## Monday, July 9, 2012

### Morning Work

One of the things that has completely changed for me over the past couple of years is how I do my morning work.  I teach at a school where students trickle in the classroom from 7:20-7:45, so I usually have a lot of students at school almost 30 minutes before the day technically begins.  I've done all types of things for morning work:  DOL, Accelerated Math, Mountain Language, Mountain Math, independent reading, creative writing....you name it.  This year, I'm giving my morning work a complete overhaul by eliminating some of the not totally necessary things and consolidating my favorite activities.

All of my students' morning work will be kept in their Morning Work Folder.  That's not the most creative name for a folder is it?  In this folder, my students will have their Weekly Word Problems, Number of the Day, their Weekly Word Wizard,  and their multiplication facts graph.  These assignments will be the very first thing my students do when they walk in the classroom each day.

In November of last year I added Weekly Word Problems to my morning work, and I loved them!  They really made a significant difference in my students' word problem solving skills.  Students independently complete three word problems everyday (they write their own word problem on Friday), and then we go over them together once the day officially begins.  I always have my students show their work with a number sentence and circle key words in the word problems.  The August-October Weekly Word problems only have addition and subtraction problems, and then I slowly begin adding multiplication problems in November and December, and then in January through the rest of the year, students have to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.

Then a little later in the year, I also added Number of the Day activity to our morning work routine, which I also loved because of the repetition of skills practice.  I made two different versions of this activity, because I know my students won't be ready for all of the skills practiced in this task until much later in the year.  To help save on time and paper, I had my students complete the top half one day and the bottom half the next day, rather than completing the whole assignment in one day.  It's not the easiest assignment, but it does follow right along with the Common Core Standards.

I wish I could take credit for creating the Weekly Word Wizard that we'll use next year, but I can't.  I bought those from Sunny Days, and let me just say that they're a great language arts review.  There are 21 different questions each week, and these questions are a great spiral practice for students.

The very last part of our morning work is students' multiplication graph.  My students take a daily timed multiplication test (20 questions in 1 minute-more on that later), and on Fridays they take a big 5 minute 100 questions multiplication facts test.  Each Friday, I have my students graph the results of their test by coloring in how many questions they answered correctly.  I like giving my students this visual representation of their progress on their math facts.  This could easily be adapted to addition facts, subtraction facts, or division facts as well.  You can click on the graph for your free copy!

Amerrwet said...

These are all wonderful things. I am going to rethink my whole morning routine.

Lisa R. said...

I love your morning work routine!! There is so much beneficial work that you are giving them in that period of time. Love your ideas!
Lisa
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Mrs. K said...

Are the weekly word problems Common Core aligned? Also, are you thinking about offering a bundle on TpT for those? LOVE your Morning Work idea and considering implementing yours:)

Ashleigh S said...

Mrs. K,
Yes, they are Common Core aligned, but they are a bit more rigorous toward the end of the year (April, May, and June), because there are a little larger numbers. Let me get back to you on the bundle. I've had several requests, so I may need to make one.

Unknown said...

Ashleigh,
I am wondering if you are self-contained or if you team teach?
I love your morning work ideas.
Sharon

Ashleigh S said...

Sharon,

I will be team teaching again this year. My partner and I are both doing exactly the same thing with the folders and morning work, and our students will take their folders with them to both classes. I'll go over the math parts with both classes, and she'll go over the language arts with both classes.

Lynn Kasserman said...

I love it all! There is so much valuable work being done before the day even starts!

What do you do for the kids who get there last? In the past, I have had the problem of the ones who get to school last don't get the work done - ever! (And how is it that they are the ones who need it the most?)

✿Lynn
Inside this Book

Betsy said...

I was wondering the same thing as Lynn. What about the kids that get there right at the last minute?

Ashleigh S said...

I usually give them about 10-15 minutes to get it finished. Our announcements always run long, and I feel like I'm always crazy busy that time of day collecting money for a gazillion different things, answering emails, getting notes from parents, etc., so it usually takes a little bit for me to officially begin. Now if they're late, I make them do that on their own time, which fortunately wasn't a big deal last year.

Ashleigh S said...

One more thing...

