Last year I did morning work every morning, some worksheet for the kids to do as soon as they get in the room while I take attendance, lunch count, etc. Instead of wasting so much paper this year, I added a notebook to the supply list to use for our morning work. I was thinking about having a different activity each day, and came up with the following:
Friday--letter to me about the week or their weekend plans
Anyone have different suggestions/ideas? I don't want them to get burnt out on writing a lot, but we do have a huge writing prompt on our state testing, and they always have to write a letter on the test also, so I'd like to get them used to doing it early.
I want to cut down on paper and misbehavior. What is DOL? I did analogies last year, daily problem solving....I have a great book at school with great ideas, I'll bring it home.
How about: Rewrite sentences correctly that have spelling errors, no caps or wrong punctuation? Syllabication, alphabetical order, you get the idea.
One thing I am GOING to do is start graphing right off the top with names (Chrysanthemum) and continue graphing all year so I don't have to teach that as a separate unit. Maybe one a week. We have a writing to a picture prompt so I am going to start that way earlier this year.
Story boards, start writing letters to companies, government, each other, other teachers and students.
The ideas are endless. I did more of a problem of the day based on math or LA where I had them come up to the board. I am thinking mini white boards or scribblers next year so everyone has bellwork.
Last year, they did their work in little composition books. I did a few math problems on the board every day and their math skills grew SO much!! In fact, I have never had a class that was so competent in their math computation as I did this year.
About once a week they did a geography activity with maps (I bought the poster sized world and US maps from Lakeshore and laminated them so 2 kids at each table would share.)
I also did mix it up once in awhile with little grammar or spelling activities. But most days it was math.
I have these sheets that are called "Jump Starts"... I copied the book when I was student teaching a couple years ago. They've got a little bit of everything on them... Math, reading, language, brain teaser. We do them usually two mornings a week. I think the book came from Scholastic, but I've never seen it anywhere else. It might take some searching, but they're really great for morning work.
I found that I was always struggling to get students to complete morning work, and I struggled with accountability because I never had time to check it.
Students come in anytime between 8:30-8:50, and our announcements come on at 9:00, so that is a lot of time. So I started doing morning centers. Students come in, get ready for the day, and go to their morning center. (I post the routine of everything they need to do before going to their centers). Then I go around and check their homework while they are at their centers.
My morning centers were always fun, hands on enrichment activities. Students rotated daily, and I changed out the centers every few weeks. One was always computer where students could choose from any of the bookmarks on the computer. Then I did things like--
Geography Center--explore with maps, globe, US puzzle, flashcards, books
Microscope center--explore with microscopes and slides
Role Playing--basically charades
Magazine Center--I collect the samples that scholastic and weekly reader sends and give them time to read
Drawing--I put out drawing books to practice sequencing
Games like Scrabble Jr., Boggle, UpWords, Chunks
We don't have an art class, so sometimes I set up an art center.
I would also make a center using the books and materials from our science and ss units.
For next year, I'm thinking of doing smart boxes for my centers, which I got the idea for on this website:
I also do something different everyday, mainly just to break it up some, but also to give them practice in different skills each day. I got the idea from another PT member, and I adjusted it to work with my students. It's very similar to yours:
Monday - Math sheet with a variety of math review problems Tuesday - Daily Language - front and back - so it ends up being 4 days worth in one day Wednesday - word wall work - write 5 sentences using words from the word wall (I usually tell them which ones to use). Thursday - Handwriting book Friday - fun sheet (crossword puzzle, wordfind, color sheet, something holiday-related, etc...)
I used to do a journal every-other Thursday, but I found the majority of my students weren't strong enough in their writing to do any good with that. They would just write the same type of sentences over and over. I may try it again with a new group, but I'll just have to see.
Morning work (to me) is just a review and practice of previous skills. It gives me time to get dr. notes, etc... taken care of without assistance needed on assignments. We go over the work during L.A. time, but normally it doesn't require a huge explanation.
Next year I am going to do centers first thing in the morning. There will be a tub for each table, and it will rotate to each table during the week. This is because we will also have an arrival window of 15 minutes .
We Do Dol, Dom, And Writing Journal For Morning Work.
By That I Mean We Do All 3 Things Every Morn. FIRST THING! THEN AFTER READING GROUPS OR ETC. WE CK ALOUD TOGETHER, AND THEY TAKE TURNS READING THEIR STORY IF THEY WISH . I Give Them A Prompt For Writing Mon-thurs. Fri. Is Free Write.
I Am Absolutly Positive That Writing Every Day Accounts For The Improvement In The Scores And Everyday Writing. The Growth Is Amazing, Even With My Lower Ability Guys. Next Year We Are Making Our Own Prac. Morning Work Book. It Will Contain Dol. And Dom. Lessons For Every Day. We Are Saving Oodles Of Money By Having These Books Bound By Kinko, Instead Of Running Them Off Ourselves On Paper Every Week.
I Don't Think Writing Every Day Burns Them Out, And I Have A 3rd Grade Inclusion Class. In Fact I Think They Become More Comfortable The More They WRITE. We Just Have Them Use A Spiral Notebook For This.
We do DOL, DOG (Daily Oral Geography), and Spelling each day. It is all run off and they get a packet for each week.
My kids come at 7:40 and the news comes on at 8:00. Then students start pulling out for LD, ESL, etc. and are gone til 8:30. So technically, I am not supposed to do any real teaching until they are all back in the room.
I tried going over morn. work as a whole group around 8:20 (forget the kids who are out of the room), but then I could not see what each one was not understanding. So I started having them bring up the papers to me as they finished.
That way I could address each individual's problems one-on-one. Sometimes if I see that the whole class doesn't get something (like quotation marks) I will stop and do a quick mini-lesson.
I am serioulsy going to change the way I do morning time next year. I never felt like it worked for me......seemed like a big chunk of wasted time from 7:40-8:30 every day.
The Evan Moor Daily Geography book goes great if you have maps and globes on your standards---
Our principal wanted us to cut it out (trying to cut copying costs), but we told her that it went so well with the standard course of study, that she is letting us do it.
One of the 3rd grade teachers took time and reduced each page and got 2 pages on one sheet, side by side--they are a little smaller, but the kids can still read and write the answers---and that will cut down a lot on the paper!
My students have "Free Reading" in the mornings. The bell to enter the room rings at 8:15 and I try to begin class at 8:45. Once students have taken care of morning business (snack, lunch, attendance, bathroom, turn in homework) they are allowed to read absolutely anything in the room with a partner or indepdendently. This includes, but is not limited to, the current events board and/or binder, postcards/postcard map, fiction, non-fiction, above or below reading level, AR books, magazines, charts made in class, and books authored by students. With the exception of this past school year, Free Reading has been fantastic for my students! I've noticed that they are more curious about non-fiction and current events and their questions led to amazing discussions. (Last year was a horrible year - personally and professionally. Nothing seemed to work with the class I had but stay in your desk and work, work, work. I'm so excited about a fresh start! It was the worst year I've had and it was my eighth year to teach!) Of course I did have to spend time "training" the students how to monitor their voice levels.
I have the same book and I love it. The title is Skill-Building Morning Jumpstarts by Scholastics. If anyone is interested in purchasing the book you may want to check your local teacher store also. It is a great book!