21 April 2014

Management Monday - Morning Routine and Morning Work

Button Credits: KG Fonts, Hello Fonts, Melonheadz, Creative Clips
For most teachers, the beginning of the day is quite busy. Attendance, lunch count, after school program attendance, changes in transportation, notes from parents, parents coming in to chat, students wanting to chat, and seriously, the list goes on and on.
*AttaGirl Funnies by Angela Furgal AKA Fairy Funtastic*
In most of the schools/districts I've taught, students wait either in the hall, lunchroom, or just aren't even allowed in the building until the bell rings. At which point students have 5 or so minutes to get to class, and then the instructional day begins.

In my current district, however, students come in to the building at 7:15 and go directly to their classrooms. Sounds great? Not so much...our instructional day doesn't begin until 7:50. So that's 35 minutes of time when I can't really teach anything because students don't technically have to be at school until 7:50, I can't take attendance/lunch count/after school program attendance, etc, because, well, see above.

So what in the world was supposed to do with that time. Most of the time it felt like babysitting. My normally very well-behaved class just couldn't keep it together during this time, and who could blame them? The morning work I had for them wasn't meaningful. I didn't like it, my students didn't like it. Around November, I knew I had to revamp my morning routine, mostly for my sake.

Here's what I knew:
- My students needed more practice with writing creatively
- My students needed more practice with word problems
- My students needed to be "Silent, Solo" during this morning work time
- There wasn't enough time in my regular day to fit in more practice
- Somehow, I had to better utilize this "dead time" in my classroom

The only thing I really had any control over was what my students were working on during those 35 minutes. Now, students have a math word problem in which they glue into their morning work notebook, and they have a writing prompt that I display on the SmartBoard.

My favorite part? My students are able to complete both of these quick and easy tasks independently, which leaves me free to handle all those things I listed in the beginning of this post.

Looking for something easy, fun, and independent for morning work? You can find the writing prompts I use here. There 100 writing prompts in this bundle and they span a wide range of writing genres including narrative, informational, and opinion. The word problems are one-step, and the sums go up to 100.

Here's to hoping your morning routine and morning work go as smoothly as possible!

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