Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First Wordless Wednesday - No more "no names" or morning busy work.

This is my first time linking up with Christina at Sugar and Spice for her Wordless Wednesday.  I like the idea behind this linky (there I finally used the word - not a fan, too cutesy), so I'm giving it a try.


I'm putting two things in this post, first are my turn in trays I tried out last year:

In the top photo you can see how each tray is labeled by class number, 1-5, 6-10, etc.  The top one is for office notes.  And the second picture shows how they put their number in the top right corner of each paper.  Not only are they supposed to put their paper in the right tray, but in the right place within that tray.  When a students forget their name, they likely forgot their number too.  Turning in their papers with this task is a perfect reminder for number AND NAME.  I don't think I had ANY NO NAME PAPERS LAST YEAR.  Amazing right?  Definitely doing this again.  And here's the other great part, papers are super easy to check, and put in the grade book since they are already in order.

Okay, my second thing is really where I have a question for others.  Last year, maybe the last two years, I honestly can't remember.  I decided to not give morning work.....GASP.  I know this seems crazy, and others in my building think so too, but here's my logic.

1.  In our building, students can come in at 8:30, but school starts at 8:45.  Those with habitually late buses never get morning work finished, and are punished by needing to use recess or other time to get this done.  Totally not fair.

2.  Morning work is usually pretty easy work, so it's necessary, and then one more thing to grade.  And if you don't grade it, students know and don't try hard.  So what's the point?

3.  Kids need social time and to talk!  I tell my students that this is their time to catch up with friends, chat about what they did last night, and to wake up in an energetic environment.  I also use this time to chat with my students and enjoy connecting with them.  This is an AGREEMENT that I make with my students at the beginning of the year.  I give them this time, then when school officially starts, it OUR time to learn.

4.  Back to number 2 - If this work is not challenging or graded, isn't it a waste of paper?  Multiple the number of students times school days.  Now for every teacher who does this.... Yikes.  

I'm open to ideas about morning work, and maybe a morning task that doesn't require paper, is fun and can be done socially with others.

So here's my question.  What is your morning routine that you feel works well for you and your students?


  1. My kiddos (kindergarten) eat breakfast in my room when they enter. After breakfast, I have things available to practice skills we've been working on, but nothing is "mandatory". We all clean up at one time to officially start our day.

    A Very Curious Class

  2. I think I am walking away from morning work this year since I have kids who go to speech 4 times. I might have them do Go Noodle in the morning (after they eat their breakfast - in my room), any one who wants to help can help me with class chores, and have task cards and games for those who need something to do. Ideally I would love them all to read, but rarely do I get a class who will fully embrace that - I try each year.