Morning Arrival Procedure

I get asked a lot of questions about classroom management and what I do to keep my classroom running smoothly.     One thing that I’ve done for years and one thing I find works incredibly well is our morning arrival procedure.   You see, our kids need structure, they need choice and they need to be successful.  For many of our kids, they don’t have those at home so we need to make sure they’re getting that boost first thing in the morning.  I am a huge believer in starting the day right and the impact it can have on our entire day!   I want my kids to start the day happy, energized, and successful!  So we have music, and playing, and talking and fun!   Yep.  Fun.  Yep, we sing and dance and play as we prepare for the day!   And that is OK!  We’re getting pumped up for the day ahead!

What is morning arrival like?  Is it chaotic?  Stressful?   Based on doing a worksheet? (PEOPLE STEP AWAY FROM THE COPIER.  PUT DOWN THE WORKSHEETS!)   If it stresses us out, then it’s probably stressing our kids out.    Over a few years, I finally developed a morning arrival procedure that has made a huge impact on our classroom management.  It gives the kids independence and choice as well as gives me TEACHER FREEDOM (Ummm ya’ll know how great that is….) to take care of any pressing matters such as money, forms, families, ….visiting administrators…etc.

Morning Arrival Procedure

When my kids arrive they follow this procedure:

Put away the backpack.

Greet me with a hug, handshake, fist bump, or high five.

Move their picture for attendance using the SmartBoard.

Bounce on the trampoline (For more on the trampoline, check out this post!).

Eat breakfast if they want.

Morning journals!  (For a detailed post on morning journals, check out this post!)

Students write their name, and the date and draw a picture. Eventually, they label the picture and eventually write a sentence!  The journals are A REQUIREMENT.  These must be done.  They have the freedom to draw and write about whatever they want!

Morning Bins or READ!

After they finish their journal, they can choose to read books or they can choose to do morning tubs. This is new this year and I am super excited about it!  As we do with everything, we’re keeping this SIMPLE.  I have several of these photo box storage containers from Michaels so those are the morning bins.  There’s nothing to print or prep.  I simply filled the boxes with different STEM materials and toys that I found at Lakeshore, Target, Oriental Trading, and Amazon. The materials will stay for a couple of months and then  I will change them out!    The kids can choose a STEM BIN or morning tub and play.  When they finish, they will put it away and choose another one.  Or maybe they’ll choose a book.  The choice is theirs.  Extra benefit:  these can be used for indoor recess too!


Our morning arrival is exactly the same for the entire year.  This means my kids can be independent and successful from the moment they enter the classroom!  That is key to starting their day off on the right track!  And I’m free to handle all the things I need to handle every morning!

Check out this video to see our morning arrival in action!

Check out these resources for your morning and your classroom:


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