Morning work is not busy work. It's meaningful and has a purpose in your classroom. Here are my 3 Reasons Morning Work Is Meaningful and why it should be staple in your classroom everyday.
3 Reasons Morning Work Is Meaningful
Children need the structure of a schedule. They work best when they know what to expect when they come to school. Each morning my students know our routine. We come in, unpack, stand for pledges and announcements and then do our morning work. It doesn't matter if I am at school or not, this was our daily routine. Morning work gave them time to get settled. They had an opportunity adjust to their surroundings and the expectations that followed.
When morning work is used correctly, it should reinforce skills that have been already taught to students. Morning work is meant to be PRACTICE. Students practice writing, counting, ect. If a student has not mastered an objective, this practice should help. I allow students to help one another if they are seated at the same table but they are not allowed to do other student's work. Peer tutoring is a great opportunity for student leadership and for students to learn to work together to create a learning environment based on student collaboration.
Morning work should be independent. As a teacher, I want morning work to be purposeful for my students but it's purposeful for me too. I need five minutes when students come in to class to take attendance and the lunch count, potentially console a upset child, make sure everyone has had breakfast and check notebooks for parent notes and lunch money. Morning work is my moment to work my ninja teacher magic and get all of those things done. When morning work leads to students asking me a thousand questions, this totally defeats the purpose of getting our day started. I expect students to ask tons of questions and rely on my active participation during direct instruction and whole teach, but not during morning work.
A few years ago, I looked everywhere for morning work. Though I found many excellent resources, I needed more than just a great worksheet. I needed something that truly provided student independence. I decided I would just create what I needed. I started with a template that had three learning objectives for each week. I would provide directions and spend more time answering questions if needed on Monday but during the remainder of the week, students should be independent because the morning work instructions, learning objectives and overall concept does not change, just the answers do. To me, I had hit the jack pot! My students thrived with this work and I was able to do my own “morning work”. I don't have to say, “Just give me five minutes!” anymore.
Each day, I chose one of these Mr. Sketch scented marker as our “smell of the day”.
I announce this before we begin morning work. After they complete their morning work, if they have done their best, I put a “Smelly Smiley” on their work. This is very motivating to them. They also know that if they don't get a Smelly Smiley, they do not get to move on the Early Finishers.
Make sure you download this Morning Work freebie to get you started.
Morning work is my best seller. Click the picture to see more!
Here is what a week looks like!
What Teachers Are Saying
“Children love this because they feel successful!” “Has saved me much time and dozens of questions! Love it!” “Love this! Completely changed how we do our mornings now!” “These are perfect for young students and are one of the first morning work packets they can complete with minimal support. The pages also give me a good idea of the skills I need to reteach.”
I've loved sharing with you my 3 Reasons Morning Work Is Meaningful. There are tons of morning work options out there. I hope you find what works best for you and meets the needs of your students. No matter where you get your morning work from, please know that it's not busy work. It holds so much purpose!
How do you feel that Morning Work is purposeful in your classroom? If you are not doing some sort of printable, please share what works in your classroom? We can't wait to learn from you!