Classroom Management: Morning Routine

I hope everyone is having a great Friday :) In today's addition of my Classroom Management Series I am going to talk about the importance of establishing rules, routines, and procedures in the classroom and how setting them up from the first days of school can help create a well managed classroom environment. Click on the picture below and you will be directed to the other posts in my classroom management series.

Establishing rules, routines, and procedures will ensure a positive classroom environment and will prevent problems from happening throughout the school year. As Wong and Wong state, the effective teacher is a proactive teacher. Proactive teachers plan in order to prevent problems from occurring. According to Ronald Morrish and his “Real Discipline” model, “discipline isn’t what you do when children misbehave; its’ what you do so they won’t.” It is better to prevent behaviors from happening in the first place by establishing procedures, rather than having to pause your teaching later on in order to handle a behavior problem. Having rules, routines, and procedures established will help foster academic success because my focus will not be on correcting behaviors, but rather on teaching. 

Procedures that will be established in my classroom from the first day of school will include those for arriving at school, morning routines, transitions between activities/rooms, lining up, using the room, being out of the classroom, and the end of the day. From day one, these procedures are explained, rehearsed, and then practiced regularly in order to make them routines for the students and in order to maintain a positive classroom environment. 

Today I will talk about the procedure my students will follow when they arrive at school and then the morning routine once they are in the classroom. When students arrive at school first thing in the morning, they are not to enter the classroom until I am standing outside of the door ready to greet them. They are to sit on the floor against the wall and are to whisper if they wish to talk until I am at the door. This procedure is in place in order to ensure that any early bird students are not in the classroom misbehaving before I am available to greet them. I greet each student positively every morning when they enter the classroom. When the students have entered the classroom they will get busy following the procedure for morning routine. This procedure is rehearsed numerous times in the beginning of the school year so that it becomes a routine for the students. 

The procedure, which eventually becomes a routine, that the students follow when they enter my classroom is as follow:
1. Unpack book bag
2. Take out Pirate folder and place on desk (more on this in another post)
3. Indicate Lunch Choice (and ultimately attendance for the day) (more on this in another post)
4. Identify weekly job (more on this in another post)
5. Take Breakfast ticket to indicate they went to breakfast (not all students will go to breakfast and thus will skip this step and move onto step 6) (more on this in another post)
6. Make sure they have two sharpened pencils from the pencil bucket (Having two ensures that if the one breaks right from the start, they have another one handy instead of having to interrupt class to get one.)
7. Take out Morning Meeting workbook and begin the work for the day (more on this in another post)
8. Be prepared to start the day with a smile on their face

These steps become routine for children after rehearsing them multiple times in the beginning of the school year. I have created mini posters to be displayed in the classroom so that students can refer to them if they forget what the next step in the morning routine is. Visual cues are a great way to organize and manage your classroom as well, especially in the primary grades where visual cues are used all off the time. 

I have included a set of these cards for you to download for free. Just click on the picture to take you to you the download. I hope that I get to use these cards and these management techniques in my classroom next year. Fingers crossed on having a job :)

Graphics by: 3rd Grade Gridiron,, and Teaching my 3. Font by

What does your morning routine look like? Do you have a routine children follow? I would love to hear what kinds of things you do in your classroom to start the day/year off. 


  1. I too think that it is important to teach students the expectations through modeling and practice. I like having a routine so the students can feel confident in knowing what to expect for the day.
    My students will come in and put their bookbags away, place homework and notes in a bin, read the morning message (which will indicate lunches and other happenings)and work on morning work (not sure what their work will look like, but I have some ideas).
    Where Seconds Count 2nd grade blog

  2. I am very much in agreement with a morning routine. I feel that could make or break a day. I get that established from day one. I love your pirate cards & they are perfect for my classroom theme!!

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. Children thrive on routine!
    Thank you for sharing yours and these great cards.
    Thanks for linking up at TBA!
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith’s Pinterest Boards!

  4. Children need routine! My students arrive and put backpacks away, they put their take home folder in the basket, sign in on the daily sign in sheet(my easy way of taking attendance AND another way to practice name writing, get their math journal and complete the math problem on the board, get math journal checked and go immediately into math workstation for the day.
    Mrs. Shelton’s Kindergarten

  5. Yes, crucial for that morning routine. Thanks for sharing your goodies!
    GOOD LUCK on the job search!!! Keep us posted!

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love these cards. They will be a GREAT visual reminder when teaching routine. Now I have just added another great blog to my list. I'm your newest follower!

    1st Grade with Miss Snowden

  7. Our morning routine is this: they put their things in their cubbies which are located in the hall, they greet me (hug, handshake or a high five), tell me the password (written on a post it note on the door) and put their folder in the box. They go to the SmartBoard where they move their picture from home to school. They go to their seats and write in their journal. They must write their name and the date. Then they draw and write freely. After finishing their journal they read from their bookbag, the library or bookshelves. Having this routine in place makes our mornings go so smoothly.

    Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten