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leonsicecream's Message:

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.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
KatyH124 02-19-2008 02:55 PM


I am currently teaching third grade, and our morning work is more of a compilation of things. I give them a math problem, usually a word problem, dealing with the type of math they are currently learning. I give them 2 "fix me" sentences where they make the spelling and grammar corrections. I give them 2 analogies to fill in, and lastly I add a social studies or science questions, that also is on the topic we are currently studying. This is already typed up and on the smartboard when the students enter the class. They all have morning work notebooks and immediately get started after they unpack in the morning. I make sure I go over this every single day, so they are held accountable for staying on task.

christina4062 01-01-2008 02:33 PM


They have samples you can download and check out.

When my kids come in they have 15 minutes to complete a math or reading Drop in the Bucket sheet. Then they read. We correct together after 15 minutes.

The routine for DITBs is AWESOME because once they know how to do it, they can do it on their own.

Each DITB practices the same 10 skills every day... so it's consistent, it spirals, and the kids like to do them because they can be so successful!

I teach 2nd- but they have them for every grade. I'd highly recommend them!

hopealope 01-01-2008 12:59 PM

They have 15-20 minutes for morning work and then they have 25 minutes a day at library center to finish what they need to. for genre I only require fiction or nonfiction they get more indepth in third grade. I teach the harcourt reading series so each time I taught a new skill like characters, setting, and so on we added it to our tag. So by now they are doing a summary of what they read. Most of the kids can do 1 a day even my lower readers that are reading things like Dr. Seuss and stuff, my higher readers that are reading chapter books give me a summary of what they read that day, they list the chapter title or the page numbers under the same section. Sometimes I tell them that they have to use the story from their harcourt book or their sounds of sunshine book as their tag. I like to see a minimum of 3 TAG's a week so that they can get their Texas Roadhouse certificate. They really do sit and read since it is linked to computer and an incentive program. Many of my students can do their summary in about 3 sentences including characters, setting, and plot. It gives them good writing practice also.

ilovetexas 01-01-2008 12:47 PM

So am I correct in thinking they must complete at least one TAG per day? Or are they allowed to continue to the next day if needed? How much morning time do you allow for this? How simple or detailed does it need to be? Do you grade these? With genre, is it as simple as fiction or non-fiction, or more specific?

Sorry for all the ?'s. I really like this idea though!

hopealope 01-01-2008 11:28 AM

When my second graders come into the room they need to order their lunch and hand in their homework. I used to have them correct a couple of sentences or sort some words or do some math problems but this year I started doing TAG's becuase a third grade teacher does them very in depth and said it took her so long to get the kids used to it so I said I would start the basis of them. A TAG is like a little book report. Each student has a TAG notebook. They select a book at their level and they have to list the (T)ilte, (A)uthor, and (G)enre of the book and then they need to write a breif summary including characters, setting and plot. They have to start a book for morning work and then during guided reading one of their centers in library everyday and they need to make sure that they have completed their TAG and if they read a book adventure book then they may take their book adventrue quiz online. TAG's have made my morning work routine a lot easier and I don't have to worry about photocopying because they do it in their notebooks. It is also a good record of the child's reading ability and when they have 3 TAG's done they get a certificate to the Texas Roadhouse and when they do 5 book adventure quizes that they pass they get a trip to the prize box, so my centers are always running smoothly because they want the rewards. And when they get to third grade she will only have to train them to add the connections to self, text, or the world.

Tapnstitch 12-31-2007 12:29 PM

I teach a 1st-2nd multiage class. The children can come to the classroom at 7:15. The tardy bell rings at 7:35. I usually begin morning meeting at 7:45. The children unpack, turn in homewrork folders, sharpen pencils and then they have free choice reading. They can read anything in the room: big books, poetry charts etc and they can read alone or with thier friends anywhere in the room. On Thursdays they have the choice of practicing their spelling words on white boards or with Wiki sticks to prepare for the spelling practice test. (if they make 100 0n thursday, they don't have spelling homework and do not have to take the test on Friday). I use the time to do the attendance on the computer, check folders for notes from home and read with a few children.

ilovetexas 12-31-2007 07:52 AM

Can you give me more info about your sight word groups? What specifically is it that the students are doing? Is it written or oral? What materials are needed to accomplish this task?

