Help with Morning (bell) work ideas

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teach_each1, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. teach_each1

    teach_each1 Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2008

    :help:eek:ne of my goals for next year is to be very selective on what I take grades on. Last year I took a grade on everything we did and I realize now that it wasen't fair to the students (or to me).

    I also am tired of grading papers each night for an hour or so. Last year we (grade level) did a math worksheet for morning work each morning.

    This year I want something different...something that doesn't require me to grade it...

    I'm thinking along the lines of manipulative things-word sort cards, file folder games (do they do file folder games for 4th grade?)

    what types of non paper/pen things have you done?
     
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  3. mochateacher

    mochateacher Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2008

    Last semester I worked with a teacher who did something that I plan on implementing as part of my morning work in my own class this year.

    Each morning the students came in to 5-6 math questions on the whiteboard or overhead. The questions were from previously learned material, material that needed reteaching or new material. The last question was always a word problem. By the time attendance was taken and other morning "housekeeping" items were taken care of the students were finished with the problems and reading a book quietly. Instead of collecting the math work and grading it, we went over them as a class.

    I plan on alternating between this type of "morning math" and cursive handwriting practice.

    ~Paula~
     
  4. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Jul 10, 2008

    teach_each1:
    Morning work, with a variety of academics, is still a really good warm up for the kids. No one says you have to actually grade every single one, but if you have a "quiz" at the end of the week that is accumalitive, it does give you a really easy grade for each subject you have on that quiz. I have seen where they have DOL/bell work M-Th, review answers on the sheet on Thursday and have the kids circle all the ones that will be on the test, then take a a cumulative quiz on Friday.

    One idea would be to use the morning time for their AR/ SSR time, journal writing, or center time that is planned around the current lesson being done. Or puzzles that are really hard, 3-D ones are a favorite in some of the challenge classes I've subbed in. Time to go to the library,bathroom and quietly talk with a friend is also a favorite. Sometimes one of the "centers" is the educational internet games that the teacher has preset into the classes network.

    What do you think? oops, i just now saw you asked for NON paper morning work... well... you could put it on the overhead, or promethean/smart/whiteboard in the class and let them do it there and just copy down the ones from Thursday's quiz review with the correct answer....
     
  5. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Jul 10, 2008


    If you want to look at the following website, it might give you some handwriting ideas... (it is for homeschoolers, but it had some interesting "forms" to use... www.DonnaYoung.org . Look for the Printables tab.
    Good luck
     
  6. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I usually put DOL sentences on the board along with a writing prompt or a few math problems. Some days I'd give them a review worksheet of some sort. I got smart at some point and started correcting the papers in class at a designated time and collecting them for participation grades. It was the only way I could get the kids to do the work! If they thought it wasn't graded, they didn't bother doing anything.
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jul 10, 2008

    I guess I am lucky. My school has Accelerated Math. It allows me to print assignments on various levels, it uses scantrons so I have no grading, and when students do poorly on an assignment, it will give them practices on it. That is my "bellwork". It also lets them work at their own pace.
     
  8. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jul 10, 2008

    Student work needs to be checked while students are working on it not a day later when it is cold potatoes. Also, a criterion for mastery - diligence and accuracy - needs to be established before releasing students to work independently.

    When can a student in your class say, "I'm done"?

    If teacher assigns a worksheet and says something like, "Class, as soon as you finish your assignment you may turn it in and then read or play a game" a *speed* incentive has been built into the assignment -- first one done gets to play and all kinds of papers will be turned in with all kinds or errors not to mention several missing name and date (happened to me all the time). A nasty side-effect to this kind of directive is students practicing the wrong way -- teach won't really know until that night after correcting -- passing back next day with marks in blood and/or low grades which is really encouraging for those kids teetering on self-confidence plus the teacher will have to go back and reteach the lesson.

    Consider:

    "Class, you have 16 math problems to complete. When you finish the first four (judgment) I want you to raise your hand and I will come around to check. If the first four are completed correctly, work shown, paper headed to my standards, and neat you may turn it in and go to the free time center. However, if there are any errors in the first four, heading is not complete, paper is sloppy you must complete the entire page of 16 problems." What's the incentive for doing neat and accurate work? You get less work. What's the incentive for doing quick and sloppy? You get more work.

