Big Morning Routine Mistakes You Make (and How to Fix Them!)

Having a solid morning routine is key to having a classroom that runs smoothly for the rest of the day. No matter how experienced you are, there's a good chance your morning routine could be improved. Here are the big morning routine mistakes you make AND how to fix them!

Photo of desks outside with text, "Morning Routine Mistakes You Make (and How to Fix Them!)"

1. Pushing Worksheets

I could go on all day about the reason worksheets are not such a great idea for morning work. 

First of all, worksheets are a HUGE waste of resources. The paper waste, your time, and energy printing all that. 

And to what gain? To keep your students busy for half an hour?

Not worth it.

Paper morning work is NOT the answer to your problems! (I'll share a perfect solution in just a minute. 😉)

2. No Collection System

Do you have students chasing you around the classroom with milk money? Maybe dropping a book order on the chaos that is your desk and walking away?

You need some sort of collection system to fix this morning routine problem.

In my classroom, I have a hand-in bin where all my student money and forms get dropped. 

If you're concerned about being able to check off student names as this is turned in, consider having students place these things on the corner of their desk for you to collect yourself while marking off a class list.

Do yourself a favor and get this simple fix in motion tomorrow!

3. No Attendance System

I'll admit right here that our office assistant *sometimes* has to call into my classroom to have me complete our online attendance, but it doesn't happen often.

Having an attendance collecting system in place is super-easy!

If you're in a classroom with a SMART Board, I'd highly recommend an easy-to-customize attendance file. Follow the included instructions to add your students' names, have them tap upon arrival, and you can see who is absent at a quick glance.

Grab a free copy right here:

Image of GoNoodle SMART Board attendance

If you don't have a SMART Board for a digital check-in, I'd highly recommend a social-emotional check-in that can be used in most primary and junior classrooms.

Every morning as part of their morning routine, my students find the craft stick with their name on it and "check-in" by placing it into the bin that best describes their emotional state.

As part of MY morning routine, I check in with them to see what they need or what I can do to help. This has allowed us to form some tight bonds of trust and respect.

Photo of "How Are You Feeling Today?" check-in station

Free Emotional Check-In Station

#4. No Teaching of Expectations

You may have a morning routine in place already, but you're finding it isn't working very well.

That could be because students need to explicitly know what you expect of them during this time.

May they chat? Should it be quiet? Are they at their own desk? Can they work with a friend? Do they have any choice in their activity? Are you collecting the work?

There should be NO unanswered questions about this time for your kids!

Take the time to co-create an anchor chart of morning routine expectations. I promise it won't be a waste of your time. Post it somewhere your students can see it, and whenever they're off-task, all you'll need to do is point!

#5. Boring Activities

I've seen some of the morning work options that exist in classrooms today. I'm sorry, but they're not all pretty! 

Is it any wonder that students are bothering each other or talking instead of working?!

If you want to engage your students in valuable learning at the beginning of the school day, you need to give them engaging activities!

Get their hands on manipulatives. Wake up those brains and bodies. Set the stage for the rest of your amazing day!

So, what's the fix?!

To recap, you're looking for engaging, hands-on resources that are meaningful, curriculum-related, and don't require daily photocopying. 🤔 That's a tall order, but I have just what you need!

Try out my Hands-On Math Morning Work for free right here:

Free Math Morning Work

These have been invaluable in my classroom. I'm looking forward to updating the resource to add more challenging tasks for my older students.

Grab the entire set of over 250 ready-to-go morning work task cards right here:


Have a favorite morning routine item to share with me? Don't hesitate to contact me to share it! I love hearing from you!

Find more excellent classroom organization ideas and resources on this Pinterest board:


You might also be interested in the ideas I've shared in this blog post:

Photo of morning work with text, "Fun Ways to Start the School Day"

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it with friends and colleagues on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest:

Photo of desks outside with text, "Morning Routine Mistakes You Make (and How to Fix Them!)"

No comments

Connect with me!! I love reading your comments and will respond as soon as I can!