Routines Make the World go Round

Do you have a daily ROUTINE?

I do!

I get up early.
I get a cup of coffee.. that is ready for me.
( that I set the night before while I am doing dinner dishes)
I check my emails.
I make breakfast & lunch.
Wake up hubby.
Shower & get ready for work.

I LOVE my morning routine.

When things run smoothly...I know what to expect.

That's how our kids feel in the classroom.

When routines work
EVERYONE knows what to expect & how to do it!

ROUTINES MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND!

Here are MY  top  3  Routines

 for a smooth running classroom.


ENTERING  THE CLASSROOM:

I meet my kids on the playground.
Our "first" bell ( line up ) is at 8:20.
I go out to our line at 8:15 and  remind ALL of my students to get out of their BACKPACKS their BLACK homework folder (provided by me at the beginning of the year..black because I don't use black for any other folder in my room..and their READ AT HOME envelope with TAKE HOME BOOKS. 

They have them "in their hands" before we walk to the door.

WHY?  
NO ONE has to "dig through" their backpacks when we get in the door. 
While we are at the door...I have a Home Depot shelving unit next to the door. They put their backpacks and jackets ON THE SHELVES! NO backpacks or jackets on CHAIRS! No room!

 After we enter..2 baskets on the table next to the door. One "homework"..the other RAH (Read AT Home) Envelopes.
Black folders in HW basket, Book envelopes in RAH basket.

DONE!
(Any notes or OTHER STUFF...in HW basket).

NOW, they get a chair 
( stacked at the back of the room..see routine #3)
and WALK to their desk.

When the starting bell rings at 8:25
(5 minutes after we enter...)
I choose the HELPERS for the day.
You can only be a HELPER if you are sitting in your seat when the bell rings! I am prompt!
( No tardies, wanderers, "chatting").
If you are TARDY...you won't be a helper on that day if it's your turn. You will have to wait until tomorrow, if you are on time.
Incentive for getting to school ON TIME!

I choose my helpers. 
2 of my 10 helpers for the day are 
TECH  TEACHERS.
I ask the TECH  TEACHERS to choose a "quiet partner" to help them pass out ipads ( We are a 1:1 school ) and earbuds ( they have their own in numbered baggies.
 (We number EVERYTHING!)

They get their ipads...long into our district reading/phonics practice program, and GO TO WORK!
ALL of this takes 10 minutes.
8:20-8:30
NO MUSS...NO FUSS!



Transitions. THE WORST TIME OF THE DAY!

Kids are working. The "Hummm" of classroom work.
Happy Teacher.
And then...the timer goes OFF!
WE MUST STOP!
Time to TRANSITION TO SOMETHING ELSE!
NO!
First graders like to MOVE...and FAST!

So to help...we  FREEZE!
?
When the timer goes off...we freeze! I tell them they have one minute to clean up and return to their desks.
Always return to their desk.
Kind of like their "LANDING  PAD".

After everyone is sitting down ( well, almost everyone..there are always the 1-2 stragglers )

I say.. "One, two, three EYES ON ME!" 
They respond  " One, two, EYES ON YOU!"
And then a call out... ( I have a list )
Could be "MACARONI & CHEESE"
They respond "EVERYBODY FREEZE!"
AND THEY DO!

I hold them "frozen" for 3-4 seconds.
THEY LOVE THIS!

And then they get a point for the class (if they are frozen)
OR
I get a point if they are NOT!

(Points don't go to ANYTHING...just on the wall for the day!)
They have NOT asked me about the points ALL YEAR!

After we are settled, I can give directions for our next
activity.  I do this SAME ROUTINE ALL DAY FOR TRANSITIONS!

No problems!



The LAST 30 minutes of CLASS.
It's almost OVER!
The day has come to an end.

HOW TO GET THEM OUT THE DOOR?

STOP!

Many things to do BEFORE we leave.

REMEMBER...The class is ALL of yours.
It's NOT my job to clean up, put everything away, and pick up the classroom AFTER they leave.

We ALL work here. The community is for ALL of us.

We dismiss at 2:30.

At 2:10 
we STOP, put our work away,
 and FREEZE to go back to our desks.

At 2:15  we begin the EXIT PROCESS.

My 2 TECH TEACHERS (helpers) put ALL of the ipads back into the cart ( I have taught them HOW to do this MANY TIMES.)

I will plug them in after school.
Plugs can be tricky.

2 of my other HELPERS are the 
CLEAN UP CREW.
They EACH choose a 'friend' to help them
STACK ALL OF THE CHAIRS
into stacks of 6.
Push the stacks to the back of the room, and clean all papres, crayons, pencils from the floor.

While these HELPERS are working SILENTLY..
the rest of the class goes to the carpet.

Each day 5-6 of my students can come to 
AUTHOR'S  CHAIR.
( 5  color coded groups )

As we transition to the carpet, I ask "RED GROUP" if they would like to "READ...in the teacher's chair" OR  PASS (for this week).

They read one story from their JOURNAL. Their choice.

We LISTEN ( being a good audience )
and then they can choose 1 person to
"ASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTION".

We must listen, to formulate a HOT question. 

After all 5 have read..I have one student bring me EVERYTHING from their cubby. (Student mailboxes ).

I go over ALL work we are taking home.
I open the BLACK  HOMEWORK folder, wher I have taken out last night's HW and put in tonight's HW.
and
I show them their RAH books to read tonight.

After all of our work has been reviewed..

I excuse them 3 at a time to clean out their cubbies, take everything to their desk, get their backpack & jacket, take it to their desk, LANDING PAD, and pack up to go home.

When they are ready ..
LINE  UP!

I start a GOODBYE CHANT...
"bye bye Butterfly..See you later alligator...etc"

They must be ready to go before we end the chant.

This takes a little practice.
NO... A LOT OF PRACTICE!

BUT...

We can get out the door in 5 minutes!

This ends my 
TOP 3 ROUTINES


Many more throughout the day.

I like routines in MY LIFE.
So do the KIDS!

What routines do you have that you do EVERY DAY?
Pick your top one & share in the comments.
We can ALL learn for each other!

Happy  DAY!

11 comments

  1. Love all the routines you have in place. Routines help the day do so much smoother! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. These routines are precise and I am sure makes for a happy classroom! Students thrive off of routine and consistency and it seems that you provide that for your class! I look forward to incorporating some of these ideas into my own routines! Thanks for this post!

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  3. The time spent establishing the routines is paid back in a smoothly running class all year. Wonderful!

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  4. Organization is the key to a successful classroom...your room sounds like mine!!

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  5. Great post, I know that children thrive with routine and it makes them feel safe.

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  6. Love this post! Establishing routines is a must... it sets up your classroom for teaching and learning. Great ideas!

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  7. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing!

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  8. These are great ideas and will give especially new teachers ideas on how to structure their day

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  9. Awesome ideas. Love how easy you put them together. Thanks so much.

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