A strong Kindergarten morning routine is a MUST. Actually, let me rephrase that. Morning routines are a must. In these times, they’re even more difficult. I love setting up a morning work routine that is predictable AND educational. Stick with me a minute and let me help you!
Here are 7 easy, low-prep strategies that are tried and true.
Check in Center: IF you have a staggered entry, have an area in the classroom where students check in each day. They take off their bags, take out their lunches, and make sure to “sign in”. Older kids can simply check their name off on a checklist. Interactive whiteboards can be an excellent spot for a checklist. If you do not have a staggered entry, then have kids sign in independently by finding personal morning folder and their desk/spot in the classroom.
Morning folder: This one is a big one. I love having morning folders for each one of my students. Each folder might look a little bit different depending on what they are working on, but it should contain independent activities that they can do throughout the week. See below for examples of things I love to have inside each folder.
Calendar: Kids record the date on a daily basis. This is a quick one, but it starts the routine off right. Accomplishing a task can’t be underrated.
Independent reading time: Depending on what they are working on, always have a book in every child’s folder. Switch their books 2-3x a week. They must read each book 2x before getting a new book (using my guided reading strategies). Then have a follow-up activity with a bit of writing/picture that helps them with comprehension skills. The writing does NOT need to be completed all in one day, but at least one time a week.
Handwriting books: Put together a handwriting book to work through. I do not spend a lot of time explicitly teaching handwriting, so I often put these books inside their morning folders. Since my students are writing so often otherwise, I don’t feel like sitting down for long handwriting sessions is necessary. You can find my handwriting books HERE (for printing).
Math: Have a hand-on math activity available. It an be a math game, graphing activity (where they can quietly survey the classroom) or a fun shake & spill activity. Since it is Covid, if you are providing a shake & spill activity, have it set up for them in their folders/cubbies in a little mesh bag. You can throw the mesh bags in the wash at the end of the day/week.
Get them moving: We also know that like us, kids can’t sit still for too long. Now, during Covid, it’s even harder to find activities that kids can do that are “Covid friendly”. I love having eye-spy activities around the classroom (or my house). I give kids a little clipboard and they can find the things on the list! I tell them- remember though, we are being spies, so we can’t talk! (sticky notes are my favourite ones to use)
Setting a schedule, goals and realistic expectations helps. In my house, when my kids were home from school, we have the exactly same schedule everyday. We followed the same (morning) routine every day. Why? Because routine helps kids feel safe and thrive. Of course we can deviate from our routine, but for the most part, they know what activities they had available to them when they came to school in the morning. Activities don’t need to be complicated or require a ton of prep. They just need to be consistent! If you need more ideas for your classroom/home please feel free to email me anytime. I LOVE hearing from you and would love to help brainstorm!
I know that was a handful to hear, but I also hope it was helpful!
Here are some activities that I add into morning folders. Please don’t feel pressure to buy them (although please do if you like them!) and use them as an example. (click on the links below to see)
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