My Easy and Effective Middle School Morning Routine - EB Academics

Grab Your Free Writing Guide

Become an EB Insider Today

My Easy and Effective Middle School Morning Routine

September 17, 2018 4 min read

The way we begin our mornings really sets a tone for the rest of the day. During my first few years of teaching, I didn’t realize how truly important those first 5 minutes of class were. I was always taught to teach “bell to bell,” but the stress of that expectation caused me to have a bit of a chaotic morning with my kids. Now, I feel very confident in the morning routine I’ve established – the kids respond well to it because they know exactly what to expect each day, it allows me to take care of any items before class begins (i.e., attendance, which I used to always forget to take!), and we start our day off on the right foot.

First, I’ll outline the typical first 30 minutes of my morning, then I’ll go into more detail for each section further down.

7:45-8:00: Students arrive and unpack
8:00: Bell rings, students line up outside
8:00-8:05: Attendance, get situated, morning announcements, pledge
8:05-8:10: Bell ringer or vocabulary work

Looks fairly simple, right? Because it is 🙂 You just have to introduce the routine and then stick to it – every day.

Here’s the breakdown.

7:45-8:00
School doesn’t start until 8:00, but parents are allowed to drop their kids off starting at 7:45. Because I have so many students (31 this year, 35 last year), I like to let them trickle in throughout those 15 minutes between 7:45 and 8:00, so they can unpack, get their homework out, put their backpacks away, etc. It makes it so much more mellow once the bell does ring and we get our day started. It works much better as opposed to having ALL 31 students trying to unpack at the same time.

During this time, I also have my Morning Directions PowerPoint displayed so the students know exactly what they are supposed to do and have ready when the bell rings at 8:00. Here’s one of my slides from this year, so you can see some of the things I include.

Having this displayed helps answer A LOT of questions that can come your way first thing in the morning, such as, “Are you collecting the homework?” “What am I supposed to do with this assignment?” “Where do you want me to turn this in?” etc.

In addition to having my Morning Directions displayed, I have calm music playing in the background. Think songs like John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Bear’s Den, etc. (I always make sure that it’s classroom appropriate though!)

Finally, I like to have the kids head back outside once their desk is all set to go, so that they can socialize outside with their friends.

8:00
At 8:00 the bell rings, and my students all line up outside our classroom. While they are in straight lines, I greet them and say good morning, and kind of reiterate the directions that are on the board. I also tell them that on their way into our classroom, they must stop and say good morning to me with a smile.

Which leads to the next step … I always start each day by greeting each of my students with a big smile and an enthusiastic “Good Morning!” Even if I’m not feeling it, I still do this every morning for my kids, and it actually ends up putting me in a great mood to start the day 🙂

8:00-8:05
Once all of the kids are in the classroom, they know it’s time to silently get everything together and begin working on their Bell Ringers or their vocabulary for that week. If they’ve finished both of those weekly assignments, they can silently read. Because of the classroom management plan I have put in place, this is an extremely seamless and smooth transition while everyone gets situated.

8:05-8:10
Morning announcements usually begin around 8:05, so students stop whatever they are doing at that time and sit without talking to listen to the announcements. While this is happening, I take attendance. Once announcements end, we say our pledge, and then students get right back to work on their Bell Ringer, vocabulary, or silent reading until I tell them we are beginning our day.

Using this process has been a game changer in our classroom. Our day starts off calmly, students are given the time they need to make sure they’ve turned everything in or have all of their items ready to go for that day, and it creates just an all-around good vibe for the day!

If you have any classroom management questions, be sure to check out our IGTV videos, where I’ve shared some of my most effective strategies that have truly worked for me in my classroom!

Also, make sure to follow us to be notified when we upload new resources! We always do a special discount when we release a new resource, so it pays to follow us!

Save this post for later!
 

 

Caitlin

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome!

Welcome!

Hi there! We're two middle school ELA teachers with a mission to share ideas, tips, and tricks for effectively teaching reading and writing in the secondary classroom. We're so happy you stopped by!

Caitlin + Jessica

Your 15 Free Resources Are Waiting!

Immediately receive access to our
Free Resource Library

We promise we won't spam you.

