Having a daily routine can be beneficial for elementary students in many ways. For example, incorporating a daily independent reading routine can help build reading stamina that helps students persevere through complex texts. Experts agree that 10 to 30 minutes of reading every day, depending on age, exposes children to millions of words and helps build and sustain critical comprehension skills for school success (Source: Commonwealth Charter).
Daily Routines Increase Brain Functioning
Just think about your own life. When your routines change, you’re more likely to forget your phone or keys. When you pack your bags and go on vacation – forsaking all routines – you have to think about so many things. Where’s the toothbrush, do I have my wallet and passport, etc.
Your brain is on overload.
A routine settles your brain by allowing the force of habits to take over. The same is true in the classroom.
Daily routines increase brain function, available working memory, and attention span by freeing up these resources. Instead of focusing on the basic functional tasks, routines allow your students to send their attention to the learning tasks at hand.
Brain Research, Power of Daily Routines
Routines can help students’ brains by providing structure and consistency, which can reduce stress and improve cognitive skills like memory recall, problem-solving, concentration, and attention to detail. Some research suggests that a consistent daily routine not only helps cognitive function but also increases creativity (Source: Megan Edgelow, Queen’s University Ontario).
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Ways to Build Routine In Your Day
- Create a Warm-Up Routine. There’s no better way to work in daily spiral review of reading skills than by building a daily routine that lasts 3-5 minutes.
- Use a Consistent Literacy Block Schedule. Whether you’re running a 120-Minute Literacy Block Schedule or a 90-minute block, creating a consistent schedule will ensure a daily routine for students.
What to Include in Your Literacy Blocks
There are several components of a research-based literacy block (aka structured literacy block). Your block should include these core components to help create a sense of daily routine:
- Daily independent reading
- Reading conferences
- Direct instruction and practice of reading strategies
- Writing about reading
How to Create Excitement for Kids Within a Daily Routine
Yes, routines can be boring. It’s important to think of a routine as the structure. What you do within that structure is where the excitement and variety can occur. Teachers can also facilitate excitement about language and literacy exploration with games and activities that students can use one-to-one, independently, or with peers. During the Practice of Reading Strategies component of your daily routine, you might include games and fun activities like these teaching resources.
Want to Get a Few Examples of Literacy Block Schedules?
We’ve gathered input from hundreds of classrooms about what works in their daily routines. And we’ve compiled that feedback into 4 sample literacy block schedules. You’re invited to download the samples yourself – for free.
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