I wanted to get some opinions. I am currently student teaching, and every morning, the first graders come in, put their things away, and get a piece of paper and begin writing their spelling words. Some days there is a worksheet, math sheet, or word find for them to do. It seems that everywhere I go and everyone I talk to does this type of routine in the morning. I agree, it DOES set the stage for a more quiet morning. And I understand the need to get the kids right to work in the morning. However, I also observe that there are many first graders who also need to ask questions, fill their water bottles (they keep a small one at their desks), go to the bathroom, sharpen pencils, and talk to the teacher. I have been thinking that when I start teaching my own room, I would set up a routine in the morning, but I wouldn't have them do seatwork. I would have them put things away, go to the bathroom, get a drink, fill up water bottles, put papers, folders, and notes in the proper places, sharpen two pencils, and then perhaps sit on the carpet and quietly talk with their friends (and they can talk to me also). Once the announcements and pledge come on, we can start our day then. It just seems like these smaller kids just need to socialize a bit, come together again as a class family, to share what they did the night before, etc. I definitely see the need for strict routine in the morning, but I just don't think it HAS to be quiet seatwork. Is anyone out there doing something different as a new teacher? Or do you feel that you need to stick with the seatwork like most teachers do? Do you think I'd be setting myself up for a chaotic day if I choose not to have them sit and be quiet right away? I'm just curious.