8 Morning Activities For Students in the Elementary Classroom

Morning arrival can be a hectic time in the classroom. Some schools serve breakfast, others have students trickling in over a period of time, and on many occasions, there are forms, book orders, or money to collect. In my 18 years of teaching, I've tried many different morning activities for students and have read about many others. This is my round-up of some great ways to start your school day!

Image of morning activities for students with text "Fun Morning Activities For  Elementary Classrooms"

What is the best morning routine for students?

In my opinion, the best morning activities you can prepare for your students are the ones that best get them learning and also serve your needs. 

A good morning routine will get your students settled somewhere in the classroom with something academic to work on. A GREAT morning routine will engage them with morning activities in a way that allows you to Get. All. The. Things. Done. 

Here are a few of my favorite options, in no particular order. It is important to consider your specific students when choosing the best morning activities for your classroom!

1. SMART Board Attendance

When I had a SMART Board in my classroom, I always welcomed my students as they entered with a fun attendance routine. I changed it with the seasons and holidays and recognized special days like birthdays and the 100th day of school.

Photo of SMART Board Attendance files.

You can grab a FREE GoNoodle attendance for your SMART Board by clicking HERE or on the image below!
Image of free GoNoodle SMART Board Attendance Files

2. Class Theme Song

I adopted a class theme song in my fifth-grade class several years ago. I wasn't sure it would work with students of this age, but I desperately wanted it to. This song became such a huge part of our classroom routine and was so beloved by the children that they would even sing it to me in eighth grade as they passed me in the hall!

3. Morning Message

Writing your students a message they can read and interact with as they arrive is also a great way to start your day! Here are a few examples:

4. Morning Activity Bins

My new favorite way to start the day is with morning activity bins. I begin each school day with mathematics and have tried various things this year to smoothly transition into our learning activities. I have some students who get unpacked very quickly, and I also have students who usually arrive late, so finding just the right thing for them to work on has been a bit of a challenge. 

I was tired of running off worksheets and recycling a handful each day because some of the students never get to them, so I created fun Math Morning Work task cards that my students can use with the math manipulatives we already have in the classroom! They have been a HUGE hit!

Photo of Math Morning Work Activity Tubs

Not only have these been perfect for the beginning of our school day, but they have also been a great go-to activity for my early finishers!

You can grab this EDITABLE resource by clicking HERE or on the image above. If you are new to Teachers Pay Teachers (my all-time favorite site for teaching resources!), you can follow my store here!

Free Math Morning Activities Offer

5. Calendar Math

A great way to begin the day in a primary classroom is with a calendar math routine. It is a fun and meaningful way to introduce your students to concepts of time and the perfect way to spiral critical math skills like patterning, place value, and number sense.

6. GoNoodle Activities

You may not realize it, but GoNoodle isn't all dancing and camp songs! There are some amazing mindfulness activities to get your students focused and thinking positively as they head into the school day. Some of my favorite GoNoodle activities to begin the day include:

GoNoodle Empower Tools logo and description

GoNoodle Think About It Activities logo and description

GoNoodle Flow Activities logo and description

GoNoodle Brainercise Activities logo and description

7. Warm-Up Activities

Not all classes can manage the more open-ended, hands-on movement activities unless they are more structured. Sometimes a quieter approach is in order. I love to use warm-up exercises such as printing practice as my students get settled in during cases like this. It is an excellent way to settle the energy as the day begins.

Photo of printing pages on student desk with supplies.

You can grab a FREE sample of these printing pages by clicking HERE or on the image above and checking out the resource preview.

8. Quote of the Day

Quotes are a great way to inspire, energize, and kick off your day! When chosen carefully, quotes can be a great way to lead your character education or learning activities for the day! Try opening with some thoughtful discussion and see where it takes you.

Shop This Post!

Why reinvent the wheel?! I've done all the work for you for some of these awesome morning activities I've shared. My Math Morning Work, Calendar Math, SMART Board Attendance, and Printing Practice activities are ready-to-go right here:

Be sure to pin this post for easy access down the road!

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  1. These are some really good ideas! Now my teacher brain wheels are turning with more ways to start the day with my fourth graders. Thanks for sharing!


    1. I'm so glad these are helpful, Tanya! Thanks so much for stopping by!


  2. Love the idea of math tasks but my question is how do you know they are getting the right answers or doing it correctly? Do you just assume they are good cause they are review tasks?

    1. Hi Jamie!

      I sometimes have my students document their work using Seesaw, but generally I just jump in and observe and question as soon as I've finished my morning tasks. They ARE good review tasks, and I have established good routines with my students so that I know they are accountable for using them correctly.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  3. I really like the idea of the theme song. Can you tell more about how you used it?

    1. Hi there!

      I used it to welcome my students into the classroom every morning, used it during transitions, and then again to end the day together. We never grew tired of it, and even three years later when these students were in 8th grade, they would sing it to me when we passed in the hallway. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Great ideas! We are so lucky to be able to share resources like this thanks to social networking and technology. My brain is slowly getting into back-to-school mode and this has helped a lot.

    Thanks so much! Angie

    1. Thanks so much for the lovely message, Angie! I agree completely... to think of how my career would have started if I'd had social media to draw from. I'm so thankful for it now. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I have sent an email mulitple times to sign up for your newsletter to recieve the free math morning work activities- and i never receive it? Am I doing something wrong?? I would love these for my kiddos because I know they woul love them too. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi there,

      Could you please email me at questions@mrsbeattiesclassroom.com? I’m not able to help without your email address.



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