2 Quick Daily Routines that TeachBy Karen Cox
The author is a preschool teacher and creator of prekinders.com.
These are two quick classroom routines I do each morning. They take about 5 minutes to do, and they teach math and literacy skills.
First, we do the attendance together. I have photos of each of my students on the dry erase board. These are printed at about 1 or 1.5 inch squares, laminated, with a magnet attached to the back. I made a heart from paper which also goes on the board. If a student is absent, we put their picture in the heart. I ask the children to give me stats about the attendance chart, such as “how many children are in the heart?”, “how many boys/how many girls?”, “do we have more boys or more girls?”
If any children come in late, I would say “If we have 5 children in the heart and we take 2 away, how many do we have left?” Questions can also be asked about the children who are not in the heart (their pictures are posted on each side of the heart).
Next, a leader is chosen for the day. Our leader leads the line and does other classroom jobs throughout the day. I have a list on the board with every child’s name, and we go down the list, alternating boys and girls. A name is crossed off when a child has a turn, so that the children can figure out who is next and when their turn will come. I write the leader’s name on the board and spell it out as I write, saying “Finley has an uppercase F, then lowercase i, n, l, e, y.”
In my class, someone always comments on the name being short or long, but if your students don’t point this out you can prompt them. Then I ask them to count how many letters are in the name. Every child counts and says the answer aloud, then we count together so they can check their answer. I randomly point out letters, asking the children to name them, and I ask which letter is uppercase.
Later in the year, I will ask the children to count and name the vowels and consonants. To introduce this, I use a different color marker for the vowels, and continue to use contrasting colors as long as needed.