My students come in and copy their homework into their agenda books. Then they start their warm up, which is usually a worksheet dealing with whatever grammar lesson we're working on, such as pronouns, prefixes, etc. That's what I did last year with my third graders and I plan to do the same thing with them again this year in fourth grade. But I probably won't do so many worksheets this year for warm up (maybe just twice a week, since I do want them to practice those skills), and just give them silent reading time.
In the classroom I student taught in, the whole 5th grade had bound "Evan Moor" warm up books for Language Arts, Math, and Geography. They needed to do the problem of the day when they came in in the morning and then free read if they finished early. At the end of the day we checked the answers on the I-write board. She only had them turn in geography for a grade, but occasionally checked to make sure they were doing the others too.
I think I have posted this about a million times, but I write a morning message on the board each day. They write their answers on an index card, and we go over them during our morning meeting. When they finish the morning message, they go right into SSR.
I have a few different things I do on the morning message:
- Geography questions where they have to use the map
- Math story problems
- Using context clues to figure out vocabulary in a paragraph or sentence I write
- Finding my errors in a letter to them
- Science quiz (usually multiple choice, 3 questions)
Can't think of what else right now. It's Saturday morning.
I have them copy whatever skill is on the board (at least 75% of the time Language Arts-related), and in that time, they also prepare for writing. They are trained to read the announcements side of the board to make sure everything is in their agendas as well. Eventually they can silent read, write in their journals, and do small math/science activities. It's pretty mild in the mornings... and I don't plan to use handouts in this part of the day anymore...
Once my students unpack, they copy their objectives for the day and their classwork/homework off the board. Then, they pick up their journals from the box and complete the journal activity that I have written on the board. Once they finish, they leave their journal out to be checked and they either read their Accelerated Reader books silently or work on their writing in their writing toolkit. Students take their journals to morning meeting at the rug and we share a few entries. Then we do calendar math and discuss the day's objectives. This is also the time where we share information, review for daily quizzes/tests, and present current events.
My morning work usually consisted of 3 things each day:
1) Fill out student agenda (must be initialed my teacher/aide)
2) Some type of Language Arts activity (reading comprehension worksheet, journal writing, grammar correction, etc.)
3) Math activity (Our school uses Fantastic Five but you could use other short activities like problem of the day, skill drill sheet, Daily Math, etc.)
I am able to get attendance done while students work on planners. While they are working on other assignments, I circulate and check planner and completed homework.