Rethinking My Morning Work Routine

Are your students excited every morning to begin their day? Do they arrive in your room riding on a cloud of excitement? I’d like to believe mine do. But let’s face it, that’s not always the case. Most of the time they are wondering what exactly we’re going to do today. Are we doing Calendar Math? Is it a spelling page? Is it a cursive page? Or, maybe we’ll just get to read. That last one is their favorite.

At my first meeting with my new fifth grade team for next year, this topic came up. We thought about using sites like Wonderopolis or Star something to get their minds ready to learn, but in a way that they actually look forward to their morning work everyday. I’ve even had days where they were able to choose an educational game to review skills. All I know is that I really need to mix things up, and if it saves paper that’s even better!

So I’m thinking I would like some sort of routine so that my kids who need it, know what to expect each day. Yet, I want a variety so that it still offers a sense of something exciting each day. I don’t want to get stuck in a rut or use massive quantities of paper. A technology component would be ideal, but I share a cart with two other teachers, it’s often unreliable, and then we each have twenty-four students. But that’s life, and we’ll just work around it. At least we have computers.

Right now, and I know I’ll change my mind at least a hundred times over the summer, I think I have a plan. Each day of the week will focus on a different curricular area. However, no drill and kill allowed. I’m aiming for real thinking here. Maybe it will look something like Math Mondays, This Time in History Tuesdays, Wacky for Cursive Wednesdays, Thirst for Science Thursdays, and Free For All Fridays (this is where I get to mix it up each week). I know reading is not specifically mentioned, but it’s embedded in the others. I will have later posts that will go into detail about what I envision or actually do on each of those days. And yes, I’ve got to find out what that Star Something site is actually called. I’ll link to the resources I find , and once I learn to use Google Docs better, I’ll post my own resources.

So, for now, I just know I want to change what I do in the mornings to get even my reluctant learners excited to start the day. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t wake up thinking, “Oh joy, I can’t wait to get to school and complete a worksheet.” Ok, so I did as a child. But then again, I am a weird one.

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