Monday, October 22, 2012

Morning Review

Morning Review & Practice

What do you typically give your students to do when they arrive at school? I have students arrive at 7:15 up until 7:50 when the bell rings. Keeping them engaged can be a challenge. In the past I've given students some type of language or math practice to do that they turned in by Friday. My hopes were to check their progress each day. Well, you know how that goes. Some students wouldn't get it done or they showed up right before the bell rang and had no time to complete it. That usually meant they just sat there while I went over the work. Yes....I know what you are thinking...why not have them do it while we check it? I've tried that too. I see a lot of waisted paper!

This year I have many students with IEPs. The morning for me is the perfect time to pull a student to the side to work on a goal, do a quick fluency check, or record informal observations. With so many students who struggle with reading, I was finding that I spent most of my morning with a long line of students wanting me to read directions or questions on the sheet that I put at their seat. This took away from the time I could be working on "real" things with individual students. So...the past 2 weeks I tried something new. Students now come in my room, copy their agenda for the day, and then spend the rest of their time practicing math facts on their tables using dry erase marker. This is the skill I've chosen for now because they remain very weak in that area. They LOVE IT! They think they are doing something "bad" by writing on the tables so of course they get a kick out of it. They each have a baby sock they put on their hands to erase. These stay in their pencil box.

 At the end of the day the tables are wiped clean with Clorox Wipes. Some students choose to practice their spelling words too. I think that's awesome! Each week I am thinking of different ways to have a paperless morning work routine. I'll try and share all of them as they come.


  1. What an awesome idea! The whiteboard markers don't stain the tables and desks? I'll definitely have to try this with my 4th graders!

    Fourth Grade Garden

  2. My students love it! stains. Clorox wipes get it all off like a dream.

  3. My students love it! stains. Clorox wipes get it all off like a dream.

  4. Great idea! After I read this, I had to pick up a marker and try it! So fun!

    My kids come in at 7:35 and school starts at 7:45, before that they are either at breakfast or in the library. Our day doesn't really begin until we have done the schoolwide Rise and Shine (announcements, pledge, school creed, school song) at 7:55. I've started having my kids journal in the morning and then spend time free reading. I post a prompt the day before and we go over it right at the end of school, that way they can think about it and have a response ready to go in the morning. They have to write at least 4 sentences and then can add an illustration. This works well, and even my special ed kids who are in the room in the morning can do it. I respond to their journals 2 or 3 times a week and check off when they turn them in.

  5. Love doing this with my kiddos. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is also great for getting tables/desks clean.

  6. I have the exact same problem with paper waste, kids not really working during this time, and a long line of friends who need my help!! Get idea, I am starting it on Monday :) I am your newest follower.
    Kickin' It With Class

  7. I am going to try this on our desks on Monday to make sure no stains. I live the idea of paperless morning work!

  8. I promise you all would love it! I've been doing this not just for morning work but also for practice in math just to change up doing things in their journals. It always comes off. :) Clorox Wipes are the best!!!

    1. I love the idea and want to try it bit I was wondering if the Clorox wipes are child-safe. My district is very strict and only lets us use child-safe products.

    2. Baby wipe would probably work too.

  9. This is an interesting idea. I wonder if it would work for me? I will have to give it a demo after Christmas and see. Thanks for the idea.

  10. I just found this post and I'm excited to use it Too much paper is lost/wasted because of pullouts or tardiness.:)

  11. Mr. Clean magic erasers work at taking it off the tables too.

  12. Love this idea! I teach second grade and I do have 1 short morning activity when they arrive. Mine arrive by 8:25 and school starts at 8:55 (30 minutes). I explain the activity the day before at the end of the day before they leave, that way I do not have to keep explaining as kids arrive. The more advanced kids help the ones that do not understand. If they finish early they may choose 1 of 3 things: reading from their book box, writing in their writer's workshop notebooks or drawing in their sketchbook. Most everyone finishes the work each day because the activity is kept short and is a skill they need to practice anyway.

  13. Oh my goodness! You are a genius!

  14. This was my first year in primary grades, and I, too, had difficulty with morning work and differing time allowances. I love this idea of writing on desks AND the comment idea of writing to a prompt discussed the day before. Thank you for the dialogue!

  15. I did something similar using a folder that had a stapled overhead transparency. I would put in a worksheet that had the directions and places to show your work, but the "number of the day" was on the whiteboard. They did rounding and computation using the number of they day. This idea is even better, though!

  16. I use a little different twist on this idea. I give my students a piece of cardstock inserted into a sheet protector. This works the same way. Students keep it in their folder in their desk. We use them all day long. It is an awesome tool to quickly check if they have a skill. Believe it or not they last all year and are excited to take them when school is out.

  17. A red solo plate also makes a handy whiteboardc surface

  18. A red solo plate also makes a handy whiteboardc surface


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