My students come in anytime between 15 minutes before the bell rings to 5-10 minutes after the bell rings. Before the bell rings, I'm very relaxed with what they choose to do. Some students prefer to just sit at their desk, others follow a sensory diet, and others want to get started with their daily tasks, but oddly enough, no one has ever picked a "free time" choice, even though it has been offered!
Once the bell rings...I'm going to shock you all and you're going to think I'm a terrible American...I don't care if my students stand up and say the pledge or not. I certainly model it, and I encourage students to do it, but if they don't, no big deal! This mindset definitely comes from a couple of years ago when I had a student who would "go off" at requests like this that interrupted his morning routine and it wasn't worth it! Plus, this is a few of my students' sensory time, and I'm not interrupting that! And, when else do you ever stand for the pledge?! The national anthem at games, sure, and we practice that, but sorry, forcing a student to stand for the pledge is not worth having our morning start on a bad note. Okay, bunny trail/tangent over, back on track!
name stamps from Discount Rubber Stamps last year for my students who could not write and was super happy with them! You can customize the font and color, and it lasted all year and is still going strong! Oh, and they were only $3 each (now $4, but still a great deal)!
A trick to help your students stamp their name right side up instead of upside down, put a sticker on the side that needs to face them - boom - worked like magic!
After signing in, students complete their jobs. Our jobs rotate monthly and almost all students will have a turn to do each job. I assign jobs by putting their name or picture next to the job title as seen below. I modify the jobs for each student as needed. The bottom jobs are my "extra" jobs that don't really need to be done, but students need something to do!
Our jobs have included:
Weather: Looks up weather on the iPad, fills out "the weather is" strip, moves the arrow to the correct spot on the temperature chart, and fills out what we should wear today based on the weather. Get our temperature chart here.
Attendance: Moves student and staff pictures to either home or school depending on who is at school for the day.
Copier: Makes copies of (or just grabs from the folder if our little copier is broken like it was for the second half of the year) each student's daily sheet and passes them out.
Lunch: Look at the weekly lunch menu and easily finds pictures on his/her device or types in the iPad to get a visual of the hot lunch option for the day.
Clean: Wipes down white boards
Music: Chooses a youtube video (classical music option) to softly play during morning work time.
Books: Make sure books are in their correct bins.
Not one of our current jobs, but pencil sharpening is a good one to add if needed too! Any other jobs that you do with your students? I'd love to hear about them!
Check back later this week for a post on our actual morning meeting part of our morning! Can't wait to share it with you. Make sure you are following somehow so that you don't miss anything! :)
Update: see part 2 here.