{Routines, Polls, Block Island, + Lunch} - Phew!

Hi Y'all!

Heading back to school soon? Need some advice for some classroom management techniques? I can't stress enough the importance of...classroom routines! I am a HUGE advocate for teaching and reteaching classroom routines. I'm also big into visual checklists and reminders - anything to help the transition from helpful strategy to habit!

I have this sign hanging up outside of my classroom door. This tells the students what the expectation is for them to enter the classroom. Once they complete this list, they walk to their seat, and follow the next set of expectations:
This is a large poster I created, laminated, and magnetized to stick to my white board. This outlines the expectations for the classroom morning routine. This is the same every morning. Once they have finished the last step, they following the next set of directions:

This is a small, laminated list that I tape to their desks. This is the morning work checklist. These are the expectations for the morning work time, before morning meeting and day get started.

I created these little guys a few years ago. I'm in the process of making a new set using some fun school supplies clip art I purchased. These are used to show students which materials are needed for the next subject. Students look to the white board where they are supposed to be for the next subject and collect the materials that are noted on the board. These are magnetic, and easy to store. They are smallish so they don't take up too much space on the board, but are large enough for most students to see from their seats (I had a small room last year). If not, the students can always head to the table where their group is supposed to be, and check the board then. I love these - they have made it so easy! I no longer have to keep verbally reminding students to get their materials, or ask if they have their pencil. The expectation is clearly posted on the board, and I can just refer to it with a tap or glance. By far, my favorite little "invention" :)

I posted this on Instagram a ways back, but I LOVE this little system. I originally saw it on Pinterest (I don't know where though! sorry!), and have implemented it into my classroom. It's a great way to help students remember to write their name, and a great way to help me find their name.

This is similar to my Morning Routine poster, but obviously, for dismissal routine. I post this poster when it is time for pack up, and the students follow the steps in order, to complete their dismissal routine. The order is very important to teach - it is not so much that they need to be in this order for it to work, but more to drill the importance of completing every step. I've found that sticking to a specific order not only makes it easy to internalize the routine, but also ensures they do not accidentally skip any steps. In addition to this large poster-sized dismissal routine, I printed a smaller version for my students to refer to on their desks:
When I see one of my kiddos getting distracted or not following directions, I simply tap on this checklist to gently and discreetly remind them of their expectations.

This is a picture of what the top of my students' desks look like. Note the size of their checklists: they are small enough to allow desktop space, but large enough to refer to. I laminated these and taped them to the top of the desk with box tap. I did this both for durability, and to accommodate for dry erase marker. Some of my kids like to physically check off things as they go (and some of my kids I teach this skill to and expect them to do this as part of their routine). I also create extras in the beginning of the year, because, as you can see, they fray. If needed, I can just retape a new one!

I decided to link this post to The Teacher's Chair School Week Linky and Elementary School Garden's Back to School Link Up! Click on the images below to check out the linky and join for yourself!

I've added a poll bar to the side bar of my blog! I want my blog to be a more meaningful experience to myself, and others. I have some ideas for future blog posts, but I want to ensure that others are interested in reading about them first. Even though I love a good linky and giveaway, I really want this blog to be an informational and fun experience for others, therefore I want to focus more on writing helpful posts for others. I have learned so much for my fellow bloggers - I want to return the favor!

So, if you have a minute, I would love to get  your feedback on some future blog posts! Thanks :)

In other news... I got back from Block Island last night...I had never been! It was such a fun, spontaneous adventure I took with my friend Kelly. We spent one quick night and had such a blast!

The Ferry!
Old Harbor, Block Island, RI

Old Harbor, Block Island, RI (a different view)
Just relaxing by the beach :)
Our place :)
Pond by the house :)
View from the Ferry - back in Narragansett, RI
Just a cool pic ;)

This may have been my last "getaway" for the Summer... le sigh. Oh well - end of Summer only means good things: BACK TO SCHOOL! I seriously cannot wait!

In preparation for Back to School season, I've been thinking about my own routines for the new year. In an attempt to stick with my goals for the school year, I'm thinking of some great, healthy lunch options. My old school had free hot lunch and salad bar to all staff and students (I know...I was so ridiculous lucky). This year, I plan to pack my own lunch everyday to ensure I continue to eat healthy and save money!

Some of my favorite, go-to lunch menu:
  • Mixed greens with grilled chicken or tuna
  • Carrots and celery
  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Apple (or other grab-and-go fruit
Obviously, if I have any delicious left-overs, I take those instead! I really want a Bento Box - I think it will help with my portion control. I also think they are adorable and eco-friendly!

I want to know - what do you pack for lunches! I'm always looking for new ideas! If you want to include your lunch menu, and/or check out others, link up with Shifting Teacher K-2!



  1. Ugh, I am back already and get my new kiddos on Wednesday. I couldn't agree with you more on the importance of routines. Brilliant idea to post your routines/expectations in the classroom. So much time is saved and so there's so much more time to teach when the kids know what to do at every point during the school day. Well done and have a great year!

  2. Thanks Rae for linking up! I like those ideas for lunch. I'm hoping to have more salads this year but the PBJ is just so much easier to make! :)

    Shifting Teacher K-2

  3. Hi,,,I found you from Julie's blog
    I like those points, and noted down few for me.Thanks for sharing

    happy to be your newest Follower

    I'd love you to stop by my blog, If you get a chance

  4. Congrats on the new job! Sounds very exciting. When is your first day? I work in Massachusetts too and we start right after labor day. Of course in a week or so I will really need to get in there and start setting up my room!

    Reading and Writing Redhead


Thanks for the comments! I look forward to reading them :)

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