Answer a Question of the Day: I write a question on a sentence strip which I post on the side of a filing cabinet. The students use magnet faces that they made to answer the question. Initially, I began with yes/no questions but now I am using multiple (3) answer questions such as Which is your favorite hot lunch? Pizza, spaghetti, burritos. We discuss the results of our graph during our calendar time.
Work on their morning pages: On Mondays I give my students a packet of work which they place in a designated folder. Each morning they work on these pages and I give them a sticker when they have completed a page. Any pages that are not completed are taken home as homework and returned the following Monday. Also, the students show their parents the pages they did complete during the week.
At the 8:30 bell we clean up. I take attendance and then we do a series of stretching/calisthenic exercises to start our day.
After they put away things, I have the "star workers" take care of their duties. Sharpen pencils, straitening up, and a few other things. Then they go to their seat and start their morning worksheet. Most of the time it will be phonics on one side with something to color on the other. They know they must to all pencil work before they start coloring. This routine keeps them busy and they know what to do without being told.
The kids can enter at 7:25 and immediately things go in cubbies, if you enter before 7:45 you go eat breakfast, after breakfast you enter and immediately to your right is the counter and morning work (a worksheet of a review skill, left over workbook page or blank sentence paper.) It is always there and you take it to your seat. At 7:50 the bell rings and I call one table to get the their take home folders out of the bookbag and bring them to me. we are done with the by 8:05 and then the two helpers of the day pass out our red work folders, and we are starting big group by 8:10.
They come in put there back packs by there desk then I have daily questions they answer while I am getting the lesson plans and work all passed out.After that I let them switch folders and they check there partners paper and I grade the work.Then we start with our regular day.
Some students eat breaksfast so from 8:00 - 8:25, students flake into the classroom. When they come in, they have their morning routines. We use "Every Day Math" - so they sign themselves in on an attendance graph. They hang their coats. Our school uses the "School Wide Study Skills Program" so each student has a binder with two folders in it. A "RED" folder (important notes are placed) and a "GREEN" folder which I call the "Take Home and Stay Home Folder." The students check their binders for any notes, lunch money, etc. and bring the notes, etc. to me. I have chair pockets on the back of their chairs. They place their binders in their chair pocket for easy packing throughout the day. Besides, then I don't have to pass out their binders every day!!! On their table, I have their name writing books. They practice writing their names. I usually write their names with a yellow marker on the "street" writing lines and I add "starting dots" with a green marker. They trace their name and then write one on their own. Now they are working on their first and last names. After they put their name book in a box, they go to a math center. This was a good time for them to do independent math centers which I found hard to find time in the rest of my day's schedule. At 8:30, announcements and the pledge is done over the intercom. As the students pick up math centers and meet at the carpet for our morning meeting (calendar, daily schedule, and large group reading lessons which lead into small group reading lessons followed by a morning recess), I check attendance and cold lunches (which students placed in a box marked "Cold Lunches") I e-mail the secretary my attendance and my hot lunch count. And I meet the crew at the carpet for the "Good Morning Song."
I'm going to vary this routine by building in journaling-diary style (draw and write whatever is on their mind) every other day - They still enjoy the math centers, but I want to provide more writing experiences.