We know that children with autism work better when a routine is established. But
what makes a good morning routine in your classroom? The truth is that everyone's
classroom will run differently. I think what is important, however, is that you establish some sort of
structure to go along with the morning in your classroom. For some of us that involves organizing
students getting off of the bus and thinking about what do we do after that? Do we go straight to
breakfast, do we walk down to the classroom? For each class it would be different. Some routines
that tend to be standard in classrooms would be students entering the room or entering the space where their lockers are, removing items from their backpack and placing those items and a
designated spot. After that, students are most likely expected to find their seats and begin some sort of a morning activity. For some classes this morning activity includes toys or fidgets, and other
classrooms this morning activity involves work tasks where students need to use their hands to
manipulate the work task. In other classes, this morning activity may mean worksheets that the
student is expected to complete. In either case, students will be more successful with completing the routine you establish if you have a visual support.
A visual support is something visual that cues student to show what you want them to do. These
visual supports can be in the form of pictures icons, photos, or words. It really just depends on what works best for the student who needs to understand the information. Use the visual supports as a
guide for when you are not standing right next to the student; they will still have something to tell them what needs to be done even if you're a few feet away or attending to another student.
I always like the idea of morning work for students just so that they come into school and beginsomething constructive. I never felt like the students needed a break from the ride into school.Now again, this could mean work tasks where students are using their hands to manipulate a task or it could mean some sort of worksheet. Here is an example of my morning work packets related to back-to-school:
The morning work packet has worksheets that require variations in response style
so that pen and paper are not always needed. They require variations in
response styles so that writing is not always the only way to provide the
answer. So for example, some of the response styles might include using string to
match items, cutting and pasting answers, using bingo markers to provide the
answer, coloring, making steps in paper, circling answers.