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Establishing Opening and Closing Routines

Incorporate these community-building routines into your lessons to set a welcoming tone, allow students to connect with one another, and encourage goal setting.


At a Glance



English — US


  • English & Language Arts
  • History
  • Social Studies


  • Culture & Identity
  • Equity & Inclusion


About This Collection

Routines can be a key component of a brave and reflective classroom community, especially at a time when students’ lives and learning have been 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.

This collection is designed to be flexible. You can use all of the resources or choose a selection best suited to your classroom. It includes:

  • 10 opening routines
  • 5 closing routines

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Facing History & Ourselves is designed for educators who want to help students explore identity, think critically, grow emotionally, act ethically, and participate in civic life. It’s hard work, so we’ve developed some go-to professional learning opportunities to help you along the way.

Using the strategies from Facing History is almost like an awakening.
— Claudia Bautista, Santa Monica, Calif