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Starting the day with a morning check in

Teacher author, Roisín O Rourke asks… Do you feel like you repeat yourself a thousand times each morning when students start to filter in? Then maybe a ‘Morning Check-In’ could be for you. 

There are lots of different ways to incorporate a morning check in into your own classroom morning routine. Messages for the kids to complete work, reminders, riddles, tongue twisters, boggle questions, noggle questions, dingbats, etc. It can be as simple as a ‘Good morning’ message or you can include your own ideas and combinations from the list above. 

Here is an example of a slide I have on display as the children come in.

This works as a soft start as the kids come into school and without me having to prepare lot of worksheets/extra work for individuals.

If I include activities such as Boggle or Noggle, kids can complete them on mini whiteboards individually or in pairs as a means of including peer learning and assessment.

Noggle and Boogle examples

This free Boggle Maker tool will generate Boogle letter grids and worksheets.

For more challenge for older children, the Countdown Game Maker from Nrich Maths can generate cards and a target numbers that you could use.

Many of my students really enjoy the riddles in the morning to kick start their ‘brain power’ as my class call it.

Riddle example

I personally find the reminder/news section very handy for encouraging the kids to check in as they come in and it means the teacher isn’t repeating news or instructions multiple times first thing in the morning! 

These slides can be easily created using software as simple as PowerPoint or in Canva through the free teachers account they offer, on Google Slides or on flipchart paper with post it notes. It can be as simple or as complicated as you wish it to be. 

Click here to download a PowerPoint template to help your morning get off to a positive start 🙂

Example riddles

Here are some of the riddles that my class love. You can find a list in the PowerPoint template to copy and use.

  1. Riddle: It belongs to you, but your friends use it more. What is it?
    Answer: Your name
  2. Riddle: I am so simple that I can only point, yet I guide people all over the world.
    Answer: Compass
  3. Riddle: What can you catch but not throw?
    Answer: A cold
  4. Riddle: What begins with T ends with T and has T in it?
    Answer: A teapot
  5. Riddle: What has thirteen hearts, but no other organs?
    Answer: A deck of cards
  6. Riddle: What is easier to get into than out of?
    Answer: Trouble
  7. Riddle: Remove my skin and I won’t cry, but you might!
    Answer: An onion
  8. Riddle: What can fill a room but doesn’t take up space?
    Answer: Light 
  9. Riddle: Where are the lakes always empty, the mountains always flat and the rivers always still?
    Answer: A map 
  10. Riddle: A man looks at a painting and says, “Brothers and sisters I have none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who is in the painting?
    Answer: His son
  11. Riddle: What has many keys but can’t open a single lock?
    Answer: A piano
  12. Riddle: What is always in front of you but can’t be seen?
    Answer: The future

Some example affirmations

  1. There is no one better to be than myself.
  2. I am enough.
  3. I get better every single day.
  4. I am an amazing person.
  5. I can work through my problems.
  6. Today I am a leader.
  7. I forgive myself for my mistakes.
  8. My challenges help me grow.
  9. I am perfect just the way I am.
  10. My mistakes help me learn and grow.
  11. Today is going to be a great day.
  12. I have courage and confidence.

Taking it further

If you have older children or some able individuals and groups, they could be tasked with creating some check in display content or puzzles for the class and save you some more time!

Guest Teacher Author

Teachers’ Corner's school based guest authors share practical ideas and insights from their classrooms and schools.

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