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 = 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.
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 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! (More on those below.) 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!
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.
- Centers: 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 Center Activities | Literacy Center Activities
- 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: (Ready-to-go morning tub activities coming soon from LLL!)
Time Saving & Engaging Resources
Ready to start a sanity-saving morning routine now? Check out these amazing, LOW prep morning work ideas below!
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!
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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!
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!)
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Phonics 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.
Grammar Day By Day
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!
Read more about these amazing passages: 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension Passages.
Each week for 16 weeks, a new set of free reading passages will be delivered by email.
2nd Grade Comprehension & Fluency Leveled Reading Passages
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
Wednesday: finish drafting
Thursday: final copy/publishing
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Writing Prompts All Year
Coming Soon: Morning Tubs
ANNNND…coming this fall – Morning Work Tubs! Check back to LLL and subscribe to our weekly emails to be the first to find out about new resources.
Start here, at the Lucky Little Learners Hub to find freebies and more!