Let’s Connect

Popular Posts

Our Latest Posts

Categories

Instagram

  • It is very possible that today’s podcast episode will completely contradict a major component of the way you teach literary analysis. 
In the episode, we reveal our third game-changing strategy for teaching evidence-based writing, and we’re asking you to take a breath, suspend judgement for a moment, and allow us to walk you through exactly why we believe in this strategy, even though it goes against the grain. 
Continue listening to the episode here —> ebacademics.com/35
  • Let me know in the comments which camp you’re in?⁣
⁣
Holiday music right after Halloween!! 🎄 ⁣
⁣
Or ... You’re crazy, it’s WAY too early to start listening to holiday music! 😱⁣
⁣
Well, I used to be the latter, but the other day “White Christmas” came on, and I just decided to FULLY embrace the holidays early this year 😂 Oh well!⁣
⁣
With that being said, this Gingerbread House for Sale Descriptive Writing Activity is an AMAZING resource for your middle schoolers to dive into right before the break!⁣
⁣
Things are INSANE this time of year and kids need something that is engaging and fun, yet highly rigorous and academic 🎄 That’s exactly what this resource is! ✅ ⁣
Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to DM you the link! Or you can visit the link in our profile as well 😘⁣
⁣
And if you already have and have used this resource in the past, I would LOVE to know that as well!!⁣
⁣
Hope you all are having a restful Sunday ♥️
  • One of the biggest mistakes we can make as writing teachers is requiring our students to start their essays with a HOOK. 
With this strategy, students gets STUCK on that first sentence before they can even get a chance to get to the heart of their paper! They end up wasting tons of precious writing time trying to come up with an interesting hook that oftentimes is a stretch. 
Instead, we want to give our students a CLEAR roadmap to begin their essays. One that will give them confidence in their abilities from the get go. One that allows them to quickly move into the meat of their critical analysis, so they can truly show us what they've learned. 
If you've ever taught hook and are ready to try a new, counterintuitive approach that WORKS and gives your students RESULTS, this episode is a MUST listen. 
Head over here to give it a listen --> ebacademics.com/34
  • Double tap if you agree ♥️♥️⁣
⁣
And if you need to call in sick to take a mental health day for yourself. DO IT. Take a day off and go get a pedicure, or go shopping, or go workout!⁣
⁣
Do whatever you need to do to get to the place of your best self. ⁣
⁣
I used to work with a teacher who took a mental health day every month. It was when I first started teaching, and I didn’t get it. Why was she doing that?⁣
⁣
Well, fast forward to a decade in the classroom later, and now I truly see the value and importance of doing that! ⁣
⁣
I know you hear it all the time, but let it sink in ...⁣
⁣
You need to do what’s best for YOU and take care of yourself first. If we aren’t operating from our best selves, then we’re not able to serve anyone the way that we’re capable of. ⁣
⁣
On another note, hope you all enjoyed that extra hour of sleep last night! And if you have young children, I can commiserate. My little guy woke up at 6:30 😂😭🤦🏼‍♀️📸 @dumbosteiner
  • Get a quick listen into this week’s podcast episode all about hooking your students into literary analysis writing! We have a free download for you to give you a quick WIN in the classroom. Listen to the rest of the episode and get the free download here -> ebacademics.com/33
  • We get A LOT of questions about classroom management and what to do when your kids are out of control or just not listening. ⁣
⁣
This is worth a read. So keep scrolling down!⁣
⁣
I’ll briefly share some of my thoughts on this (although I would like to do a whole podcast episode about it) ...⁣
⁣
1. You need to clearly communicate your expectations. Always. (Just as this picture shows.)⁣
⁣
2. Have a system in place that you use CONSISTENTLY. Consistency is key with anything, but especially when it comes to your rules, policies, and procedures. ⁣
⁣
3. Never, ever yell at your students. Ever. Period. ⁣
⁣
4. Come from a place of understanding and compassion. ⁣
⁣
5. Take a moment to have a conversation with individual students after class. Ask them what’s going on and what you can do to help them. Don’t yell at them or make them feel bad. Come from a place of kindness and compassion. If you haven’t tried this approach before, I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the conversation. ⁣
⁣
6. Show your students the same amount of respect you expect from them. ⁣
⁣
7. You are the ultimate role model for behavior in your classroom. If you’re yelling or emotionally out of control when handling a situation, think about what that might be saying to your students ...⁣
⁣
Now I KNOW this is HARD, and yes, we make mistakes. And yes, not all of this works all of the time. ⁣
⁣
But what I can tell you is that these practices have been embedded into everything I’ve always done as a teacher, and I very rarely had behavior issues in any of my classrooms (classrooms in a wide range of ages, places, etc). ⁣
⁣
What else would you add? A practice that you’ve used year after year that has created a positive and kind classroom culture. Please feel free to share in the comments. I would love to read them ♥️

Follow @ebacademics

×