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  • Writer's pictureLara

End of the Day Routine of a Successful Math Community

End-of-the-day Routines For A Calm and Collected Classroom

The end of the day can be crazy.

You're trying to pack up, get folders, make sure nobody forgot anything and get everybody to the bus on time. And the whole way that it's set up, especially if you have a special right at the end and you're just transitioning back and trying to get everything together. It can just be a lot. And kids feel that nervous, got to get it done energy.

So that was just not working out and we needed a way to end the day smoothly. We start the day with a morning meeting. We're having a good time and we end the day the same way with a little bit of fun, but calm, like we're still in school. It's not time for us to go crazy and dismissal is definitely a crazy time especially with a staggered dismissal you have half your class you don't have half your class So this is the routine that worked for me and I'd love to share it with you.

Packing Up

The first thing is our packing up routine like who's gonna go when like are you sending kids one by one? Are you sending them by table? How it worked for me is I would have tables get their folders they get their backpacks and bring everything to their desk So it wasn't a pile of kids in the closet trying to get their stuff after they packed up the expectation was that they would Leave their their backpacks at their desks and they would all come to circle for our closing circle.

Closing Circle

I first heard of it from Responsive Classroom, and it's just a way to reflect on the day and see what went well, what we can do better next time, or just share things that they had a good time with, that they really enjoyed. You can ask questions like, what was the best part of your day? Or you could be more specific. Like, what was your favorite thing you did in math today? What was your favorite thing you did in art today? It can also be a great opportunity to bring up any difficulties that occurred during the day and come up with solutions for the next day.

The Kindness Tree

I liked to bring in the Kindness Tree from Conscious Discipline.It helps kids think about the things that other kids were doing that were kind for them and we add them to the kindness tree. You can have an actual construction paper tree you add hearts to or a digital tree. It might be simple things like so and so bought me my water bottle when I forgot it, or so and so helped me understand how to solve this kind of math problem. Things like that to encourage kindness and a caring and thoughtful community. 

I Love You Rituals

To close our time together, we would do something called, and I love your ritual, which is from Conscious Discipline, but it's basically a way for us to have a little bit of fun together in an appropriate way. Like lots of giggles. With, with a song or a poem and just a way to connect with each other in the classroom. You can Google examples and variations for older students.


  • Pack Up

  • Reflection Question

  • Kindness Tree

  • I Love You Ritual or a formal goodbye similar to greetings in the morning.

We're like ready to go right?


This is the point where things can descend into chaos, because we're not doing anything structured at this point. It's not a great time to get things out because we don't have time to put them away because the person who would be putting that stuff away is yours truly and at the end of the day, I'm done. They're done. We just want smooth sailing, especially in my case where my school had a staggered dismissal.

Half your class is still with you and half your students have already left. So there are some videos that my students enjoyed and just kept everybody chill. The first one is Ragnolis, our sand art. I found this out 100 percent by mistake. We were learning about Diwali, and I showed them a video of this beautiful sand art, someone creating this beautiful sand art with this calming music.

They were entranced. They loved it so much,  and they would just sit there and be like, wow, look at them do that, all the colors. They'd have fun making predictions of what it was gonna look like at the end. So that was definitely a favorite of ours. To watch those at the end of the day and the music was always really calming So it was just a calm environment to leave the classroom.

Along the same vein they liked to watch Aquarium footage like all of the fish and all of the colors. They really like that, too. Sometimes they would go for something a little more upbeat. They like to watch these elaborate hamster mazes and they love to watch number blocks and alpha blocks. And finally, the last thing that they really liked is the mini baking when people would make mini cakes and mini anything, they really loved that. So all of those things are completely random all over the place, but for variety's sake, they like to switch it up.

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