Mornings in the classroom are a really important part of the day to me. It’s a time that sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
When you think about it though, mornings set the tone for the whole school day! That’s one reason I’ve always made it a goal to have smoothly running morning times that are used in the most effective way!
How do you make the most of that morning time?
1. Establish a morning routine.
A. Teach and practice morning procedures explicitly, until everyone knows what to do. We actually model and practice these!
B. Make lunch count and roll call easy (I do student names on a pocket chart for hot or cold lunches).
C. Have Morning Work ready for students to complete.
D. Keep the morning routine as routine as possible!
Once kids get the morning routine down, one of the MOST IMPORTANT parts of Morning Work time is the actual morning work!
2. Choose quality Morning Work that meets student needs.
Here are some things you’ll want to consider when looking for the perfect morning work:
A. Which subjects do you need? Are you looking for a single subject or a more comprehensive type of morning work?
B. Is the morning work meaningful or just busy work?
C. Is it something students can complete independently for the most part?
D. Is the content too much, too little, or just about right for the time you’ve allotted?
E. Does it cover the standards you need it to cover?
F. Does it spiral content (continually review), so it’s reinforcing what kids have learned?
G. Do you need a print or a digital format (or maybe both)?
H. Would you like it to be editable too?
I’ve always known how important morning work is. So for years, I tried to piece together random worksheets to hit all of the standards and to give students something meaningful to work on to start each day.
I never really was happy with this method and it was time-consuming and exhausting to find things that would work.
Finally, I decided to create a comprehensive Morning Work that has ALL standards for reading, grammar, and math and includes science and social studies!
Now I use it daily, knowing that ALL standards are being covered and it even hits some of the material we never seem to have enough time for!
3. Use the Morning Work in a routine way, so kids can work independently and morning times are predictable.
Here’s how I use Morning Work in the classroom:
A. I set out a Morning Work page each day before school starts. Some teachers like to bind the morning work into a booklet, while others prefer to assign it digitally.
B. On Mondays and Wednesdays, kids do reading, math, and social studies. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, kids do grammar, math, and science.
C. Kids who finish early can read a book of their choice, free-write in their Writer’s Notebook, or do a Brain Teaser.
D. On Fridays, we mix it up a bit. If we missed a morning due to an assembly or a holiday, we use Fridays to catch up for the week. If there’s a project in progress, we may spend the Friday morning time working on that. I love having the extra day each week as a “catch-up” time.
We’ve also done a soft start at times with bins filled with STEAM materials, or games set around the room. Fridays seem like a perfect day to add something extra fun!
4. Save time and reinforce concepts by grading Morning Work together.
After about 15 – 20 minutes of working time, we correct Morning Work as a class. Each child corrects his/her own. I project it on the SmartBoard with part of the page covered and I unveil the rest of the page as we go over the answers. We spend about 5 minutes or so correcting and discussing any questions kids have.
Here’s what teachers are saying about this Morning Work:
This is FANTASTIC and in my opinion PERFECT morning work. It touches on reading, math, and content skills. It is just enough to be meaningful without being overwhelming! Brilliant resource! (Beth A.)
I love the spiral review! This product is very well put together. I like that they are working on different skills on different days of the week. Thank you! (Alexa A.)
I LOVE this resource! My students use it each morning as a bell ringer. It is such a time saver as well as highly beneficial for each student in my class. The various topics covered make for interesting learning. (Kourtney H.)
SO excited to use these this year! The level of engagement is spectacular! Thanks so much! (Rachel D.)
Want to try 2 weeks of print and digital Morning Work FREE?
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Thanks so much for stopping by!