My Daily Routine

Routines are important for many reasons, but I love them because they make my class run like a well oiled machine.  This is what I do on a daily basis and why I do it.  

Casual Entry - Usually playing a music video (my choice of course) during passing periods.  Every student has their own name card that they make on a 3x5 notecard the first day of school.  I have them laminated and everyday before class, I pass out the name cards to give them a place to sit.  This way I can manage where they sit and the kids get to sit somewhere new all the time.  As they come in, they find their card and put it in a slot with their phone or in the "present" slot (absent cards stay on their desk so I know who's absent), they get their notebooks and have a seat.




Agenda Slide - Describes the type of starter and big ideas of the day.  It also cues the kids to get out their starter worksheet.  This is a non-verbal cue, which makes me happy.  That way I don't have to say, "Get out your binder!  C'mon!!"  Another bonus... if they're not in their seats and ready to go by the "Agenda" slide I mark them tardy.  I'm am NOT a tardy stickler by any stretch of the imagination but I can notice patterns and if I start to notice a repeat offender, I'm not afraid to mark a tardy or two and have a conversation.  It usually doesn't need to go further than that.  

Non-Traditional Starter - (Mon: Number Talk, Tues: Estimation, Wed/Thur: Visual Patterns, Fri: Which One Doesn't Belong)  Kids love most of these for a variety of reasons but mainly because, sadly, most of them haven't ever done them before.  Those that have done them before, haven't done them with me... and I'm a freak.  This will take up the majority of our routine (time-wise) because it's worth the time.

Quick Review - One problem on whiteboards.  Less than 5 minutes.  One to Two minutes to do the computation.  I could go over it in a way that makes sense for the day or problem (my favorite mistake - find a conceptual error on a whiteboard and flaunt it in front of the class with praise, simply going over it and asking questions, or whatever).  Kids buy into these precious few minutes very easily because they're identical to the kinds of problems they'll see on the quizzes.  The kids that are struggling on this concept use this as their time to get those specific questions answered and the kids that aren't struggling with it enjoy helping others and showing off a little bit.

Funny Video - A stupid viral video to break up the class from "daily routines" to the "lesson".  This is also a cool thing because sometimes I start my 3 Act Math in this spot and it gets them every time.  I hear this a lot, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?!"  Also, sometimes I'm just in a pissy mood and I need a little laughter to get me out of my funk.  These usually force me to smile and lighten up if need be.

Lesson - Enter your bad-ass lesson here.

1 Minute Wrap Up - This is NOT when I close the lesson.  This is after that.  The 4's (making sure their tables have 4 markers, 4 calculators, 4 rulers, and 4 pencils), thank someone today for their help, put away any papers in your binders, put your binder away, and grab your cell phones. 

How much time does this all take?

All of these routines before the lesson take no more than 15 minutes.  This will obviously take a little more time at the beginning of the year, but as the year goes on it gets faster and faster.  I know it's a lot time in one class period, but it's time well spent...

What I am NOT doing...

I think it's important to note that I am not spending 15 minutes going over homework.  I'll address this in another post.