    How does teach correct whole class while working on assignment? Teach doesn't. The students do. Typically, the brightest are the first ones done. They typically have few if any errors. Teacher makes a quick answer key (in advance) and checks the first one finished (four problems). This student then becomes a checker (not grader), gets out of seat, uses own paper for key, and checks next student done. First couple students done become checkers (judgment). This frees the teacher from checking to helping students.
     
  9. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    We are getting a new reading/language program, and I HAVE to get started ASAP in the morning to get three of our blocks in before our specials, so I'll have my kids do a warm up from this book
    http://www.buyteachercreated.com/estore/product/3961
    Then, they will work on a journal prompt when they finish, I want my kids to have more opprotunities to just write informally.
    I'm using this to help me out with that
    http://shop.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_30969_-1_10001_10002
     
  10. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jul 11, 2008

    I have a variety of activities I'm going to choose from each morning-riddles, DOL, poems, etc. The bellwork will be written on slips of paper and on the desks in the morning. The kids will need to complete the task and bring it with them to the morning meeting, and we will share. I will ask them to share with each other, and then I might ask a partner pair to share with the group. That will hold them accountable, and I won't have to officially grade it.

    That's the plan, anyhow.
     
  11. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jul 11, 2008

    I used to do paper-and-pencil type bell work too, but our copies got cut big time and now I'm rethinking what I'll do. I was reading "On Solid Ground" (GREAT book about teaching and assessing reading for primary grades, but can be applied to upper), and she suggests using morning time right after entering to have a "warm-up" read... Reading (or looking through, depending on level) from non-leveled books in baskets on each table. These rotate. Students can read from any level text. You can use this time to do what you need to do (attendance, lunch count, etc) and then meet with a student or two or a small group. Then you can go directly into reading workshop. I plan to do this next year!
     
  12. MsG

    MsG Companion

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    This year, I'm going to try doing a fun math riddle or word problem and a writing journal topic for silly writing. We'll check the math riddle together after announcements, but the journal writing is for them. I may read them from time to time and make some comments, but I won't grade either one.
     
  13. jenteach

    jenteach Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2008

    I use Mountain Math and Mountain Language in the morning for my bell work. I assign the student 3-5 of each to do each morning. They turn in their work and then I go over it with them during our morning meeting. If you didn't want to grade it you could have them switch papers and review it while they correct/grade each other's papers. Whatever you do, I agree with whoever said it needs to be gone over right then, not the next day.
     
  14. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Jul 11, 2008

    We used these in fifth grade during my student teaching. I am planning to use them this year in my room. They are slated 3-5. (click the word these... I linked it). I also posted about using it with smartboard.
     
  15. teach_each1

    teach_each1 Comrade

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    thanks for all of the ideas. I really like those activity cards
     
  16. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 11, 2008

    Teach each 1,
    We have to do written morning work each day.. but I don't grade it. Instead, we go over it as a class. But, to have accountability, at the end of the week I have a Morning Work Quiz. It is short, and each question comes EXACTLY from the morning work from that week. So if you did it (or actually, if you paid attention when we went over it) then you have no excuse to get less than a 100%. The questions are word-for-word the same.
     
  17. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    I do too. That is why I posted the help request for my smartboard. I was actually afraid I would not be able to use it! We used the activity cards on the overhead and covered the bottom. The kids got pretty good at them, but not so good they were done quickly!
     
  18. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I bookmarked that link for the cards. Thanks!
     
  19. sherri0318

    sherri0318 Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Each student has a spiral notebook for "morning work".....I had something on the board for them to do - copy, then make corrections on sentences, answer questions about previous day's lessons (2 questions per subject), or write something like "Today is Monday. It is the 56th day of school. Today we will go to library. My library book this week is _________. It is about _______."

    We will then go over the morning work. Occasionally, if I need a grade, I will have them tear it out and I grade it. Otherwise, it just stays in their spiral notebook and goes home with them at the end of the 2nd 9 weeks (that's about how long one spiral notebook would last).
     
