I'm so excited to finally share my morning routine with all of you. Over the years I have tweaked the first 30 minutes of my day with the kiddies to make it a productive and valuable time of the day. This year I have found a balance that really works for my class and I'd like to tell you all about it!
Every morning students come into class and read the Morning Message on the board. This message includes the date, schedule day, and a list of things we will learn and do that day. They also have the chance to check the daily schedule and see who our VIP is for the day (student helper and resident gonoodle dj).
The students have a Morning Work folder and know to get to work right away! The first few weeks of school consisted of reviewing letter sounds with my I HEART Phonics booklet. Students enjoyed searching for words, drawing pictures, writing stories, and reading stories that included a specific sound. For example, students would look for "p" words around the classroom, or draw a "s" picture (ex: a sun). The students LOVED writing stories. They were often silly and fun to share with the class. Below is an example of one such story (f/ph story).
"There once lived a fish who had a phone. He was fifty years old. He has a fish friend. He has a fish family."
Now that we have reviewed all of our letter sounds we have moved on to different morning work. Students who continue to benefit from reviewing sounds are working on my CVC pack while those who are ready for an extra challenge are working on my Word of the Day pack.
The students who are learning vocabulary words LOVE to share their new knowledge with the class each day when we meet for morning meeting. They tell us all about the new word they have learned and we practice using it in different sentences.
While students work on their respective morning work, I take the opportunity to take attendance, check homework bags, and most importantly read one-on-one with students (usually 1 or 2 each morning). Sometimes I also review certain concepts one-on-one with a student who struggled the day before.
I value this time in the morning when the students are engaged in appropriate work for their needs and I get to meet with students to work on important skills.
This process takes about 15-20 minutes. Once we have completed our morning work, we move on to our morning meeting. We sit near the word wall and sound charts and discuss the word of the day. We also review our sounds and play some word wall games (ex: looking for words that make specific sounds or have certain number of syllables). I like to give the students a word and ask them to come up with a clue that would help find this word.
Once we've covered some ELA review and practice, we move on to math. I like to come up with a quick math problem and ask the students to come up with different ways to solve it. They often refer to my math focus wall (this is where I put up various strategies we have already learned). I only place posters on this wall after students have practiced using these strategies. I want the students to know that there is almost always more than one way to solve a problem.
The most important math activities we do are in those first few moments of our day. We use the 100 chart to practice skip counting and place value. I feel that using the 100 chart daily for various activities has really helped my students develop a strong number sense.
I started off the year by turning all of the number cards backwards and placing coloured strips in the pockets to represent tens. I used these strips as a form of subitizing, whereby students try to recognize a number by looking at a picture. In this case the color strips represent the number 33.
Then we moved on to counting by tens and ones. For example, I ask students to find the number that is 23 more than 65. They count by tens and then by ones to land on the number 88. I also like to give students a number and ask them to give instructions on how to find this number.
Sometimes I'll share a series of numbers and ask what we are skip counting by. I'll ask students to find an odd number that is at least 30 more than 46 or an even number that has a 2 in the tens place.
The questions are endless!
In fact, I'm working on math talk question cards to use during morning routine. Stay tuned!
During this time, I also like to ask questions that pertain to what we are learning in that moment. I tend to refer to my math word wall a lot for that.
We also practice skip counting, adding doubles (we even add 2,000,000 + 2,000,000!) but most importantly we focus on subitizing. Below is a photo of some tools I use to practice subitizing with my students.
Of course, we don't always get through all of these activities. I pick and choose some each day. It's good to have a variety and mix it up so that the students do not get bored of this routine.
As the year progresses and our goals change, so does the morning routine. The important thing is that the structure remains the same and that we focus on important skills before we start our day.
I also have all of the manipulatives and tools available to students at all times so that they can use them when completing work. It is so important for them to use the resources that are available in the classroom to become more independent in completing tasks.
I can't wait to share more specific ideas on ELA games and MATH TALK in future posts.
These morning activities have really made a difference in my students' overall progress and learning. They pick up concepts a lot quicker because of it!
I'd love to hear from you!
What types of activities do you implement during morning routine in your classroom?
Until next time...