Meaningful daily practices don’t have to take a ton of time! I want to share 3 routines with you that take about 5 minutes and have a serious impact on my classroom and my kiddos! (Disclaimer: Teaching these routines and “getting into the groove” of them will take more than 5 minutes, but once you set expectations and your students have time to practice, you’ll get there!)
5 Minute Routine #1
The “Silent 5″ happens during the last 5 minutes of the day. What can normally be a semi-chaotic time, the silent 5 keeps the peace and promotes quiet at the end of the day. Five minutes before the bell my “Volume Control” (a class job) alerts us that it’s now the silent 5.
At this time, voices are off and movements are purposeful. During those 5 minutes students complete their class jobs and make sure our room is ready for the next day. The silent 5 has really helped end our day on a positive note, ready and prepared for the following day. We use a combination of our Table Jobs (pictured left) and class jobs to get our classroom clean and tidy at the end of the day. This works because some students’ Class Jobs do not require end-of-day work (example: Trip Takers = errands during the day) so they are free to complete their table job. Students are mindful of classmates who DO have end-of-day work, such as Librarians (put returned books back on shelves) and Dojo Master (inputs Dojo points from the day on Class Dojo), they pick up the slack back at their tables and help out by doing their Table Jobs. Read all about my class jobs in this post!
I’ll signal for students to line up in their dismissal line and right before the bell rings, we chant “I am smart, I am kind, I am respectful, I will see you tomorrow!” or some variation of that! I lead the chant at first and as the year progresses I choose one student each day to plug in their own positive adjectives for us to repeat. On Fridays we’re careful to say “I will see you Monday!” Learning this routine is fairly simple once all students know the expectations of their job(s) and begin feeling like a classroom community. I try my best not to speak during silent 5 as well, which really makes me get all those last minute homework and announcements out before Volume Control puts an end to our talking!
5 Minute Routine #2
Procedure Pals are a GREAT way to review procedures, routines and/or expectations throughout the day. This is a great tool to have in your toolkit for the start of the year, but it can also be beneficial if you feel students need reminders months into the school year. Procedure Pals are super easy to prep and super engaging for the students. All you need are Easter eggs (…just trust me on this)! Here’s what you do: Type up a list of procedures, routines, expectations, or a combination of the 3. Then, cut them into strips and put them into plastic Easter eggs. I happened to have eggs that look like little chicks, which is where ‘Procedure Pals’ got its name from, but regular eggs work just as well! I hid the eggs all around the room, and in some obvious places so that I’d (undoubtedly) get the “Hey!! Why are there Easter eggs all over, it’s August!!” call out. I was quick to acknowledge the eggs but reframe them as “Procedure Pals”… they were instantly hooked!
Now, not only did Procedure Pals serve as a great way to practice those important routines and expectations, but they were also an incentive for good behavior: I chose students to open a Procedure Pal based on their choices during the day. Since Procedure Pals are only a 5 minute routine, I would open have students open them at various points in the day. This kept them on their toes and worked as a quick movement break. If the procedure (or routine or expectation) that a student found was an easy thing to practice or review, lining up in our order or using hand signals, we’d go over it right away. If it was something more in depth, using Accountable Talk or centers expectations, I’d post it on the board and review it during a time that it fit best. We chose 2-3 Procedure Pals each day, and there are still eggs around our classroom! This will be something we do for the next few weeks, and something I bring out again after Spring Break (you know how our friends can get after Spring Break). It’s a 5 minute routine that reviews all other routines… what’s not to love?!
5 Minute Routine #3
Number of the Day has many benefits and only takes about 5 minutes! I change the NOD (Number of the Day) every morning. I teach math first thing (8:15 AM), so students complete the NOD as part of their morning work–the other part is to read a good fit book silently and/or book shop.
Number of the Day is great for reviewing:
- Place Value
- Expanded Form
- Word Form
- Rounding to nearest 10 and 100
- Even/Odd Numbers
- Factors of 2-digit numbers
Using the place value chart on my math wall (included in the Number of the Day resource), I write the number with a dry erase marker. Most days there’s no rhyme or reason to the number I choose for the NOD. But, what does stay consistent is the recording sheet my students use to complete their Number of the Day. Each student has their NOD recording sheet in a clear page protector, glued into their Math Notebook. They use a skinny dry erase marker to write in the information, then they close their notebook when they are done. This is my cue to do a quick check (if I have concerns that particular students need a check-in) and once all notebooks are closed it is a silent signal that we’re ready to review it. Some days I will review the whole page (which is only 1/2 or 1/4 of a piece of paper, technically), other days I will choose one or two things to review. It depends on my purpose leading into my math block. Keep in mind, the NOD is a great formative pulse check on students to make sure they’re mastering important math skills. If students aren’t grasping rounding to the nearest 10, you might want to pull a small reteach group based off of their NOD answers! Once we go over it the NOD, students erase their sheet so it’s fresh and clean for the next day.
We use the recoding sheet that includes a time check. I have a large yellow clock manipulative hanging on my math wall, right next to the place value chart. I change the time on the clock each morning, and that is the time students record for the “time check” box on the NOD recording sheet. I use the large clock because I am in control of the time (ha!) and it also makes it so that I am only looking for one answer. If you do use the actual clock in your classroom, be mindful that times may vary by 1-2 minutes! You can also use this website to set your own time on an analog clock and display it for students to see. Just be careful to scroll up enough to hide the part that tells students what time it is digitally 😉
I hope you found some useful ideas for quick, meaningful routines that you can implement in your classroom! As always, please comment below if you have any questions or send me a message on Instagram (@create_inspire_teach)! Remember to follow my blog and TpT store!
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