Bell ringer and morning work

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Miss Jana, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Miss Jana

    Miss Jana Rookie

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    Feb 20, 2007

    I wanted to get some opinions. I am currently student teaching, and every morning, the first graders come in, put their things away, and get a piece of paper and begin writing their spelling words. Some days there is a worksheet, math sheet, or word find for them to do.

    It seems that everywhere I go and everyone I talk to does this type of routine in the morning. I agree, it DOES set the stage for a more quiet morning. And I understand the need to get the kids right to work in the morning.

    However, I also observe that there are many first graders who also need to ask questions, fill their water bottles (they keep a small one at their desks), go to the bathroom, sharpen pencils, and talk to the teacher.

    I have been thinking that when I start teaching my own room, I would set up a routine in the morning, but I wouldn't have them do seatwork. I would have them put things away, go to the bathroom, get a drink, fill up water bottles, put papers, folders, and notes in the proper places, sharpen two pencils, and then perhaps sit on the carpet and quietly talk with their friends (and they can talk to me also). Once the announcements and pledge come on, we can start our day then.

    It just seems like these smaller kids just need to socialize a bit, come together again as a class family, to share what they did the night before, etc. I definitely see the need for strict routine in the morning, but I just don't think it HAS to be quiet seatwork.

    Is anyone out there doing something different as a new teacher? Or do you feel that you need to stick with the seatwork like most teachers do? Do you think I'd be setting myself up for a chaotic day if I choose not to have them sit and be quiet right away?

    I'm just curious.
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Feb 20, 2007

    I think that your classroom will be successful as long as you model, model, model your expectations... what kind of a voice can I use when I'm on the carpet? Do I need to stay in one place, or can I move around? Those kinda of things... be explicit with your instructions and consistent with your expectations. As long as your kids know the routine, I can imagine it will be fine.
     
  4. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Feb 20, 2007

    My children do a Drop in the Bucket each morning so that I can read the notes, talk to children in private, take lunch count, etc. This gives them something productive to do (phonics/language arts review) while I have time to organize my day. This all happens in the first 15 minutes of my day.
     
  5. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Feb 20, 2007

    I think your idea could be successful depending on the kind of group you have. Our morning routine is do your lunch count, turn in your nightly reading books, turn in homework, hang up your things, then sit down and work on seat work. While they are doing seatwork, I check in home work, book bags, check lunch count. They are allowed to talk while doing seat work as long as they use a soft voice. They can use the bathroom and sharpen pencils as long as it isn't fooling around time. I also need them to be seated so I can do attendance.

    This group would not handle going to the circle and visiting very well. It would soon turn into loud yelling and wrestling, because that is just how they are. They need almost complete structure and very small paramaters to be happy and keep themselves in control.

    See how your group is when you get your own class. It is always easier to start out more structured and controlled, then loosen up later, than it is to start out loose, then find out the group can't handle it and try to tighten up. But I see a lot of merit in your ideas.
     
  6. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Feb 20, 2007

    I'm with fourth graders this year, which is a little different, but none of the other fourth grade teachers had morning work, so I didn't either. I changed that quickly. I think it can work, but I found that without something to do, the students will find something...usually not something productive... Usually the work I give is something simple, something review, that they can turn in later in the day or for extra points. I think it all depends on the kind of kids you have
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Feb 20, 2007

    You could always make a checklist of those things and have each student check off which items he/she completed. That way it is more structured, yet still allows for a bit of socializing and, basically, getting themselves together.
     
  8. RitaFirstGrade

    RitaFirstGrade Companion

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    Feb 21, 2007

    I do something similiar to what you are thinking about. Our announcements come on over the intercom about 10 minutes after we enter the room. The kids know to come in, unpack their things, turn in homework, and then go to the carpet. I have a morning song that I play and they know to be on the carpet by the time the song is over. Before announcements come on, all of the kids are on the carpet and we talk about how their evenings went the night before. After announcements, we are already at the carpet ready for calendar time. I found that their wasn't enough time for them to complete a task at their desks and that the kids love to chat with you in the morning.
     
  9. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Feb 21, 2007

    I teach 2nd grade and I do believe that young students NEED some sort of structure in the morning. I do believe that if I allow my kids to chat in the mornings will set the tone for the rest of the day. So I give them the best of bothe worlds.
    What I do is have them hand in homework, sharpen pencils etc. Then they sit right in their seats and at least begin seatwork. Seatwork is just math review, editing sentences, taking out their sight word index cards and practicing with a friend etc. Something meaningful. Then after announcements, we gather on the carpet for Morning Meeting. Morning Meeting allows them that time to share ideas, get all their wiggles out, talk about diff. things etc. We do alot of math during MM but it's also a time to share something. And I also do shared reading or interactive writing during MM so most kids get a chance to move around and just say something. So I like the routine I have. It works for me.:p
     
  10. Miss Jana

    Miss Jana Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2007

    Thank you everyone for responding to this post! I love hearing all about how you each start your mornings... I am gathering LOTS of great information! I'm very nervous about having my own classroom, and I'm sure the first year I'll make every mistake under the sun...but it's so nice to get such a wealth of information BEFORE I take on my class. I love this site and all the great info on it! :)
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 22, 2007

    Isn't it great?? I have no advice for you, but I love reading what other teachers are doing, and I've learned quite a lot here as well! And I've been doing this since the dawn of time :)
     
  12. MrsM1

    MrsM1 Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2007

    I also wanted to have the free time for student's to talk & socialize before announcements came on, but for some of my students this wasn't working. Our principal aslo wanted the student's to do morning work, she thought the kids were "wasting time". I started to have a morning journal where student's free write/continue writing after I give them a prompt. This gets them writing...although I feel like the time given for journal writing is sometimes not enough. I am also a new teacher (1st gd) and have found this site to be very helpful. I find a lot of great ideas here!!! And believe me, you will want to do so many things with your own classroom-but until you get your students that's when you know what works and what doesn't. Good Luck!!!
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 28, 2007

    I wouldn't, for us, start with going to the bathroom, etc. Most kids don't need to go yet and they use it as more social time. If they come in, sign their attendance book (excuse to practice writing their name) and then sit down and get ready, then we avoid 15 min of exaggerated bathroom time for the many who really didn't need to go. If someone does, we train them from the beginning to ask during this time.

    We, however, do start with circle time and reading the board. It's work but usually their is a "social" kind of question. They also are prompted, after reading it, to do their classroom jobs.
     

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