I like the idea and that it helps out in an area they all need.

tweet 12-31-2007 06:20 AM

I have taught for a millenium, and maybe that is why I don't do morning work--although years ago I did. I have a chart on the front wall with 7 things to do between coming into the room at 7:45 and the 8:00 bell that signals the start of the day. The chart includes the following: unpack backpacks, get chair, turn in all notes and homework, sharpen pencils, make sure you have a library book to read for today, go to the bathroom, sit down.

My kids come in at all different times. Most go to breakfast, too. The idea of morning work, or waiting on those who haven't finished bugs me. Some would always have it to do, and others would NEVER have it, because they walk in at exactly 8:00.

That said, sometimes my kids will get a bit talky, or start roaming too much. I just say, "Are you at no. 7 on the chart?" Then they start scrambling because most realize they have failed to complete some little task like going to the bathroom.

At 8:00 they start what some would call morning work. We do TARGET math, a bulletin board program available only in Texas that is somewhat like Mountain Math. The kids automatically get out their folders and begin working. At 8:05 the tardy bell rings, and we have to stop working for announcements and the pledges, then they go back to TARGET--oh, and ADD math. About 8:20 or so, we check it together, then start the math lesson.

angel49 12-31-2007 05:28 AM

I used to have morning work. However, I use the time now in Sight Word Groups. My first graders must learn 220 words before the end of the year. I have sectioned my class into groups according to their knowledge. Group One knows most of their Sight Words on page 1 and are now working on page two.
Those children that have completed their word list and has their name on the Word Wizard Poster helps the lower groups that are struggling. This works out rather well and my students enjoy it. It gives those children which receive no help at home, a chance to learn the words too. After morning opening we do a quick review of all the words. We play various games using our Word Wall. This helps them in reading and writing. I have seen a major improvement in reading and writing. My extra incentative is giving my students a giant candy bar when they have learned all their Sight Words. This really is a win win situation.
angel 49

leonsicecream 12-30-2007 11:48 AM

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.

Maestra 12-30-2007 06:35 AM

Last year my 2nd graders started the day with independent reading and while it took training and patience in the beginning, it worked very well. I loved it!

However, this summer on PT I kept reading about "Drops in the Bucket" morning work. I really like the idea of having a skill review each morning also. So I implemented that. The sheets are focused and once the students have done a few they can work on them independently. They don't take long to complete or check. The kids actually like them and I haven't had problems with "slowpokes".

Once they are finished they begin independent reading. This has worked very well for me this year. As another poster mentioned, my kids know that when they are finished with any assignment, reading is what they do when they "are done".

mrsjames2nd 12-30-2007 06:27 AM

well we all do the same morning work we have 12 teachers and some teachers use the board to write it down but most of us just copy it on to transparencies for the week and have them ready to place on overhead in the morning. Our students start filing in at 7:25 and can go to breakfast during this time. School doesn't officially start until 8:00 so I do not go over the work until 8:20. The kids are used to the routine and other teachers can help out substitutes because hey know the routine. The kids are calm in my room as I also have the light off. They use notebooks to keep track of their work and I have a timer go off at 8:20 and I check to see if they have completed the work those who have not miss out on recess. I had to make one of two paper copies for some students who just couldn't get copying from the overhead near the beginning of the year but now they all are able to do it and the fast finishers have a posted chart of spelling things to do each day as well as read and take AR tests. It works for all us especially with so much of our planning time being used. It's like I'm not even there until 8:00.

ConnieWI 12-29-2007 09:44 PM

My silent reading lasts through attendance, lunch count, reading status, and into guided reading. At that point, some guided reading students may have comprehension work to finish from the day before, attending intervention class, my parent volunteers may be listening to students read or testing math facts, a few students may be doing centers, students might be practicing spelling, or some students may have math boxes that need correcting.

