Having clear and predictable classroom routines will help you stay organized and help your students be successful in their own learning!
Setting up routines at the beginning of the school year is important not only for your students but also for yourself. If your students know what they have to do and when, they won’t need more explanations and directions from you!
Setting up a clear, predictable schedule and posting it for students (like a visual schedule) will help your students know what will happen throughout the day.
This does not mean that your schedule can never change, though – of course, things come up, and we have to adjust. That’s just the nature of the school, but I like to keep routines as predictable as possible.
Morning Entry and Meeting
I like to start my day with whole group time with my students. They come in, take off their outdoor clothes and meet on the carpet for our morning literacy meeting.
At this time, they can share and talk with their friends as they are coming in. I like that this gives them some time to socialize to start their day.
Centers Classroom Routines
We have a mixture of teacher-led and free play centres available to my students. They can choose where they want to go – self-regulated centres make my life so much easier!
At this time, I can also do small groups or document learning throughout the classroom. This is a great time to listen to what students are talking about and look out for any teaching opportunities!
Centres are what take up most of the day. However, students need large blocks of uninterrupted time to engage in deep learning. So the more time you give them – the more they learn!
We have two snack breaks built into the school day. A few years ago, I tried self-regulated snack time. There is a table available to students in the morning and afternoon, and they can go have their snack whenever they want. This works incredibly well.
Not everyone gets hungry simultaneously, so my students eat whenever they feel they have to. However, I do give reminders to make sure they have their snack if they want to – sometimes, they get so caught up in their play that they don’t realize how much time has passed!
After our lunch recess, students come together again as a whole group for direct math instruction. I find that this is the perfect time to have students decompress after playing outside.
We learn about our math skills, do a number talk and do anything else that needs to be covered – and then students go back to their self-regulated centres.
Reading books to my students is probably the thing that I love to do the most. I love being able to engage with them, ask questions and dive deeply into a text.
We usually end our day by reading a book, and I have been using the Ramped-Up Read Aloud book to help me focus on the questions and discussions we have. This way, I can focus on the skills my students need to become excellent readers themselves!
What does your school day look like? Any routines that I missed? Let me know in the comments!