HOW TO IMPROVE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT WITH A MORNING ROUTINE

There is always a buzz at the start of the day. Students have to put things away. They want to share stories with you. They have tasks to complete to be ready to learn. At the same time, you are quickly taking attendance and lunch count, checking folders and notes, fulfilling all your daily professional responsibilities… It can be chaotic. A few years ago I came up with lots of ideas to “calm the chaos” and it has worked great!

Are you looking for an easy elementary classroom morning routine that will make starting the school day fun? Try out these classroom management procedures, routines, strategies, techniques, and ideas from the Clutter Free Classroom for morning meeting in a responsive classroom, circle time, bell work, calendar, daily schedules, activities and more!

This blog post will…
  • explain why having a morning routine is so important
  • recommend 3 morning routines to do before students arrive
  • suggest 5 morning routines to do after students arrive
  • offer 10 songs for a morning soundtrack
  • provide 3 tips for building your morning routine


Why is a Classroom Morning Routine Important?

Not only does having a classroom morning routine give you the flexibility and time to complete your daily administrative tasks like taking lunch count and checking for notes, it empowers your students to be responsible and independent learners.  Further, it provides a safe learning environment for your population of students who thrive off of having consistent routines (e.g. students with ASD and anxiety).


3 Morning Routines to Do Before Your Students Arrive


  1. Have a quiet activity for students to do for morning work: Two of my favorite ideas are spiral review activities (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th), number of the day (2nd, 3rd, and 4th), and reading to self. By maintaining routines surrounding the morning work, students will be able to be independent during this time. Whatever morning task you choose, be sure that the task can be done independently.
  2. Post the day's schedule on the board: I recommend downloading these schedule cards, printing them on cardstock, cutting them out, laminating them, and putting a magnet on the back of them so that they are easy to move. If you are not putting them on a white board or magnetic surface, then you will not need a magnet.
  3. Post a morning message on the board: Write a message on a white board, chart paper, or project it on a board or wall. Be sure to model good writing habits when you do this.

Check out this resource here! 

Check out this resource here! 

5 Morning Routines to Do When Your Students Arrive

  1. Play music: I have a “morning soundtrack.” As the children enter the classroom, I start the song. They have until the song ends to complete the process of unpacking and getting settled. They become familiar with the songs and anticipate how much time they have. This allows them to pace themselves and our day gets started in a very timely manner. I selected upbeat songs that appeal to kids and are “classroom appropriate.” I bought all the songs through itunes. I play a different one each day of the week. They are fun, upbeat, kid-appropriate and provide just enough time to take care of business and get settled.
  2. Greet each student at the door with a warm smile: A simple “good morning (insert student’s name)” and a smile helps each child start the day knowing that their teacher likes and cares about them. To add a little bit of fun, give students the option of how they can greet you: Wave, high five, hug, or dance. You can post the options on the wall outside of your classroom and all students need to do is hit the greeting they want to do that morning. It’s a fun and quick way to start the day!
  3. Clerical work: Be sure to take attendance and lunch count, and collect folders, homework and notes from parents. There are so many different ways to do this. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for fun tips and ideas!
  4. Check in with specific students: (students with IEPs, 504s, or behavior charts, experiencing grief, or another challenge) and offer a space for students to eat breakfast or send students down for breakfast depending on your school's policy.
  5. Hold a morning meeting: After you finish all of the clerical work, hold a morning meeting. If you have never heard about Responsive Classroom or morning meeting, then check out this book! It’s a total game changer!

Check out this resource here! 

10 Song Recommendations for Your Elementary Classroom


  • Pumpin’ Up the Party - Hannah Montana
  • Start the Party - Camp Rock Soundtrack
  • We Rock - Camp Rock Soundtrack
  • Celebrate You - Corbin Bleu
  • Have it All - Jason Mraz
  • Firework - Katy Perry
  • Happy - Pharrell Williams
  • Party in the U.S.A - Miley Cyrus
  • Can’t Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake
  • We’re All in This Together - High School Musical Soundtrack

3 Tips for Building Your Elementary School Classroom Morning Routine


  • Create a classroom poster or chart with a checklist of everything the students need to do each morning. Hang it in a spot in the classroom where students can refer to it during the first couple of weeks.
  • Explain and model how to do the morning routine. I recommend modeling the routine and having a student or group of students model the routine. After having multiple modeling opportunities, then I would have everyone practice the routine directly afterwards. This helps Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic learners learn the morning routine in a way that works best for them.
  • If you choose to implement a morning meeting in your classroom, you MUST read this book. It’s seriously THAT good. It will transform your classroom.

IMPROVE YOUR CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT BY PURCHASING THIS TIME-SAVING RESOURCE:



Are you looking for an easy elementary classroom morning routine that will make starting the school day fun? Try out these classroom management procedures, routines, strategies, techniques, and ideas from the Clutter Free Classroom for morning meeting in a responsive classroom, circle time, bell work, calendar, daily schedules, activities and more!

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