When these tasks are completed, they go back to independent reading. I do not have another D.E.A.R. or S.Q.U.I.R.T. time during my school day.

Students also read independently when assignments are completed or they would say, "I'm done. What should I do now?" They do not even ask, but rather take out reading logs and a book.

My students also read fifteen or more minutes each evening. Most students average about three to four hundred minutes per week of independent reading between homework minutes and minutes read during the school day.

If you want to be better at anything, you need to practice...and this provides that practice.

2ndGradeDeb 12-29-2007 08:06 PM

I have a *Magic*3* rule= Don't bother anyone, Don't call attention to yourself and Keep working on something! They have the choice to move any place in the class where they can do their best work. My students know this rule well. All l I have to do is say "Magic 3" or the specific rule they are not following to get students back on task! I have even heard students remind others of our Magic 3 rule. If they do not follow the Magic 3 rule, they must go back to their seat and I make choices for them. It works well for me!

sharon77 12-29-2007 05:06 PM

I also gave up on morning work where they had to do things that I should check over. When my students come in (2nd grade), they do their lunch count, unpack, and then get a sheet off of my stool or read silently. The sheets are normally word searches or crossword puzzles related to something we are studying or the season. The kids know up front that they are to work on these on their own - I won't help them find words in the morning. Sometimes I put out a seasonal coloring sheet for fun and to work on those small motor skills.

tpateacher 12-29-2007 04:47 PM

No morning work for me either! My students come in, unpack/make lunch plans/sharpen pencils, read the morning message, and then find a spot in the meeting area. I start morning meeting shortly after the students arrive. I would not have time for morning meeting if I had morning work.

iluv3rd 12-29-2007 04:08 PM

and I have done this routine with all different types of kids. I think the element of choice keeps things fresh (they can also choose where in the classroom to work) and we practiced the "how tos" so thoroughly (ala Daily 5) that the kids just know what to do. They also know not to interrupt during small group instruction unless they are bleeding or barfing. They need to be reminded at times to turn down the volume and individuals can be asked to return to their seats to read or write if necessary. They particularly like the partner reading and writing and since they don't get many other chances during the day for that, they don't want to lose the chance. I can't explain it but it works. We usually do this for 20 minutes each morning. Maybe you thought they lasted longer than that (which does happen when I lose track of time). Most days I feel it's the most productive thing we do! Kids ask if they can review for tests, read textbooks, practice spelling... they love deciding how to spend the time and they almost always choose just what they need.

ilovetexas 12-29-2007 03:17 PM

ConnieWI- How long does you're silent reading last? When you transition into guided reading, are the others still reading? Centers?

Iluv3rd and 2ndgradeDeb-
How do you keep them on task? I have a handful I can think of that will just look at the pictures in a book, or wander around the room. When your meeting with groups, are they still doing the free read and write? What are your specific rules so that you are not bothered when with groups?

Thanks everyone!

StephR 12-29-2007 02:31 PM

I have the morning message written on a piece of paper. They walk in, turn in HW, take a message and head to their seats. They correct the message, glue it into their response journals and then begin working on their Vocabulary Packet (the packet is due on Friday...they have all week to complete it). We do not go over the MM until later (after about 20 mins, when the independent time is over) that way, no one is off task. This time is completely silent so that I can check HW, take attendance, deal with parents/office/kids/other teachers, etc...Kids also use this time to get into "school mode".

Bassett lover 12-29-2007 01:32 PM

Mine make a lunch choice, read the morning letter, answer Target the Question, and then do unfinished work or silent read. After announcements we go over Target the Question (Math Problem of the Day type program) and move on. If I need to take care of something they just read a little bit longer.

