How to Use Morning Work to Boost Skills


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Do you use morning work in your morning routine? Better yet, maybe I should ask if you intentionally use it to boost skills? This is one of the most overlooked resources in the classroom, and it shouldn’t be! In fact, any and every resource used in your classroom should help (you and) your students in some way.

Why should I have morning work?

This question gets asked pretty often, and the answer is more practical than you may think. For starters, morning work is a stage setter. In other words, it “sets the stage” to prepare students for learning. It’s also a great way to transition students into the attitude and behavior that you have set for your classroom. We all have those classroom rules that we want students to naturally like and follow. Using this kind of resource can help foster that.

Morning work also provides consistency, something that helps students thrive. When they know what to expect, it leaves less room for misbehavior or resistance when it’s time to start the day. Consistency also takes away randomness. You know… those extra 20 minutes that seem like forever and you’re not sure what to fill them with? Insert morning work.

In essence, we’re talking about a number of skills that can be enhanced because of morning work:

  • academic skills practice
  • critical thinking
  • independent work
  • large motor practice
  • problem-solving

What makes it “quality” work?

If you’re like 99% of teachers who have taught for any amount of time, then you know what it’s like to give student filler work. And I’m talking about the kind that may or may not be relevant, it’s a fly by the seat of your pants kind of resource. I hate to say it but that’s not always quality morning work. When deciding on the perfect resource to use with your students, keep the following in mind:

  • It needs to be doable. In terms of doable, I’m talking about effective and perfect for the time allotted to completing it. If my focus is on math, then I’m going to provide my students with a worksheet with 10 or less problems to solve.
  • Morning work should be relevant. The resources you choose to use during this time should always be geared to one or two things – concepts they have previously learned or skills you want them to master. I always aim to use worksheets that are grade, concept, and skill appropriate.
  • It should be useful. Did you know that morning work can be used to measure student progress? I can’t tell you how many times a student’s daily work has helped me see where they’ve progressed or where they need help.

Spiral Review to Boost Skills

If you haven’t tried the spiral review strategy then I highlight recommend it! In a nutshell, this method helps you consistently review particular concepts with your students. Spiral reviews help take the guesswork out of what to do because you know they’ll be relevant. They are also short and manageable, which helps students (and you) to not feel overwhelmed about an assignment.

Spiral reviews give students the ability to practice skills while fostering independent learning. You’ll also enjoy the data you can collect and use for future instruction.

Resources to Start Using Today

If you’re looking for quality morning work resources, that just so happened to be spiral review, then look no further. I have one for math and one for language arts!

2nd Grade Language Morning Work

Help your 2nd graders master various ELA skills throughout the entire school year. These pages gradually get harder and skills are reviewed multiple times throughout the year. Use these for centers, stations, review, morning work, seat work, early or fast finishers, homework, test prep, and more all year long. Try it free!

2nd Grade Math Morning Work

This 2nd grade morning work bundle is sure to help your 2nd graders master various mathematics skills throughout the entire school year. These pages gradually get harder and skills are reviewed multiple times throughout the year. Each month has 5 different layouts of skills covered. They are repeated 4 different times so that your students can gain confidence and become more successful at mastering those skills.

I want to hear from you!

Do you use morning work in your classroom? If so, what’s your favorite resources to use?

Looking for useful tips for planning your 2nd grade morning work? Click here!

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