Getting Started with Digital Morning Work

Starting the morning out right can make or break the school day, and Morning Work is no exception.

This past year, I’ve taken my Morning Work digital to meet the needs of classrooms worldwide. Although the digital Morning Work routine is only slightly different than the paper-based Morning Work routine, I’m here to highlight a few KEY things to remember when implementing paperless morning work within your upper elementary classroom!


Morning Expectations & Picking Up Devices

Just as you would teach students where to pick up the Morning Work paper when they walk into your classroom, it is crucial to teach students how you want them to pick up their devices.

Be sure to model for students how you expect them to grab their device from the charging cart. I try to model this at least once a week until October! (Yes, really, October!)

Consider the following when creating morning expectations:

  • Do you want students to grab devices in a particular order?
  • Do all students enter the classroom at once or do they trickle in slowly?
  • Will students know how to log in independently?
  • What volume level do you expect students to have while accessing devices?
  • Will students be bringing snacks or water bottles into your classroom? If so, what are your storage expectations of items to ensure devices are safe?


Accessing Morning Work

As a class, review how to access Morning Work. Keep it consistent; if you’re using Google Classroom, model how to open the assignment in Google Classroom and then how to edit in Google Slides. You’ll also want to be sure to review how to turn an assignment in.

If you need assistance creating your first assignment on Google Classroom, check out this post with step-by-step instructions!

If you’re using a Microsoft platform, be sure to review how to open, edit, and save the PowerPoint document.


Model, Model, Model. Then, Model Again.

I suggest completing the entire first week of Digital Morning Work together.

Be sure to highlight every component of the Morning Work routine, including the following:

  • How devices should look on students’ desks (position, placement, etc.)
  • How to use the undo button (Trust me, you’re going to want to make sure students know how to use this button ASAP.)
  • How to select a text box, delete text, add text, and resize the text box
  • How to change font size (Don’t forget to teach students how to highlight the text before adjusting the font size; otherwise you’ll have lots of questions and several students saying, “It’s not working!” )
  • How to save (if you’re using PowerPoint) and how Google saves work automatically
  • How to submit work at the end of the week (if using Google Classroom)


Ideally, you’ll want students to complete Morning Work entirely independently to ensure you can complete your own morning task list and take attendance. Make independence your goal!

Need Scratch Paper?

There are math problems included in my Digital Morning Work, and students will most likely need to show their work to solve. Decide if you’d like students to use a digital whiteboard on their device to show their work or if you’d prefer them to use a pencil and paper.


Here’s what people are saying about my Paper & Digital Morning Work:

Click here to try out 10 days of Digital Morning Work for FREE! That’s two weeks of not having to plan your mornings out!


Morning Work 3rd - 6th Grade Freebies


Digital Scratch Paper

One huge benefit of using devices is that students can take a screenshot of problems and insert them into digital whiteboard apps.

An app that I like to use on an iPad is called Absolute Board. Another honorable mention is the app ShowMe.

Absolute Board is very straightforward. Great for students who need minimal distraction.

ShowMe is much more powerful but is a little “loud” when considering the home screen’s setup.

To use a digital whiteboard, teach students first to screenshot, crop the picture to show just the problem, and save. Switch over to the whiteboard app, and insert the screenshot of the problem. From here, students can show their work.

Pro-tip: Have students screenshot their completed work and insert it back into the Google Slides as evidence of how they solved it!

Make it Count

Morning Work should be more than busy work. Be sure to schedule some time to review Morning Work. I like to make morning work count for a completion grade instead of an assignment graded for accuracy. Morning Work should be time for students to explore new topics or review topics that they may have seen earlier in the year.

I love to incorporate growth mindset lessons into Morning Work. I always say, “The more corrections you have, the more you’re learning!” A growth mindset encourages students to correct incorrect work and to feel comfortable making mistakes.


Fast Finishers

Establish a routine for your fast finishers. Since students will already have their devices in front of them, create guidelines on which apps they can be on when their work is complete or if you’d prefer them to read silently.

If you’re interested in adding Morning Work to your digital day, click the link for your grade level below to learn more!


Morning Work for 3rd grade in Print and Digital

Morning Work 3rd Grade Print and Digital for Google Slides™ Distance Learning

Yearlong Fourth Grade Morning Work in print and digital

Morning Work 4th Grade Print and Digital for Google Slides™ Distance Learning

5th Grade Morning Work for the Entire Year

Morning Work 5th Grade Print and Digital for Google Slides™ Distance Learning

6th Grade Morning Work for the Entire Year

Morning Work 6th Grade Print and Digital for Google Slides™ Distance Learning

If you liked this post, I have a few others that you might be interested in too!
Check them out below:

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