2ndGradeDeb 12-29-2007 12:59 PM

I'm with iluv3rd! It is my favorite time of the day also! I have the directions written on the board. Students write their homework in their agenda, do a short assignment that is written on the board, and do silent or partner reading. I do attendance, lunch, and meet with students at this time. This is the first 45mins. of the day. We transition into reading/language arts. It is part of our routine that I will keep!

Angie 12-29-2007 11:43 AM

My kids do a page out of their spelling book every morning. I need to put a time limit on it because somedays it takes some kids 30 minutes. I have gotten better about stopping them after about 10-15 minutes and having the slow finishers finish at recess.

AmyH 12-29-2007 11:24 AM

For morning work, the kids have 2 geography questions to answer from Weekly Geography. I photocopy and bind the entire booklet in the summer, so morning work is something I don't have to think about. It is only two questions, so it takes about 5-minutes and I like geography questions because it keeps them fresh on their map skills all year through... ( I think the publisher is Steck Vaughn)

ConnieWI 12-29-2007 11:13 AM

When morning work became "busy work" I knew it was time for a change! There was always a small group of students that would struggle to finish and be off-task.

I gave it up...with reservations...but willing to try something was just one more thing to correct together or one more thing for me to correct. Instead, my students order lunch, put assignment sheet/homework in the correct baskets, get a stopwatch, take out reading logs, and begin silent reading. Boy, I sure like this!!

Within five minutes, everyone is settled, the office makes announcements, the whole school says the pledge, I order lunches (on the computer), and take reading status. Then it is time for guided reading groups/literature circles...some students leave for intervention...and the day begins.

My advice...give it up...allow your students to read/write... you will find you have fifteen to thirty more minutes in your day!

iluv3rd 12-29-2007 11:01 AM

kids come in, put away belongings, answer question of the day, move lunch clips and enjoy choice reading or writing. They can read or write ANYTHING... comics, the newspaper, just right, easy or challenging books, make a card for mom, partner read or write, etc. There is usually a lovely hum of enthusiastic, valuable work being done. I don't have extra work to grade, the "work" is naturally differentiated and I have time to meet 2-3 intervention groups (fluency, writing and math). Love it...

musicbug 12-29-2007 10:45 AM

M-Th: Daily paragraph Edit, incomplete work, and Silent reading
Fri: Following Directions, Math, Incomplete work and Silent reading

My kids come in at 8:15, School "starts" at 8:35. I give them until five of nine to finish the work. I also check everyone's work so any who didn't finish mustbefore recess or they are in to finish it.

ecsmom 12-29-2007 10:33 AM

Students can come to the room at 7:30. Actual start time is 7:45 but the office wants our absentees at 8:00. So between 7:30 and 8:00 is my morning work time. When I taught 4th, morning work was spelling and math review. I walked around the room to see how everyone was doing. I had a couple who had a hard time staying on task. I took those students' papers while we went over them and gave them back to them to finish later, so they couldn't just fill in the answers. We went over them at 8:00 then we started our Reading/lang arts block.

liketeaching1 12-29-2007 10:29 AM

I just gave up morning work right before our break. I have always done some type of morning work because the kids come in a few at a time over a 15 minute time span. With the ones that arrive 5-10 minutes late--I was stretching morning work out. Some finished before others arrived. Since I gave it up I have the kids: read the morning message--it usually tells them a couple of things to do such as sharpen pencils, greet x amount of friends, add to a daily graph, etc. Then I let them read at their desks. It has worked out beautifully. I have to admit I was one who doubted that I COULD give up morning work. It has given me about 15-20 extra minutes during the morning LA block. That gives the kids more independent reading and writing workshop time that I was running short on.

ilovetexas 12-29-2007 10:04 AM

Just thought I'd like to hear what everyone else does for morning work as soon as the students enter your room. How much time do you give them? Do you go over it with the class? What subject do you transition to?

I'm trying to get some fresh ideas for next semester. Right now I have them correct a message in their journals that I've written on the board, then I have volunteers make corrections on the board. It's always the same kids who volunteer and some are off task.

Looking forward to your ideas!

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