Blog Post by Judy from Ms. Judy’s Cuties @Star Kids
Morning Work is a vital part of our classroom routine. Not only are my students able to review and practice skills, it helps them settle down and gives me a chance to check the student binder. Each student in our school has a binder that holds the student planner and communication folder. Having my students working quietly gives me a chance to check each student binder for any absence notes, lunch money, changes in dismissal, etc. I can also use this time for any one-on-one testing I need to accomplish uninterrupted.
I find that Morning Work has to be consistent. It has to be the right balance of meaningful and practical. It can’t be something they finish in a flash, but also can’t be so difficult that I will get a million questions. Can I get an AMEN?
The Morning Work I use in my classroom is the Morning Work Bundle for Kindergarten and First Grade.
This Morning Work follows the logical progression of the school year with skills that my students are working on in the classroom. I usually like to have my morning work follow my instruction to use it as a review. For example, if I teach the letter “Aa” on Monday, I would want to use the Morning Work that covers the letter “Aa” on Tuesday morning. However, I have a couple of my teacher friends using it to preview instruction. Either way, it’s a life saver!
This Morning Work also follows a very consistent pattern, which is awesome! It also varies slightly every couple of weeks to keep things interesting. When I begin using this Morning Work with my kindergarteners at the beginning of the school year, I model EVERYTHING for at least a week. Some students get it after the first two or three days, some really need the whole week. It really just depends on the group of kids I have that year. Regardless, I don’t mind modeling everything if I get the result I’m looking for, which is having my students complete the Morning Work accurately and independently.
This week, the Morning Work switched to cutting and gluing. My kiddos desperately need to practice these skills, but if you know kindergarteners, they can go a little crazy with a pair of scissors in hand. I usually use the last 5 to 10 minutes of my morning planning time to set up my example. I usually set it up under my Ladibug Document Camera and display it on my lovely SmartBoard.
After giving them some time to unpack, I let the whole class know that the Morning Work for the letter “Kk” will be a little different than usual. I tell them I have an example for them on the SmartBoard and that they really need to follow all the directions. The first few days of the school year, no matter how many times I reminded them, I had students bringing me Morning Work that was missing some tracing or missing the “write the letter” column. However, after some persistence on my part, we are finally at the point where it is less and less common for them to miss a step.
Is anyone else bothered by that uncapped glue stick in the picture below? That’s the reason for the pack of 8 glue sticks on the supply list, friends!
If my students followed all the directions, I give them a check at the top with one of my Mr. Sketch Scented Markers. The kids love getting a smelly check mark. Nothing says “great job” like a check mark that smells like mint! After they get the check mark from me, they know to put the Morning Work in their Take Home Folder. Once they put it away, they can grab a STEM bin until we are ready to start Morning Meeting.
Hope you enjoy this Morning Work as much as I do!