I have the kids get their zip lock bag book out (the one they took home last night and read--from Readers Workshop/Guided Reading and/or from the Reading Recovery teacher). After they've read their book again, I allow them to continue reading any book from my classroom library, read the room, read big books, or use the writing center. Kids might write the room, write on white boards, magnadoodles, use magnetic letters, write a note, do a survey, etc. It's all READING AND WRITING!!!
Our paper supply has really diminished in the last year...which led me to find alternative things for the kids to do when they come in in the morning. I'm glad that happened because I found the morning work worksheets to be a big pain. Kids either did the work quickly and needed something else to do anyway...or needed help! Then there's finding time to check the darn things. I already have math and spelling homework to check most days.
I love having the kids very independent in the a.m. That way I can do the lunch count and online attendance and then am free to work with kids and have time to chat with them, too!
Happy New Year! (love the new smilies!)