the width of old, icky white board (cuz they're hard), folded the cardstock in half and adhered it to the whiteboard using clear packing tape.

More functional than classy, but oh well.  
One side of the divider says Put in Book Box, the other says Keep in Envelope...that's because we almost always focus on a guided reading book for two days...(I'll post more on that another time.)

So I flip those signs accordingly...

Each night when I'm doing a variety of little tasks to get ready for the next day, I have a little white helper card in my calendar that I CAN'T move until I've addressed those two jobs!...
This little helper has helped me keep track of whether I've done the two jobs of arranging the divider signs AND if I've rotated Literacy Stations. Not pretty...but works SO well to keep me on track!

There are just too gol-durn jobs to keep track of in a day that I just don't always remember if I've done something or not.

We won't talk about how sometimes I forget to rinse the conditioner out of my hair or shampoo a second time in case I hadn't done it the first time.


Each student has a poly envelope (ordered online for the whole grade level in August from the cheapest vendor) - they each get 1 poly envelope per year.

We charge them $2 if they lose it.

If it becomes damaged but can still hold the materials, we keep using it.

Each student's envelope gets a folded piece of duct tape on their envelope to help them remember to put their envelope in the correct section.

Envelopes #3 & 4 are hiding between #2 & 5!
This also helps me visually see that all have put their envelope in the right spot.

K...the next steps are a little picky-pants, but it really HAS helped me be more efficient during Book Clubs...

Each student is assigned a table spot at the book club table (kidney shaped table) and then I put a number on their duct tape according to their assigned seat (going from left to right at the table).

The duct tape DOES come off relatively easily when we switch groups around! At least it has for me all year long so far.

Groups have different numbers of students so I don't actually label the actual chair or table spot...just the way they sit from left to right.

This helps me keep it flexible so I can skip a chair between some particular students.

 And, yes, students DO put their envelopes in their section in number order...that was the whole point of numbering them in the first place...so that I could easily hand out envelopes when the kids need them.

I hope this long post helps you out! It's nice to learn from one another, so I'd love to hear from you! 

This post was originally a guest post on the lovely Kyp of Mrs. McLaren's Little Super Heroes...Click the pic to head over and check her out...
Mrs. McLaren's Little Super Heroes


  1. I love, love this morning routine! You are so smart to post the order. Note to self for next year! I'm always changing my mind about what they should do in the morning!


    1. Hugs to you, sweet Kate! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Just went and visited Kyp's blog. This is choc-full of fabulous! LOVE love love the use of the old white boards. Genius! Thank you for letting us climb inside your brain Lisa!

    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

  3. Looks awesome...hopping over then now. =) I am your newest follower, drop by.

    Just Wild About Teaching

    1. Heading over :) Thanks for following!!!
      Smiles - LIsa

  4. Wow!!! I love your order chart and guided reading tub!! Thanks so much for sharing. :)


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