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morning work


Senior Member
Hi fellow K teachers. I've been on this site for a while but never posted a question of my own... I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what you do for morning work in your classroom.

This is my first year of teaching K...I've tried a couple different things for morning work this year and never been satisfied with anything. At the beginning of the year we did name writing on dry erase boards, I did fine motor "buckets" with activities for a while, now I usually just do a worksheet. The problem is, kids can come in during a 15 minute window and they all unpack at a different pace so some kids are done quickly and looking for something else to do, while others are still working when we're ready to start circle. Advice? What do you give for morning work? What do you do if someone isn't finished? etc.


Senior Member
Some ideas

I like your idea of buckets with fine motor activities-especially at the beginning of the year. Maybe you could add some puzzles-some that students can do independently and others they could work together on to put together. Do your students like to draw? Maybe have cards with the step-by-step directions on how to draw a _______ available for them to try.

I don't really have morning work. My students have jobs they have to do when they first enter the classroom to prepare for the day. If they finish their jobs, then they can choose from one of the following activities that are at their tables:

1. wikki stix-to make words and number sentences/models (In the beginning of the year, they made their names, letters and numbers.)
2. Quick Look-a game that helps students learn to subitize. There are dot cards and students use dry erase boards/markers. (In the beginning of the year the dot cards showed patterns like the ones shown on dice and dominoes. Now the dot cards are random. They look at the card. Turn it over. Write the total number of dots and draw the arrangement of dots on the dry erase board. Then check it. If a group wants to do it, they explain how they "see" the dots.
3. read a book
4. talk quietly with a friend (I found that my little ones come in with a thousand stories they want to share. Being able to talk with a friend when they come in allows them to get it out of their system before we start working.)
5. flashcards and other cards to play concentration type games
6. dry erase boards/markers-practice writing words and sentences, draw pictorial representations to go along with addition/subtraction sentences on flashcards...(At the beginning of the year, they could practice writing their names, numbers and letters.)
7. name puzzles (at the beginning of the year)

Each table has a caddy with containers with wikki stix in them. (I used round plastic containers that are supposed to hold toothbrushes that I found at the local dollar store.) The caddy also holds a set of dots cards, and various sets of flashcards-sight words, addition facts, subtraction facts...along with other cards like ten-frames, tally marks, dominoes that students can use to play concentration. (at the beginning of the year there were letter cards so they could practice naming the letters, match capital to lowercase) and name puzzles. There is a separate bin for books and enough dry erase boards on the table so each student at the table can have one.

I like that students have choices. It helps build responsibility and independence. When it is time to start, it is a quick clean up. I don't have to worry about someone not finishing a worksheet and trying to find time for them to complete it later. Plus there is no additional work for me because I don't have a pile of worksheets to check.


Senior Member
I don't have morning work because they all come in together and we start in our circle right away. But if I did it would be like iteachk2010 - nothing that needs completed, photocopied, etc. Things that are in tubs and quick to set up and clean up. When I do have worksheets for stuff like that I put them in a plastic sheet protector and use them with white board markers.

The other thing I would consider at that time is calendar binders. We do these after lunch, but they would also be a great way to start the day. Ours have two regular pages - the calendar and weather graph - that are finished every day, and then a couple of pages in sheet protectors that they can work on independently to reinforce math skills we have been working on.


Senior Member
Fabulous ideas

Love all of sbkanga's ideas. My morning offerings change though out the year. I am so discouraged by all of the worksheets some k teachers use! Really??? As always, the worksheets are too easy for some, too hard for others and just right for some. That equals a teacher nightmare to me!

In the beginning of the year, I let kids choose "table top toys" which are basically bins of math manipulatives.

Later on we moved to sketch books. I drew something on the smart board and the kids had to copy it. This was after lots of directed drawing as a group. I labeled the drawing and added. Sentence such as "This is a school bus."

Now we do Monday math partner games (Shari Sloane has a ton on her site for free), Tuesday is interactive sight word book day (Maria Manore). Wednesday we do a survey (favorite pet, color, season, etc) that includes practicing writing the sight word from Tuesday's book, Thursday is writing day (choice of whiteboard, notebook, scrap paper or note cards, etc from writing center, write the room, etc). Friday is fine motor day. Happy to get a few new fine motor suggestions from pps!