What do your students do when they enter your classroom? Do they have a morning routine? Do they have seat work? Does the morning seem like a crazy time? Morning time in a classroom can be a super exciting but often chaotic time. It can often be overlooked as important learning time. Morning work is a great way to sneak in some valuable learning and can teach student independence.
Every morning when my students come into the classroom, they know to look at the board. I have the same template morning message, and I just customize it to the needs of any given day. Some of the information on the list stays consistent (hang up backpack, take out folder, make your lunch choice) but this is where I can add any specific tasks I need students to do. This allows time for me to greet my students as they come in, chat with parents, address any issues, etc. No more “what should I do now?” questions. I establish this routine at the beginning of the year and it becomes automatic for my students.
This is a perfect opportunity to pass some student independence onto my students. I spend some time in the beginning of the year teaching my students how calendar runs. After a few weeks of running calendar, I start with a small group of “aspiring” teachers and teach them how to run it. Then they can begin to run it so you can pull small groups or take care of important matters. As the weeks go on, that small groups teaches another small group and the cycle continues. Your students will love being the “teacher” and running calendar. Make sure to incorporate spiral review into your calendar time!
Sometimes this seems like a no brainer, but you can use your morning time to reinforce important skills. As well, you can quickly offer a reteach lesson on a skill that students struggle with. Consistently reviewing and exposing students to these skills will foster mastery as the year goes on. Some skills I like to include in my morning work spiral review are: money, time, place value, parts of speech, writing, story elements.
You will have those early finishers in your class that come in and get started right away on whatever morning work you have. I suggest having a What Now? chart/bin in your classroom that students can go to when they finish early. It can be simple as reading, free write, or puzzles, but providing structure to all students in the morning is crucial. My morning work packets are great for including in your What Now? bin.
Not sure where to begin?
If you’re not sure where to begin with morning work, I’d love for you to check out my Daily Math and Language Morning Work Packets. I have print and go packets for every month of the school year for both math and language.
Math Skills are:
- 2-Digit Addition
- Addition Facts
- Odd and Even
- In and Out Boxes
- Add 10
- Subtract 10
- Skip Counting
- Fact Families
- Counting Money
- Double, then add 10
- Fill in the Chart
- Place Value
- Greater Than, Less Than, Equal to
Language Skills are:
- First Layout: (Making Words, Past or Present Verbs, Following Directions, Syllables, and Short and Long Vowel Sounds)
- Second Layout: (Contractions, Sight Words, Synonyms, -ER and -EST Endings, Digraphs, Unscramble the sentence, and Compound Words)
- Third Layout: (ABC Order, Main Idea and Details, Fact or Opinion, Prefixes, Fix the Sentence, and Same Sound)
- Fourth Layout: (Adjectives, Sequencing, Rhyming, Nouns, Kinds of Sentences, and Suffixes)
- Fifth Layout: (Plurals, Vowel Sounds, Shades of Meaning, Classify Words, Short Vowels, Verbs, and Spelling)