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Home » Blog » Literacy » Morning Work Ideas to Implement Now!

Morning Work Ideas to Implement Now!

Back to School, Literacy, Math, Routines & Procedures, Teacher Support

Written by: Katie Palmer

The buses have arrived and students shuffle into classrooms to take their seats. They wander around the room. “Now what?” the teacher asks. What do students do while waiting for the rest of the class to arrive and the day to officially start? Luckily, there is an easy answer to calm the morning chaos – Morning Work! Let’s take a look at what morning work is, how it helps the students and teacher, and what resources work best!

morning work ideas for 1st and 2nd grade

Morning Work = A Great Way to Start the Day!

So, why establish a morning work routine in your classroom? Morning work gets students right on task, provides them with a consistent routine and allows for a calm, welcoming feeling in the classroom. Below are several morning work ideas that can be easily incorporated into your classroom routine today!

For more help setting up routines, check out this post: Setting Up a Daily School Routine.

setting up a daily routine

Types of Morning Work

Morning routines and work don’t look the same in every classroom. The concept of morning work can be modified to fit the needs and interests of each classroom. However, there are two common types of morning work.

Seat Work

Seat work is the more traditional approach to morning work. During seat work, students are working on review concepts through a worksheet or centers method.

Using a consistent, spiraling worksheet resource such as Lucky Little Learner’s 1st or 2nd Grade Spiral or Day-by-Day resources is beneficial to the students and the teacher! Why? Students will know the layout of the resource and teachers will be able to walk around and work with students AND get their morning checklist complete. ALSO, teachers will be able to monitor their students’ understanding the review concepts covered in the seat work!

Skill Review Options for Morning Work

Hands-On Work

This method of morning work usually requires NO worksheets. A hands-on task can get students’ minds thinking and still allows for a calm and productive classroom environment. Ideas for this hands-on morning approach are:

  • Play Dough: free play OR give them a task like making their sight’n spelling words, making shapes or their names, etc.
  • Art Time: Set out drawing materials and let kids imaginations soar. They could follow up the drawing by writing a story to match their illustration.
  • Morning Tubs: A great time to work on STEAM skills!


Teachers can lay out a hands-on learning center at each table or spot. This gets the kids thinking AND working academic concepts. (BONUS: Teachers can specifically choose which skills students are working on based on their needs. Hello, differentiation!)

Math Centers

Literacy Centers

Download Literacy Centers HERE

Time Saving & Engaging Resources

Ready to start a sanity-saving morning routine now? Check out these amazing, LOW prep morning work ideas below!

Spiral Math

Lucky Little Learner’s Spiral Math bundle makes the PERFECT morning routine. With three learning levels provided (below, at and above grade level), as well as being available in digital and printable versions, teachers can have students work at their own academic pace, while monitoring their progress. Students will be used to the consistent format which makes this resource super low prep for the teacher. AND Spiral Math comes with 40 weeks of skills practice. BONUS: this resource is available for 1st-3rd grade!

Want more info on using this resource as seat work? Check out this post: Morning Work: Spiral Math Review. Also, check out ALL of LLL’s Spiral Math resources in All Access!

Spiral ELA

Like the Spiral Math resource, the Spiral ELA provides three academic levels of skill progression for 40 weeks! It is perfect for mornings as it is LOW prep and students should be able to work independently. The skills included in this bundle cover phonics, language and grammar concepts. What a great way to pinpoint student academic areas of need!

Spiral ELA Review for Morning Work

Download 2nd Grade Spiral ELA HERE

Phonics Day-by-Day

Phonics Day-by-Day includes work on 52 phonics sound patterns and can be arranged in whatever order suits your curriculum. This resource is scaffolded so students will be engaged with the increased skill complexity. And there are a week’s worth of activities on only two pages! (The copy machine will be happy!)

morning work daily phonics review

For more info on this resource check out No Prep Daily Phonics Review for 2nd Grade.

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Grammar Day-by-Day

This product is very similar to Phonics Day-by-Day by covers 38 grammar concepts instead. Once again it could be used to help students review already learned concepts or get extra practice in areas of need.

morning work daily grammar review

Want more details on Grammar Day-by-Day? Check out No Prep Daily Grammar Practice.

Get these on All Access

toothy task kits

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

Reading Passages

Lucky Little Learner’s Reading Passages are a great 2nd grade morning work routine! Why? Low prep, consistent format AND it includes 576 differentiated (yep you read that right) passages that will cover the entire school year! Extra idea: have students independently practice the passage during the morning, and read it to you later in the day or week!

reading passages with comprehension questions for 2nd grade

Read more about these amazing passages: 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension Passages.

2 Ways to Get These Resources

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Writing Pages

One last idea for morning work: writing! Using writing prompts helps students formulate their ideas to accomplish this in the short morning routine time. This resource comes with monthly prompts and planning sheets! They could work on a topic all week!

Monday: planning sheet

Tuesday: drafting

Wednesday: finish drafting

Thursday: final copy/publishing

Friday: Illustrate

No Prep Writing Prompts for 1st and 2nd Grade Morning Work

Read more: No Prep 2nd Grade Writing Prompts.

2 Ways to Get Writing Pages

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or.. Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Take a Deeper Dive

For a more in depth look at three different types of classroom morning routines, check out our latest teaching tips video.

Happy teaching!

morning work ideas for 1st and 2nd grade

1 Comment

  1. Sandra

    Wow!!!! Takes away soooo much stress.🎃
    Thanks for all the helpful information as well. 😊


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