I truly detest "busy work" but at the same time we need something for the kiddos to do that is review in nature while gently nudging them along to use that schema that we've been helping them master each and every day. AND, the simple truth is there are quite a few things that need to be taken care of in the morning and those little ones need to be busy so we can get it all done!
We call our morning work - Morning Wake Up. This is why I love it and do it every.single.day:
It builds in complexity.
It provides ample time for practice.
It covers both ELA and Math.
It is all on one sheet.
It is always "familiar" in nature so little prior instruction is needed.
The routine is simple even when the concept is challenging.
It makes a significant difference in their concept mastery.
As I wrote in Does it Really Take 30 Minutes to Wake Up, it's the grading of this work that is important. I don't collect it daily. In fact, we have ours bound in books and in the kids' desks. The kiddos grade it. They tell me the answers by telling me why the other answers were incorrect choices. We make this time meaningful. They work for about 10 to 15 minutes independently and then we work on explaining (or fixing) our answers for another 15 to 20 minutes. Check out that post to find out more about that.
Here are some sample pages from our first grade Morning Wake Up book.
I've been fortunate enough to work with the same friends for well over a decade. One of those friends teaches our school's Kinder/1st combo class. She told me that Kinder truly needed their own Morning Wake Up. I was super excited to make that for them (and all you kinder teachers, too)! After all, if those Kinder's master the standards through daily practice, they'll show up at our first grade door next year all the more ready!
Here are a few samples from Kindergarten's year of Morning Wake Up.
Another friend taught in first grade with me for FOREVER until she moved to 2nd.
The only thing she missed in 2nd? Morning Wake Up. So I set off to make she and the rest of our 2nd grade team morning work that allowed their kiddos to master those 2nd grade skills. It has really worked out well for our 2nd grade team because those kiddos are used to doing this type of thing daily since they did it every day in first grade!
So far I've completed units 1 and 2 for second grade. Unit 3 is underway.
Here are some examples from those first two 2nd grade units:
Regardless of grade, each task has the standard it is addressing indicated right there on the page. This makes it that much easier to ensure you are "hitting the standards". This makes admin and district personnel pretty happy too! These units also come with a TEACHER GUIDE that includes a "how to" as well as a scope and sequence.
I absolutely love our morning work. I love that so many other teachers do, too! It has made such a huge impact with concept mastery with our primary kiddos!
Morning Wake Up is a great way to ensure you have engaged kiddos right from the start of your day!