Many preschool teachers are fond of daily rituals and use them consistently, but on the other hand, many teachers find them tedious, and they stop using them after a certain period. These rituals are indeed important, but they are useless if teachers don’t enjoy them as well.
This post is about daily classroom rituals, which I plan to use in the following school year. Classroom rituals develop a sense of routine and establish a connection between the child and the preschool. They also develop the teacher-child relationship and children’s emotional intelligence and prepare children to enroll in elementary school. Some routines will also include additions and apps used with parents to enhance communication.
Here comes a list of my daily preschool rituals
At least one day in the week will be spent on storytelling and dramatizing. Ideally, the book will match the thematic unit and be connected to the topic, but any book will do just fine if that’s not possible. If you have friends in the UK, you can shop for your classroom library and get many affordable books for a pound or two. For example, I purchased 25 new books for under 30£ at The Works. You can go to The Works UK and get 10 books for 10£, or explore Alibris and save up to 80% when you buy new & used homeschooling and K-12 books.
Morning or afternoon greetings (depending on your shift) are a great way to start your day with a smile and a little touch. The circles are hung next to the door, and the child points a finger to the picture, names it, and salutes the teacher. If children like the activity, they can choose a greeting for other children in the class! I know that some teachers question this activity since, if forced, it doesn’t have any effect, but we will try to implement it naturally this year.
Hello, hello, what’s your name song
This song is straightforward, but it is also very melodic. The children’s names are added during the singing, and it is a great activity to start the day after the morning greeting routine. Click here for Hello, hello, what’s your name flashcards, and here for the song.
Interactive attendance chart with magnets + calendar
After the singing, the best thing to connect the activity to the daily calendar and the day’s questions.
Who is here today?
Who is absent?
After that, we will fill our calendar and do ordinal numbers, days of the week, month, season, and weather.
We will also use a small calendar to describe the weather and count present and absent children. The calendar is themed, and I plan to use ”The Very Hungry Caterpillar” as our calendar theme since I have many graphics connected to the book. The book is classic but still not very famous in our country. After the singing, we will connect the activity to the daily calendar and the day’s questions.
The weather song and calendar + TPR singing activity
The teacher will use flashcards until the children learn the song, and then they will sing it without flashcards. It can be sung after the calendar to describe the weather. Also, there are movements for each type of weather, and they can be used for morning PE. You can also speed up, slow down, sing it silently or loudly.
This is the way we wash our hands
This song is also very appropriate for circle time and morning activities. This is a karaoke instrumental, so you can change the lyrics and sing about different body parts you can wash to promote hygiene.
Circle time – morning greeting and the worry box
To start your day with a touch of positivity, do a morning meeting after the singing and calendar filling. This builds a sense of community, and the children can share their concerns and put them in the worry box. The students can also share news, talk about their previous day or what they would like to do during that day. Worry box is currently one of my favorite preschool daily rituals.
Word of the day
A great way to reuse your conference name tags and teacher goodies are to wear them around your neck and introduce a new word every day. It’s important to learn at least one English word per day, and there is no better way to present it than a sight word dangling around the teacher’s neck all day long.
We can also play with rhymes, find synonyms, antonyms, translate them to Serbian, use them in sentences, and so on.
Question of the day
When students come into class in the morning, a question will already be posted on the board. The students, not the teacher, create the questions. Then, every Friday, the students submit a question to the “question of the day” box. The teacher uses these questions during the week. The teacher should help the student write their question on paper, or the parents can write them down when they pick them up. I adore this activity because it is one of the simplest daily preschool rituals, yet it is so important!
Morning Yoga, PE or TPR during the singing
Morning yoga can be turned into dramatic play, singing, and dramatization. It’s also a great listening activity for children. (Walking through the jungle yoga, for example.)
Cleanup song and-washing song
Easy songs sang to the tune of ”Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and ”Frere Jacques” during hand washing or cleaning up the room are nice ways to introduce simple routines.
Another great way to end your day is to introduce a new chant with a visual poster and easy rhythm. This song is great for learning new vocabulary and practicing rhyming. Goodbye poem – See you later, alligator!
An amazing science fact per week + investigation
The idea for the presentation is taken from Twinkl, but it is greatly adapted, and it will be changed even more as we progress with our science day. We will have a science day on Friday (or every other Friday, depending on your weekly thematic units), and it will be a semi-guided activity. We will discuss the given fact, investigate, draw, and do WebQuests. The children will be peer teachers, and the teacher will act as a moderator. We will also have a lot of science during the TBI units, serving as a more free, almost random scientific discovery.
A new product I added to my classroom – weighted lap book for students with additional educational needs
This weighted lap book is just amazing because it’s weighted, so offers some pressure on the lap while helping the student self-regulate, calm down, and also enjoy a little quiet, educational time. It’s great for students with autism, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, and generally for anyone that might have use of a bit of light pressure on their body in order to relax. I opted out for this one simply because all of the other weighted options were either too small or too big. This one is just the right size and it can fit a child’s app. The weighted vests and arm/leg weights always need to be ordered specifically for each child since they have to fit their own weight. This one will be used for years to come by the whole class.
A teacher ritual: Signing documents right there, in my phone with Smallpdf
As teachers, we often have papers to sign (literally every day), and in the past, I used to print out a document, sign it, scan it, and then send it – that was the only way to send someone a signed copy via email.
Now I use the eSign pdf feature in Smallpdf, and I sign documents and send signed information sheets home in less than a minute. You can do it online or via the Smallpdf app.
It’s also great if you are not at preschool, and your teacher assistant or understudy can send something to be signed or checked. Last but not least, you can use it when parents need to sign something – you can easily send them the app name, which they can install in just a few seconds on their phone, and they can sign the document quickly.
As I said at the beginning of the post, classroom rituals are only effective if both teachers and children enjoy them. Not all will be effective and long-term, and every teacher needs to test different things in order to test out the things that will work in their teaching context.
What was your biggest challenge when it came to establishing daily preschool rituals? Let me know in the comments or via the contact page!
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