It feels so strange to be talking about going back to school already. Didn't summer just begin? In the blogging world, I'm full into back to school mode. But in the real world, I am still in summertime mode. I told myself I would not go back to my classroom until two weeks before the official teacher work days. I've NEVER done that before. I usually start going back about a month before. I am not letting myself do that this year. You all have to hold me accountable for this! I feel like it's a good balance since I've been making stuff for my classroom- from home. I'm trying to enjoy as much time with my boys as I can.
Back to business. Since Class-y Collaboration is having our Schoolapalooza right now, I threw myself into back to school mode. I've been thinking about what is most important for the first few weeks. Of course I love the cutesy activities and books. I'd have to say though, that the most important thing is setting up those classroom routines for your little ones. I am DEFINITELY NOT an expert in this area. I am constantly evolving and trying to get better at this. This is always a big focus of mine at the beginning of each year. After years of trial and error, I feel like I'm finally getting there. I love to create fun and engaging activities for my firsties. Routines and procedures are generally not very fun and engaging. Ha! That's why it's not my strong suit. It's basically a lot of repetition. Teach, model, practice, repeat. Blah! It's SO important though. If there is one thing to pass along to a new teacher (especially for the little ones), it's to make sure you don't skimp on this!
For my morning routine, I've always used visuals. I have a magnetic white board (can't live without the magnetic feature) so I just post these each morning on that board.
Every morning, they are posted on the white board and after the bell, we review all of them to make sure they completed every one. Then I take them off the board for the rest of the day.
They are all pretty self explanatory I think. I'll explain a couple just in case. :)
1. Open folder on desk: Each student has a home folder. They take it home every day and bring it back every morning. I check it every morning. They open it on their desk so I can make sure they didn't forget to give me any notes or homework. Once I've checked it, they close it and put it in their desk so it is ready for the end of the day.
2. Fill your book box: this is a nice time to make sure they have plenty of books in their book box for reading workshop time.
You can download these for free! Click here or on the picture above.
What is your morning routine? Am I forgetting anything good?