Saturday, May 17

Bright Ideas - Morning Routines Made Easy

As you know, mornings can be absolutely nutso with interruptions and surprises.

In order to tackle a few routines and make life a wee bit easier, here are a few things that have worked for me.

Here are two routines that really helped simplify my mornings...

Tub to return Book Club Envelopes (along with numbered duct tape on the envelopes)...

and magnetic Morning Jobs board...

(I'm super sorry for the less than stellar images....darn glossy laminate!)

Here's a little bit more on...

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.

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. 

And now for this super handy tub...

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

Each envelope has corresponding duct tape in the upper right corner to make it easy for students to correctly put their envelope in their section. And, when groups change, it's actually pretty easy to take the duct tape off the envelope.

Each group has a section in the tub, in front of the fancy dancy (Ha.) divider. 

To make the dividers I trimmed 12x12 cardstock to the width of old, icky whiteboards (cuz they're hard and I'm a fan of re-purposing stuff), 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...and on new book days they put their current book in their book box...on reread days they keep it in the envelope.

A student flips those divider signs accordingly at the end of the group time so it's ready for the next day's meeting

What morning routines do you have that help start the day smoothly-ish?

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  1. Really like the idea of having the morning routine up as a visual display. Will definitely set this up for my new class next year. If I can get them into good habits right from the start it will save me lots of complaints from parents asking why their child has not changed their book, why I didn't look in the comment book (because the children did not turn it in), etc. Might do one for the end of day routines too (have you got your water bottle, homework, notes home...). Thanks for the bright idea!
    Growing Little Learners

  2. I love your idea for organizing book returns!! What types of envelopes do you use?? I have used Ziploc bags to send books home in last year and they were so bulky. I'm looking for something new that is more functional!

    I love to see that you are from Wisconsin! I teach in a small town near Madison!

    Firstie Favorites

    1. Hi Nicole! We order poly-envelopes from Staples for our Book Club Envelopes. They are a little bit spendy (maybe $2 each) so we really talk about taking care of them. The majority of students have theirs last the entire year so it's kind of handy!


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