July 15, 2013

Management Monday: Morning Check-In

I'm excited to start a new weekly series though as the weeks of summer wind down (hold me) and school gets closer and closer.  I have talked before about how one of my biggest struggles during my first year of teaching was both Classroom and Behavior Management.  Since then, however, I feel like those became two of my strongest areas as a teacher.  Probably mostly because I HAD to learn these things in order to survive as a teacher!

Anyways, for the rest of summer, I'm going to blog about one aspect or technique I use as part of my classroom or behavior management.  Hoping you will share your ideas in the comments!

Today I want to talk about my Morning Check-In routine.  I have tweaked this over the years, and I liked last year's system.  Every morning, my kids know that they are allowed to enter the room when I am standing at the door ready to greet them.  It drives me crazy hearing, "Can we come in????" or even worse have students wandering around the room when I'm not there.  Knowing that I will be by the door to welcome them in solves this problem!  My kids line up single file outside the door as they come.  The first thing they do is visit our Check In poster (see below), find their clothes pin on the "Home" side, and move it to the "School" side.
Sorry I had to cut off the picture, but the student names were visible on the poster
Next, I shake their hands, smile, and say, "Good morning!"  I've talked about before how this is an important part of my classroom environment and relationship building--the kids make a personal connection with me before they enter the room, and I try my best to let them know I'm glad they're here!  I also teach some basic social skills during this time--handshake, make eye contact, smile, etc.  It's always crazy to me how the kiddos need reminders to make eye contact!

After the kids are all in, I leave the doorway and begin our opening traditions with the class (more on those in another post), but I still try to get in a handshake with any kids who arrive late.  Then, during the morning announcements, I check the Check In chart to see which clips are still on Home, make sure those kids aren't in the room, and use that to take attendance.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!


  1. I love that you shake their hands each morning! This is such a great way to establish respect and mutual-understanding in the classroom. I may have to steal this idea! I also do the moving of the clip in the mornings to help me get a visual on who is present (and to help my little kiddos start recognizing their names) Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Great great great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  3. My students and I either fist bumps or high fives (some of them like to hug) at the door in the morning. But despite the fact that I teach them all kinds of social skills (especially through the use of Kagan), I never though to teach them eye contact. I had a ton of kids last year who would give me a limp arm high five and they never made eye contact (it was my super shy kids)...so I think by teaching them to make eye contact, that will make a huge difference this year! Thanks for that!


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