I also use morning time to individually go over homework with whoever needs it. I always check it as soon as they turn it it (I only give a little bit, so I can just glance at it), and if I see anyone struggling I'll call them back during this time and go over it with them.

SunnyDays said...

Hey friend,
Thanks so much for the good word about my Word Wizards! I'm so glad they made the cut for your new morning work routine ;0)

Having the kids all roll in at different times sounds like a real pain in the rump, but looks like you found a great way to make it work.

Denise
Sunny Days In Second Grade

Mrs. Corbitt said...

I love these ideas! I love your blog and guess what?!? I am awarding you with The Versatile Blogger award. Come over to my blog and pick it up!!!

:) Nicole
www.mrscorbitt.blogspot.com

Ms. Maenner said...

I would definitely be interested in a bundle! @SunnyDays--would you consider offering a bundle of your Word Wizards, too? I have a "magic" theme in my classroom & would snatch a bundle like that up in a heartbeat! :D

Amy Coates@ SweetExpectations8 or TheClassroomPet.blogspot.com said...

This is amazing! I love it! Do you have the whole year ready in the binder or do you give it by the week? I wonder if there is this for first grade!

amycoates@me.com

Ashleigh S said...

Amy,

I going to add and send home morning work papers monthly. I'm afraid to put more than a month in them at a time, but if I have a responsible group, I may try adding 9-weeks at a time. I'm not sure about 1st grade.

Ashleigh S said...

Okay, I've bundled the word problems for you:)

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Weekly-Word-Problems-Bundle

J.Odom said...

I love the Number of the Day activity! I teach 5th grade and I am trying to rework my morning work routine. Would you ever make a 5th grade based sheet that follows Common Core? Thanks so much!

Jaime Odom

Rie said...

I love your morning work binder idea! I awarded you an award@ Hip, Hop Hurray! Tales of the Reading Rascals stop by to check it out.

Rie
Hip, Hop Hurray! Tales of the Reading Rascals

Ashleigh S said...

I'd be willing to give 2nd & 5th grade a try:)

Katelyn Conner said...

Hi Ashleigh,

Thank you for sharing your all of your inspiring ideas. I'm going to implement your morning work into my routine this year. I'm curious about how you manage it though. Do you keep a week's worth of work in there for students, or more? Is your expectation for them to complete only one activity/day or all three of them? What about grading morning work? I realize that is a lot of questions. :) Any extra info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

thirtyonejstrunk said...

I love your blog! this is kind-of silly to ask, but what font do you use? It's so cute! -Jess Strunk

I love this idea. I can't wait to make my own version of this. :) Thanks.

Jami Eckert said...

How do you organize the folders? Are there four different sections (word prob, number of the day, word, and graph)? How do you run the pages? Front to back? A week at a time? How do you go over the papers? You mentioned having the kids write a number sentence and circle key words (I too have found this to be a great expectation)... How do you hold students accountable for this? Thank you!

Ashleigh S said...

Jami,

Here is a link to a follow up post that may help a little.
http://www.ashleigh-educationjourney.com/2012/07/morning-work-follow-up.html

Student accountability is essential to make this work. As my students work and go over their papers, I walk around the room and look to see their work. I can usually just give them the look, and they know they haven't done what I expected and will go back and make the necessary changes. Normally, I only have one or two students that I really have to stay on top of, so I make sure to watch them closely. If necessary, I make them redo their work until they show me that they gave me their best effort.

Veronica said...

So this morning work is for the students who are showing up early to school? Not part of your regular "teaching day?" Are all you teachers doing this? Or is this the beginning of the day work when the start bell rings? I am just curious that it sounds like you are preparing and teaching before the teaching day.

Ashleigh S said...

We don't get any prep time before our teaching day unless we get their early (we have keys). Students are allowed to enter our classrooms as soon as the building opens at 7:20, but the official tardy bell doesn't ring until 7:45. I allow students who get to class early to start on it, but it is also for those who get there right when the tardy bell rings. We have a small window from the tardy bell to morning announcements, so it works out perfectly.

Veronica said...

That makes sense. Our prep time is also only if we arrive early. I guess your school day starts a whole lot earlier than mine. Tardy bell at 8:30.