A Positive Day- from Start to Finish!

After my second year teaching, I attended a Highly Effective Teaching training that was so beneficial for my career. I learned so many great habits and tools to use in my classroom. Many of the tools centered around creating a warm, positive environment in your classroom- something that I've always tried to foster in my own classroom!

It's important to me to start the day on a positive note and end the day on a positive note. There a few simple things I do each day to help make sure this happens!

I start out the beginning of every morning in the hallway. Not at my desk, not at my computer, not grading papers. I stand in the hallway to greet my students. It's amazing what a simple smile and a hello can do for your day! 

I'll be honest and say that I am not able to do this every morning. But, I do try to do it as often as I can. I can tell a difference in the way our day goes when I make sure to greet my students, so it's definitely worth that time in the morning! 

When I greet my students, I also make sure to teach them how to greet me back! At the beginning of the year, I have many students walk right past me and barely say hello. I make sure to model how to properly say hello to someone and how important it is to look them in the eyes! We practice a lot!

After the announcements, I always make sure to have a Morning Meeting. We discuss our day and I allow the students to share special things. Kids get so excited to share things that are going on in their lives, and I like to give them an opportunity to do this! This takes time in the morning, so I only choose a few students to share each morning. But, I feel like I've gotten to know my students better by doing this and I've been able to form stronger relationships with them, which is incredibly important!
I've had so many parents tell me that when they ask their child what they did during the day, they always say "Nothing" or that they didn't learn anything. This always drives me crazy because we do SO much during the day! So, I wanted to make sure we had a discussion at the end of each day to review all the fun we had! During our Closing Circle, or Afternoon Meeting, we share what has made us happy that day! I have each student that wants to share begin with, "Today, I'm happy because..." and they have to share something that made them happy during our school today. It's a great way to end our day and review all the fun! 

In the mornings, I am completely fine with students just saying {hello) to me, but in the afternoon I give students three choices when they are leaving- a hug, a hi five or handshake! When students are leaving for the day, I stand at the door and they have to give me a hug, a hifive or a handshake before they leave! 

What ways to do try to foster a positve environment in your classroom!? 


  1. I always greet my students at the start of the day with a Good Morning! and a handshake, but I've been neglecting the end of the day. We sometimes did shout outs for each other if anyone saw someone else do something kind, caring, or perseverant during the day but I wasn't consistent with it. I'll be sure to do it daily next year. Thank you!

  2. Hi Chandra! I always greet my students in the morning as they come in the classroom. I also do the handshake, high-five, or hug at the end of the day. I really like your end of day share circle--might have to 'copy' that!

    Teaching Little Miracles

  3. I loved everything about this post Chandra! I was just thinking that I need to greet my students at the door more consistently this new school year. It sets a tone of community and respect. I'm totally stealing your end of the day procedure. Usually I'm in such a rush to get everybody out the door to where they need to be that any kind of formal goodbye goes out the window. This year I will try very hard to slow down and give the end of the day a proper send off! Thanks for sharing!

    An Apple a Day in First Grade