Establishing Opening and Closing Routines

This resource was part of our Election 2020 collection, designed to help you teach about voting rights, media literacy, and civic participation, in remote and in-person settings.

Routines can be a key component of a safe and reflective classroom community, especially at a time when students’ lives and learning are being disrupted by public health crises, racial injustice and violence, social protest, and a continuously unpredictable news cycle. Setting aside five to ten minutes at the beginning and/or end of class to welcome students to the learning space, gauge their emotional well-being, and nurture community can help students experience school as a crucial part of their day that is predictable, meaningful, and supportive.

Routines are also a key strategy for creating continuity and predictability as classes shift between face-to-face and remote settings, as they may throughout this school year. The routines recommended here include suggestions for both face-to-face and remote environments. While these routines assume students will be gathered digitally at the same time during remote learning, most can be adapted by using tools (such as Google Docs, Flipgrid, or Padlet) that allow students to contribute at different times.

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