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Morning Work Routines

Oh how I love routine! The beginning of the school year is full of joy, anticipation and excitement. Meeting new students and building the foundations of relationships is one of my favorite parts of teaching but I have to say I do look forward, from day one, to starting routines.

For the past 5 years I have taught a blended classroom, serving regular education students and students with special needs. Our morning routines were crucial for starting our day on the right foot! I may have been structured to the point of neurosis but it worked! Some students had a visual schedule on boardmaker so they wouldn’t forget, that was very helpful too! Our routines goes as follows:

1. Say good morning to Mrs. Mathias with a High Five, Hand Shake or Hug! (I once had a student that cried lining up for lunch saying that no one had even said her name that day - heartbreaking! So I make a point to greet each child by name in the mornings and some type of physical touch... they choose if they want a high five, hand shake or hug)
2. Hang up coat and backpack on hook
3. Take out folder and check for notes from home
4. Put folder in mailbox 
5. Take down chair 
6. Complete morning work on desk (I set out the differentiated morning work on each child's desk... see below for specifics) 
7. Place morning work into "Completed Work Bin" 
8. Read a book of choice, quietly, in the classroom library 

Finding a good set of morning work was difficult for me, so I decided to write my own! It is aligned to the common core, reviewing elements of ELA and Math that we often don’t have time to review during guided reading, writing block and guided math groups!

There are two different versions of each page of morning work to meet the needs of all our learners. In the top right corner a D1 stands for the easier version and D2 stands for the enriched version. Concepts like long and short vowel sounds are differentiated by circling the correct pattern versus writing out the pattern. Every day there is a sentence with spelling or grammatical errors that need to be corrected!

Math concepts such as telling time, solving story problems, skip counting, money, comparing <, > , = and mental math are all included. Again, I made sure to differentiate different ability levels because this work is meant to be completed independently. I found it to be a great quick check to see areas that I needed to re-teach as a whole group lesson or to pull small groups during centers to specific concepts that kids were lacking. It also served as a great home-school connection for parents to see how kids were keeping up on old skills and concepts taught in class!

My colleagues at work seemed to like the 2nd grade morning work too, so I decided to make a version for 3rd grade as well! When I taught 3rd grade I always felt so much pressure because the 3rd grade NYS test was approaching at the end of the year and I never knew if my kids were retaining all the information they needed to know (without simply teaching to the test)!!! This serves as another great way to check to make sure they’re staying afloat with all the content before that DREADED TEST!

(Aligned to 3rd Grade Common Core Standards)

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your school year is off to a great start!

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