  20. ArizonaTchr72

    ArizonaTchr72 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    You could maybe have the students do the morning work in a spiral notebook that they keep in their desks. This way the students could do a variety of morning work: DOL, activity cards, overhead math, journal prompts, etc. To create accountability the teacher could initial or stamp the work and take a participation grade.
     
  21. ArizonaTchr72

    ArizonaTchr72 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Sorry Sherri! I just read your post! I think I may try keeping morning work in a spiral this year and maybe give the students a new one each quarter.
     
  22. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Hey, has anyone heard of terrific six for math? I don't know if someone at the school thought it up or if they found it somewhere. We used them about once a week instead of the morning cards. I cannot find them online... help!
     
  23. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I love these ideas! Especially the activity cards!

    I've used daily language and daily math worksheets, but I never seem to have time to go over them because we have to start so quickly. I'm hoping that the schedule will be a little different this year and I will have the opportunity to go over the work. I also have them write in a journal too.

    Good thing I have until Sept to figure out how to incorporate all of these greats ideas! :)
     
  24. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Leigh,
    On mornings we did not have time to go over them we took 10 minutes before lunch or during afternoon pack up... this may help, I don't know.
     
  25. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    That could work...I just need to see my schedule to start actually planning out my day:) Thanks for the suggestions HPU!
     
  26. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I used to do a worksheet or a half worksheet each day, but wanted to eliminate the copying I was doing each day.

    Last year I did 5-7 math problems on the board each day which they did in a journal. They did silent reading or journal writing when they were done. They checked in with me and redid anything not done correctly. They had to be done by a certain time, or they did it during recess.

    The problems were almost always review, but sometimes I took the opportunity to teach a new skill as well, since some kids would already know it, I knew I could show a small group how to do something and it would be easier than boring the kids who knew how already during math.

    On days when we did not do math, I would have them use maps and answer geography questions, or sometimes correct sentences and things like that.
     
  27. 1stGr8

    1stGr8 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I keep it simple. I do silent reading when they come in. No paperwork! And since statistics show reading success directly correlates to time spent reading, a good use of time haha!:2up:
     
  28. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I just need to teach them to come in silently and unpack quickly. They always come in talking and chatting, then it's a mad scramble when the bell rings and only half of the class has begun thier work. I'd use the silent reading except that it's never silent in my room!
     
  29. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Rainstorm-I love a weekly quiz! Great idea!
     
  30. BASAM

    BASAM Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2008

    We have a 15 minute block in the morning before the whole school has their literacy block and I had students use a composition book to respond to journal prompt on the board. They are not graded for quality but just for completeness. The prompts are all fun for them (favorite movie, memories, a time you were afraid, etc) I try to have a theme for the week. I use some of the prompts from the busy teachers cafe website. On Fridays when they go to specials they leave them on their desk and I glance through them all (takes about 15 min) and they get one point for each day that is complete and those points go into an overall participation grade, most of the time everyone gets five points. If they are tardy they are still required to do that entry.
     
  31. Daisha

    Daisha Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I have students respond to a journal prompt in their spirals. I read the prompt to them and then they write and then draw a picture to go along with it. I will look at them quickly as I walk by before they put them away. I don't grade them.
     
  32. NYSTeacher

    NYSTeacher Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I do Daily Math Wamups...it's 5 problems, with at least 1 word problem. They are set up so that the ones at the beginning of the year are review of the previous grade and then they get harder as we go along and match up with skills we've already taught (for the most part).

    Students start this all on their own (once they unpack & copy HW). Once they finish (even if others are workign on it) they start reading, write a reader's response, or an entry in their writer's notebook.

    Students start coming in the room @ 7:15, the bell rings at 7:30, and by 7:45 I am going over morning work and using the next 15 minutes as an opportunity for "teaching points" and extra problems similiar to those on morning work (if I notice a lot got them wrong).

    I'm thinking of adding Daily Language as well in the morning. Not sure how I'll do it-that and math would both be on overheads and it may be too much for them do. Unless I do the Daily Langauage after lunch but I also ahve Math For Today to do after lunch (which is also a daily thing).

    Once you set up the procedure and students know exactly what to do in the morning it works REALLY well...at least it did for me.
     

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