I do something different everyday, mainly just to break it up some:
Monday - Math sheet with a variety of math review problems
Tuesday - Daily Language - front and back - so it ends up being 4 days worth in one day
Wednesday - word wall work - write 5 sentences using words from the word wall (I usually tell them which ones to use).
Thursday - Handwriting book
Friday - fun sheet (crossword puzzle, wordfind, color sheet, something holiday-related, etc...)
I used to do a journal every-other Thursday, but I found the majority of my students weren't strong enough in their writing to do any good with that. They would just write the same type of sentences over and over. I may try it again with a new group, but I'll just have to see.
Morning work (to me) is just a review and practice of previous skills. It gives me time to get dr. notes, etc... taken care of without assistance needed on assignments. We go over the work during L.A. time, but normally it doesn't require a huge explanation.
Whether you have 10 minutes or 30 minutes in the mornings, here are some ideas to keep the kids learning while you tend to other important details.
I do something different everyday, mainly just to break it up some:
I found that I was always struggling to get students to complete morning work, and I struggled with accountability because I never had time to check it. Students come in anytime between 8:30-8:50, and our announcements come on at 9:00, so that is a lot of time.
So, I started doing morning centers. Students come in, get ready for the day, and go to their morning center. (I post the routine of everything they need to do before going to their centers). Then I go around and check their homework while they are at their centers.
My morning centers were always fun, hands on enrichment activities. Students rotated daily, and I changed out the centers every few weeks. One was always computer where students could choose from any of the bookmarks on the computer.
Geography Center--explore with maps, globe, US puzzle, flashcards, books
Microscope center--explore with microscopes and slides
Role Playing--basically charades
Magazine Center--I collect the samples that scholastic and weekly reader sends and give them time to read
Drawing--I put out drawing books to practice sequencing
Games like Scrabble Jr., Boggle, UpWords, Chunks
We don't have an art class, so sometimes I set up an art center.
I would also make a center using the books and materials from our science and ss units. For next year, I'm thinking of doing smart boxes for my centers.
For my morning work the kids have choices:
1. finish anything in their unfinished work folder
2. work on a poem - copy it, illustrate it, answer a question about it - everything goes into their morning work journal
3. work on a math review paper (on the backside i have a coloring page)
4. silent read or color in their morning work journal
I honestly don't care what they do during morning routine/arrival/work. As long as they are quiet and are keeping themselves busy - then I'm happy. I do not check any of their work. We may discuss a few things at morning meeting, but that's about it.
My students are allowed to sharpen pencils, get drinks, chat, and get organized until the pledge starts. After that they are to listen to announcements and get ready for morning work.
I list the am work on the board. It starts with Mrs. Renz's Self starts. I have given them printed copies of the self starts and also put it up on the projector. It includes geography, language skills and math. There is also a Friday test for the self starts. You can find it on Mrs. Renz's site in her file cabinet.
I also have the kids who finish the self starts, do a daily spelling activity, and have a math brain teaser up for those who are really quick first finishers. If they complete all of that they can read silently and do book responses in their literature logs.
This gives me time to take attendance and do all the morning things that come up. I also have time to do individual help and a reading group.
I usually go through the self start with the kids by 8:30-8:45.
Previously, I posted that my Morning Work routine frustrated me greatly last year. This was due to a couple of reasons. One was related to the type of morning work I had and the other to how my routine was devised. I always had some type of sheet I wished for the students to complete in which I had to read the directions (being 1st grade) aloud to them. This created frustration in my life because my students filter down in between 7:15-7:30; therefore, I was continually having to repeat myself every few minutes when I felt a new "batch" of children had walked through the door and were ready to listen. It turned to out to be a bigger hassel than I had ever thought it would be.
Not wanting to repeat this error, I have devised what I hope will be a new, happier, self-sufficient Morning Work schedule. :)
It is as follows:
1st: Complete the day's Calendar Journal page. This will be slightly like what is seen on Mrs. Meachum's website at www.jmeachum.com, yet more condensed into one page for every day. Her's is much more detailed than I am wishing to do. I feel with a few weeks of modeling this will be quite accomplishable for my little students.
2nd: Move onto Math Tubs. Math Tubs are what I call my open-ended math centers that I used last year while I taught small group math time. The difference this year is that I will have more of them, providing more variety, and offer them in the morning as well as the afternoon during small group math time. In the afternoon I like to choose each center for students, yet I think in the morning time I will allow this to be the child's choice. I think this will be a great motivator to encourage students to be on time to class and complete their Calendar Journal page quickly (no wasting time), as MW will end prompltly at 7:40. Therefore, if they do not work efficiently on Calendar Journal there will be no math tub time. :( I also think it will be easy to manage their behavior as long as I am very clear about what behaviors I expect. Simply, if you're not behaving appropriatly= no math tub time.
3rd: Since I am attempting Reader's Workshop this year and I need time to allow book browsing time, one day out of the week will be each small group's time to book shop for his/her book bin instead of math tubs, upon completion of Calendar Journal. That way I do not have all students shopping on one day and therefore a "loud crowd" to control. This should be fairly easy to implement as well, for I seat my students desks in groups with each group name being a corresponding day of the week. I'll allow each group to browse on their group's name day. :)
Hopefully, this will make my life more pleasant and simplify the amount of extra work I have to do. :)
I use the same basic routine each day of the week:
Monday-write spelling words 3x each to take home to study
Tues. -write a sentence with each word
Thurs.-unscramble the spelling words
Fri.- spelling test
I add various worksheets and practice problems to these activities.
On Friday they copy a poem from the board and place in a poetry notebook which they keep all year. They must draw and color a picture to go with the poem. There are lots of things for which you can use this poetry.
I just wanted to tell you how I do my MT math/lang each week. It is my morning work and I love it, and my kids do also. True, at first some of the cards were confusing, but they really do become easier the more they are done. My children were working pretty much on their own after 2 weeks.
They have a spiral bound notebook to keep MT math/lang. in, nothing else. They keep the notebooks in their desk for easy access. I laminated all the worksheets. I do math on monday and tuesday, language on wednesday and thursday. Since the cards are printed front and back, I put them on magnetic clips across my marker board (some have to go down the side). Here is my basic procedure:
Mon - Pass the monday cards out, have them on desks when students arrive. They work on the math cards as they get settled. They have about 40 min. morning time, which is plenty of time for most. Real slow workers can get back to the cards as time allows. When finished with the math worksheet, it is returned to the table to be passed out tomorrow. I go over the cards at the end of the day, or earlier if time. Students have their work in their notebooks to check.
Tues - Turn the math cards over...students complete each card and turn in the notebook for me to check, and return worksheet to the table. I note any card that was troublesome for students as a whole and discuss that particular skill.
Wed. Do the same procedure but using the language card....go over each card with students...they keep assignment in the notebook to use for future reference.
Thurs. Students turn notebooks in after completing the back of the language cards....procedure same as tuesday.
Here's October. I don't have one for September because I figured out half way through that month that I needed something. If anyone has ideas for March, I'd love to have them so that I can get to work on the next month's bellwork.
Here's November[Log In To See Attachments]
Here's December.[Log In To See Attachments]
Here's the one I used for January. They especially liked doing the one of cutting out pictures from a magazine.[Log In To See Attachments]
I do bellwork. Once a month, I make up a list of activities, photocopy it and tape it into a folded over construction paper. They enjoy the different activities and they get to choose what they want to do. The very first thing they have to do is decorate their folder. I have attached this month's for you.[Log In To See Attachments]
Here is March.[Log In To See Attachments]