Classroom Routines & Systems

Classroom management is one of my favorite parts of teaching! When all the routines and systems are running smoothly, the whole classroom feels happier and more energetic. Having concrete classroom routines is what allows us to be more spontaneous throughout the day, have more teachable moments, and really build community and relationships!

Classroom systems that I couldn’t live without:

classroom attendance system

Morning Attendance

When each child arrives in the morning, they switch their attendance magnet in the hallway. 
Then they enter the room, greet the teacher, and begin their Sight Word Path. This is a sneaky way to monitor them as they review their Sight Words each day! After the Sight Word Path, they put their items in their cubbies (labeled to help them remember where to put everything!). 

Morning Journals

kindergarten writing sample, journal
Lucy Calkins writing checklist
One Sharp Bunch writing checklist
Then they grab a journal page and sit down. (The writing checklists above are from One Sharp BunchAfter they finish their journal page, they clip it into their journals and sit down with a Library Book. 

School Supply Organization

classroom supply organizationclassroom table caddy organizationclassroom supply organization

These are our community supply buckets. A little overboard with the color-coding? I mean, I don’t think so 😉 These caddies are from Hobby Lobby. the cups were silver metal ones from Dollar Tree, and the markers are color coded with washi tape. I made the labels using PowerPoint and my handy dandy laminating machine.

Morning Meeting

morning message example
When it’s time for Morning Meeting, we put the library books away and get started! If we do Morning Message (usually second semester), I simply tear off the giant sheet and post it to the bottom of the board using magnets. This still gives the children a chance to write on it, but it can be easily removed so we can use the board for other things, too!

Classroom Jobs & Economy

classroom jobs on classdojo

During the first last Morning Meeting of the month, they “apply” for their new classroom job. They used to switch jobs each week, but it was difficult for them to remember who was the new Door Holder, or who needed to be turning out the lights? So they voted to keep the same job for a whole month. Now they fill out a monthly “job application” and get “paychecks” (Class Dojo Points) every Friday. 

On Friday mornings, they bring their Class Dojo hundreds charts to the carpet. I pull down the projector screen and display their Class Dojo points, and they fill them in. Then we talk about who earned what special privileges for the upcoming week!
Every day is a little different, but we usually do Morning Meeting, Calendar Math, and Everyday Math during this time. Then it’s time for snack and recess!

Language Arts Workshops

reading workshop kindergarten

After recess, we start with a quick Language Arts lesson and then jump into workshops. We post all of our current sight words and other skills on the whiteboard. At the end of the week, we move the sight word to our word wall on the cabinet doors. At the end of the month, we move our writing skill to our Writing Checklist near the student tables (where they write their journals every morning). 

classroom book bin labels, learning in wonderland
The children then split up into their different workshop rotations, one of which is individualized instruction at my teacher table. Their workshop groups are posted on the whiteboard with magnetic tape on the back- this makes them easy to change throughout the year! My kids chose their own cute little clipart characters during the first week of school. You can find them in Learning in Wonderland’s TpT shop! I made the table number labels using PowerPoint. 

Finished Work

As each child finishes the work, he or she either places it on the drying rack in the hallway or in their “take home” baskets in their cubbies. If they don’t finish, they put in the “Ketchup Basket”. When a child adds something to the basket, he/she puts a name clip on the edge so it’s easy to see who has catch up work!

“Work at Rest Time” System

classroom organization guided reading

This is one of my favorite parts of the room! On the white board, we also have a turquoise pocket chart from Target where children can “sign up” to spend time working with me during rest time. Believe it or not, they actually watch this board like hawks so they can add their names when a spot opens up! What do we do? Either guided reading or Miss Decarbo’s ELA Intervention binders. They love them both!

Parent Communication Folders

classroom newsletter and calendar

On Thursdays, I hand out our weekly Parent Communication Folders to the children, and they transfer their work from the baskets to their folders. I spend a lot of time supporting them at the beginning of the year, and around October, most of them can transfer their work independently!

Then they put the folders in their backpacks so everything is ready to go at dismissal! After workshops, we clean up our classroom and prepare for lunch, specials, rest, and second recess. I love the Learning in Wonderland monthly calendar and newsletter! 

Dismissal Chart

classroom dismissal clip system

Afternoon is usually when last minute emails from parents about changes in transportation. Having the clips is a quick and easy way to make the updates! Each child’s clothes pin is clipped onto the correct method of transportation. I also keep a dry-erase board with “enrichments” (after school activiteis) schedule by the door, to keep up with who stays late and on what days.

Those are my most-used classroom systems. By this time, they are routine for myself and the kids. They keep us organized and running efficiently during our crazy-busy days and weeks! What systems could you not live without in your classroom?! 

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