- Pick up class from our meeting spot. Students are wearing their backpack and carrying their lunch if they brought one from home. When arrive at the classroom, have the laundry basket that holds lunch boxes and lunch sacks outside the classroom door. Students that brought a lunch from home, drop their lunch in the laundry basket. This saves space in their cubbies plus the inevitable spills on their work.
- Walk to their table or desk and unpack backpack. I love to use a binder system that you have probably seen different versions of floating around cyberspace. I first found out about it here. I have used this with all 3 grade levels that I taught and absolutely thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. It’s another one of those V-8 moments for me. Why didn’t someone show me this when I began teaching? I think we sometimes assume that organizational skills are something that that children learn by observations. But, look at how many of your colleagues, people with a minimum of a four year college degree, come to faculty meetings without paper and pencil to take notes, can’t remember to turn in paperwork on time, are tardy to meetings, and their room (not just at the end of the day) is so messy you wonder how they find anything? Organizational skills or executive functioning skills are not as intuitive as many people might assume. People who naturally have these skills assume everyone sees the world in color code and alphabetical systematic way that they do. This is wrong on so many levels. Just like some people can play music by ear, some are natural athletes, others are natural leaders, there are some people who are gifted organizers and others who are not. For those who are not naturally organized, the binder system is a great way to enforce those skills each day because structured, daily, and everything has an assigned place. Students quickly learn the routine. When my students came in, they unpacked their backpack which included getting out their binder. I called the binder different names depending on my theme that year. Students got out the binder, but didn’t open it yet. That was something that was teacher directed later.
- Unpack backpack includes getting a new book for their take-home reading folder. They quickly choose a book, put it in their folder, and return the folder to their backpack. Hang backpack on their hook when they finish. I use calendar numbers like these above my calendar hooks so I don’t have to change them every year. It saves time in August when doing room prep for the new year.
- Open your binder.
- Look at your first section. Is there a note or lunch money from your parent? If yes, take it out and put it above your binder on your table. Has everyone who has money or note done this? Now, let’s turn to the next section. I have a helper who picks up all the notes and money.
- Behavior section: captains please check charts. Stamp the chart if it is signed.
Routine continues until binder is checked. The last step is having my students put their morning message in the pocket of their binder. Parents love reading the morning message.
- Back to School – K/1 (10 messages)
- Back to School – 2/3 (10 messages)
- Fall Fun – K/1 (can be used in September, October, and November) (10 messages)
- Fall Fun – 1st (can be used in September, October, and November) (10 messages)
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Winter Olympics
- Chinese New Year – FREE
- Father’s Day: Click HERE to download this FREE packet.
- Cinco de Mayo – FREE
- Time (Combo with task cards)