Morning Routine in an Autism Classroom

Morning Routine in an Autism Classroom

Are you looking for a refreshed or new morning routine in your autism classroom? Below I am going to share some of our routines and procedures for starting the day in my self-contained elementary autistic support classroom.

morning routine: sign-in and unpack
First, hang up backpacks in cubbies
morning routine: sign-in and unpack
Next, turn in folder and sign in

First Things First

When my students arrive at school, they enter the classroom and begin their morning routine. The first step is for them to hang up their backpacks in their cubbies and start unpacking. When they unpack, they take their communication folders over to the sign-in table and place them in the basket underneath. Next, they sign in using a wet-erase marker. The sign-in sheets are differentiated to each students’ ability level (matching, tracing, independent).

After the students finish signing in, they sit at their desks for breakfast. As each student finishes their breakfast, they are asked to use the restroom. Once they return to the classroom, they have a few minutes of quiet free time before the next activity begins.

morning meeting
Presentation of daily schedule

Morning Routine: Morning Meeting

Daily Calendar Worksheets

Next, we begin morning meeting. I present morning meeting two different ways for my students. One of my students does his daily calendar worksheet as morning work in his homeroom. This has promoted his independence during homeroom, as well as his awareness of days of the week and weather. Check out the Simply Special Ed shop for these amazing worksheets!

Examples of the daily calendar worksheets
morning routine: daily calendar worksheets
Completed daily calendar worksheet

Digital Morning Meeting

The rest of my students participate in morning meeting as a group. One of my paraprofessionals leads morning meeting on our Promethean Board (interactive whiteboard), while the students follow along and engage on their iPads with support from the other paraprofessionals in the classroom. I absolutely love using this digital morning meeting for Google Slides. I am able to make a copy for each student and share it to their individual Google Drives. This allows them to open it on their iPads and manipulate their morning meeting pieces along with the para leading them using the Promethean Board.

Digital Morning Meeting displayed on Promethean Board
digital morning meeting
Digital Morning Meeting on student iPad

Get Your Body Moving!

To round out our morning routine, my students participate in a quick 15-minute movement break. This can include yoga, dancing, or movement games. I like to incorporate the movement break at this time so they can get their wiggles out before we attend specials. I like to display our next activity on the Promethean Board using Google Slides and a timer, but I have our full daily schedule posted at the front of the room as well. Many of my students are able to use this as a guide to their day so they know what to expect as our day goes on.

Check out the shop for all your visual schedule needs!

You can read more about establishing routines in a self-contained classroom here and here!

A great resource to help with establishing routines and increasing independence can be found here!

The first ten days are crucial to teaching routines explicitly to your students. Find already prepared lessons and activities for routines in the special education classroom for the first ten days here!

I hope you were able to find a routine to add or refresh for your classroom while you read this post. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see something more in-depth or if you have any specific questions about my classroom routines!

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