Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Morning Routine and Day 4 Giveaway

Let's talk morning routines, shall we?
I'd love to hear your thoughts and your procedures, please leave me a comment below!
The first thing my kiddos do when they walk in the door is "check in" for the day at our shelf beside the entrance.
This means they toss throw gently place their folder into the green bucket.
The next task is to check in for lunch. There are now numbered clips (this picture was before school began) inside of the little blue bucket. Each student grabs their number clip and "clips" it to the side of the bucket, either buying or packing.
In past years, I've had students "check in" using several different means- a pocket chart, interactive whiteboard, etc. but you'll see why I no longer use those options-as wonderful as they are.
Next, they have a few choices.
This has been a big change for me this year. In previous years, I've used some form of paper/pencil morning work and a free choice Daily 5 as soon as the kids come in.
This year, no paper/pencil morning work.
ZERO copies, planning, paper checking, prepping. None, Nada, Zip.
This year the kids can either:
(1) go to the carpet and follow along with the Cosmic Kids Yoga activity for the day.
 What is Cosmic Kids Yoga?
CHECK IT OUT. Seriously. Stop reading, go check it out, and then come back!
It's yoga- just for kids- set to a "story".

(2) free write in their journals

(3) read with their book boxes 

Of course, I do have the occasional kiddo who needs to finish an assignment from another class or something from a day they were absent- so they finish those assignments first.
This has made our morning run SO smoothly.
At my school, the kids can come in 10 minutes before school begins to eat breakfast, which runs between 10-15 minutes after school begins.
If a kiddo comes right at 8:50, they could be sitting doing "morning work" for potentially 25 minutes!
In the past when I've done traditional paper/pencil morning work, I had to plan early finisher activities, or have the kids start a super short Daily 5 choice for morning work- crazy, right?!!
This year....
You might be wondering what I'M doing while the kids have all this free choice happening.
FLUENCY checks!
SIGHT WORD checks!
BENCHMARK assessments!
MATH FACT checks!
All done during "morning work" so I don't have to use instructional time and take away from my Guided Reading groups.  
The result?
The kids are happy.
I'm not stressed in the morning.
I meet with every student, every week, to assess sight words, fluency, benchmarks, etc.
Before you go... check out day 4's giveaway on my Facebook page!
All you need to do is comment here or on my Facebook page about your morning routine!
I'll pick 2 winners tonight to win my Three Little Pigs CCSS Differentiated and Aligned Unit!

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