Monday, June 10, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series #1 - Morning Work

Hey y'all! Welcome to the first post in the ten week Schedule Spotlight Series, all about Morning Work!

Let's start with first thing in the wee morning hours with groggy teachers... and bright eyed kiddos! I am NOT, repeat NOT, a morning person!!!  I have barely wiped the sleep out of my eyes and consumed a half cup of coffee! You feel me???

At our school, the kiddos can be dropped off starting at 7:30 and they sit in the hallway outside of their classrooms for a school wide reading time. We rotate morning hallway duty...we each take one day a week.  I really like that the kids all come into the classroom at the same time!

When the bells rings at 7:45, my kiddos come in and unpack. {only exceptions are field trip days} they:
 1. Unpack their binders and lunches 
2. Head straight to their seat and get started on their Math Journal
3. After the math journal is completed, they work on 
Mountain Math 

I have done several different things over the years for morning work. THE most important thing to me is that they can do it independently. By themselves. No assistance. I think consistency is key in the morning! Just like breakfast is the most important meal, morning work consistency lays the ground work for a calm and structured day!

While they work on their morning work, I check the binders for paperwork, notes from the parents, lunch money, take attendance and lunch count. I like to get all of this taken care of first thing in the morning...before everything else takes over! I can get this done quickly and efficiently if the children are engaged in a meaningful activity that requires little direction from me - enter the math journal!

My very first year of teaching, I did different worksheets from the Mailbox magazine! Blast from the past, right there! Our sweet media specialist used to email me to tell me when the newest Mailbox magazine came in the mail! This was clearly before the TpT craze! I despised the random worksheet for three reasons: I would have to give directions,  I was making a million copies every week, AND I had to pass them out every morning! That added up to a lot of work for me...and non engaging busy work for them! Lose, lose, lose! 

After a year of random worksheets, the next year I switched to literacy journals. In Kinder, they started out copying a sentence from the board. {Example: A is for apple}. They copied the sentence and drew a picture. After we got to Z, we switched to: A is for _____ and they filled in the blank and drew a picture. After we got to Z with this format, we switched to word of the day. They would use the word of the day in a sentence {Example: The word of the day is the. The bird is blue.} They did all of this work in journals from Starfall. After shopping around, these are a great deal! We now put them on our school supply list...each child gets 4 for the school year.

When I looped up to first grade a few years ago, I knew I needed to revamp the literacy journals. I loved the idea, but I already done it with my Kinders the previous year! Our school had a school wide goal of increasing math journal use, so I decided to go with that and I LOVE IT!

Every Monday, there is a new page at their seats with the 4 math journal prompts for the week. We do math journals Monday - Thursday, and something fun {think poetry, crossword puzzles, word searches} on Fun Fridays!

After completing their math journal {with words, pictures, and a number sentence}, they complete a few problems from our Mountain Math board. Mountain Math is a spiraling math activity. Read more about it {here}. We complete 24 problems over the course of 1 week. We do not start Mountain Math until January. Until then, it takes the kiddos about 20 minutes to complete their math journals. 

If any kiddos finish with both their math journal and Mountain Math, they can read from their Bag of Book for a few minutes. 
The kiddos begin their morning work at about 7:45 and we will meet on the carpet for calendar at 8:15. 

What do you do for morning work??? 
Link up to tell me all about it!

Coming next week on June 17 - Calendar

Have a fabulous week! :)


Julie DiBenedetto said...

I just purchased some new Math Morning work for the year from Amanda Rich. She has it aligned to the CCSS so I am eager to try it. I laugh because I am the exact same way in the mornings. Still waking up and rushing down cups of coffee to get it going!

I look forward to your next post!

Learning about Life in Second Grade said...

I love your idea, I fell like I make a million copies and since we are limited I go to a local copy place that allows teachers 100 copies a week free so I can make my morning work copies. I use a great set of morning work materials but would like to incorporate math journals more as well. Where do you get your math journal prompts if you don't mind me asking?

Unknown said...

I added my link!! My first linky so I am excited!

Katy said...

I'm curious about what you use for your math journal as well! I'm looking for something new for next year!

Kerri Buckner said...

Love this linky! I hope to link up all summer long. I love the idea of your writing for kindergarten. It is just what I need for journals.
Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Klass

Kelli :) said...

Thanks for your kind words! :) My teams takes turns typing up the math journal prompts - we each do one week a month!

Teaching Little Miracles said...

Hi Kelli! This is a great linky. Thanks for hosting it. We do Mountain Math too, and I love it. :-)

Teaching Little Miracles

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