Morning work plays a crucial role in my 3rd and 4th grade classroom. It’s what I use for a daily spiral review in math and language arts. Since I’ve been implementing my morning work routine, I’ve seen a significant improvement in students’ overall retention of skills. That retention of skills has reflected in an substantial increase in my test scores.
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 our tardy bell rings. I’ve done all types of things for morning work: DOL, Accelerated Math, Mountain Language, Mountain Math, independent reading, creative writing….you name it. I’ve now consolidated my morning work into three essential components.
Morning Work Binder
All of my students’ morning work is kept in their morning work binder. The binder contains our Weekly Word Problems, Number of the Day, and Language Arts Morning Work. I use dividers to break the binder into three sections. This makes it easier for students to access their materials. Each of the morning work activities are short enough that students who arrive right when the bell rings have time to finish their work before we go over it together in class.
Morning Work-Weekly Word Problems
Morning Work-Number of the Day
The fourth grade version contains 6-digit numbers, and students write the numbers in expanded form, expanded notation, and written form. They also round the number to the nearest ten, hundred, and thousand. Students write the multiples of the last digit of the Number of the Day through 100. They also list the factors, circle the prime numbers, and highlight the composite numbers. Students determine what is ten times, one hundred times, and one thousand times greater than the last number made by the last three digits of the number of the day. There is a divisibility table, and students circle any number the Number of the Day is divisible by. There is also an addition and subtraction problem, as well as a multiplication and division problems students solve with partial product/partial quotient and an area model.
Morning Work-Fraction of the Day
Since I love my Number of the Day so much, I also created a Fraction of the Day I use in place of my Number of the Day. I do not use this review until I have completed my fraction instruction, because I don’t want it to take the place of conceptual, hands-on lessons. There are three different versions in the Fraction of the Day.
In the third grade version, students write the Fraction of the Day in written form and determine how many more parts are needed to make a whole. Students represent the fraction with an area model and number line. They also write two fractions with similar numerators and two fractions with similar denominators that are greater than the Fraction of the Day. Students repeat the steps with fractions that are less than the Fraction of the Day. Students also decompose the fraction into unit fractions and write two equivalent fractions.
In the fourth grade version, students use repeated addition to show how to multiply the Fraction of the Day by a given whole number. They also identify the next three multiples of the Fraction of the Day. Students add and subtract the Fraction of the Day from a given fraction and identify the missing number in a multiplication equation where a whole number, multiplied by the missing fraction, equals a given fraction. Then, students decompose the fraction into unit fractions and write two equivalent fractions.
In the fifth grade version, students convert the Fraction of the Day to a mixed number and model the Fraction of the Day. They add and subtract and multiply using fractions. Students divide the unit fraction of the Fraction of the Day by a given whole number and divide a given whole number by the unit fraction of the Fraction of the Day. Finally, students write two equivalent fractions.
Language Arts Morning Work
The last section of our morning work is a language arts review. Each page is organized by the days of the week. This is a great way to reinforce and review all of those tricky grammar and vocabulary skills. Each version is specific to either 3rd or 4th grade standards. Students complete the language arts morning work independently, and we go over it together. I don’t give a grade on the assignment or for completion, but I do hold students accountable for completion. I broke this into two separate resources with a Third Grade Language Arts Morning Work and a Fourth Grade Language Arts Morning Work product. In each set, there are 36 weeks of questions.
Each of these files EXCEPT THE FRACTION OF THE DAY are included in my Morning Work Bundle. The bundles save you over 20% from purchasing each file individually!
Over the years, my morning work has adapted to meet the changing needs of my students. In fact, I implement these ideas along with a SOFT START morning work concept. You can read more about soft starts here.