morning work & slow workers

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by jennyd, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. jennyd

    jennyd Companion

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    Jan 2, 2009

    Like most folks here I’ve got a jam-packed schedule and often feel like there’s just not enough time in the day. Story of our lives, I suppose. :p

    We do morning announcements as a whole school in the Gym, so we don’t get into our classroom until anywhere between 8:20 and 8:30, and I’m supposed to start Math at 8:30. That often doesn’t happen because we’ve got to unpack, do attendance, lunch count, hand in notes (I’ve got a basket for that) and copy homework. I've resigned myself to the fact that our day doesn't really "start" until 8:40 :whistle:

    Most of my kids have gotten really good at copying their homework, and I want to have some other morning work for them to do so they're not causing trouble (journal, calendar stuff, etc.) but I’ve got a handful of kids who often just don’t get their HW copied, even by the end of the day. They really just don’t have the self-discipline to work independently and are soooo slow moving. Whenever we're doing any sort of independent work I often have them sit with me (or another teacher if I'm lucky enough to get one in the room) so they stay on task. What do I do about them? They’re not going to be able to get the additional morning work done. Do I hold it against them & send it for HW? I don’t want to keep them in at recess b/c they’ll never get to go. Do I just excuse them from it? I want to do what’s appropriate for each kid, but I don’t want the higher functioning kids to feel like they can just choose not to do it either.

    Thanks!
    Happy New Year!
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 2, 2009

    My latest brainstorm: Pick up a book with Character Education fun activities. This is a perfect time to squeeze in an all important part of their learning without affecting the curriculum or whether or not all students got that work, etc.

    I missed the slow moving part. Do you have a smartboard? Do some interactive morning messages but include a HOOK slide that will get them there and wanting to do it. Kids love animated stuff they can touch.
     
  4. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Jan 2, 2009

    CutNglue-- do you have know of any good ones? I would love to start doing this stuff for morning work or wake up your brain.... :)
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 2, 2009

    If you PM me your email, I'll send you some stuff.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 2, 2009

    jennyd
    There is nothing wrong with having additional things for those who are ready, and not counting it for the ones who aren't. It is a simple case of differentiated instruction.

    Now, I will give you a piece of unsolicited advice. If you want your slow ones to copy the homework faster (and I have a hard time imagining 1st graders copying their own homework -- I teach 2nd and we xerox everything for them..) put them into teams. (You can have 1 trio if there is an odd number.) Don't let them pick the teams, YOU pick the teams. Make sure to put one quick finisher and one poke-along in each team. Offer some fun reward for the 1st three teams that finish. This way they will help each other to get it done, and everyone will speed up. If you have one or two teams that always seem to be first, make a rule that you can't win the prize more than 2 times in a row during 1 week. That will give others a chance.

    I often use the team approach when I need something done quickly. Give it a try and see what you think. It takes about 3 days for them to get really good at it.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 2, 2009

    I had to go back and reread everything. I skimmed the first time. Forgive me! You don't have time for the activities I'm talking about. If I understand you correctly, you have about 10-15 minutes at most to get stuff done and get on task as a class, then you start math.

    Consider setting up a math transition center. You don't need to penalize kids for not getting to it. It's just a transition, hook (and incentive for finishing jobs faster) and brain starter before your math period.

    Also, by this time of the year all kids get a little bored with their calendar routines. It's good to continue them but you may have to freshen things up a bit or consider streamlining your current procedures.


    MATH TRANSITION CENTER STARTER IDEAS: (Themed Days)
    Mon: Puzzles
    Tues: Quick Dice/Card Games
    Wed: File Folder Games
    Thurs: Pattern Games/Activities
    Fri: Surprise! (Flexible for review activities, fun activities, etc.)

    Suggestions:
    1. Set up a clear routine and practice it to reduce chaos/wasting time all year long.
    2. Consider providing 2 similar choices (within the same theme) per day or when feasible OR provide an equally engaging routine backup activity that your slow learners like.
    3. You can keep the same activity or two per day of the week for approximately a month to let them get used to it and provide routine. Switch them when they lose interest or monthly.

    EXAMPLES

    Puzzles:
    *Tanagram Printable Shape Puzzles
    *Putting 1-50 (mini cards) in order.
    *Kid Soduku (if they are ready)
    *Number line puzzle
    *Printable Logic Puzzles

    Dice:
    *Look online for Double Dice. The education store here has them. Kids add and subtract with them. Have them roll their dice, add and write on paper. If they have others to play with then they can repeat the process but play "Dice War" (who has the highest score). It is quick and easy.

    Cards:
    *Purchase “SET” cards. Put 1-2 puzzles in each baggie. You can make a pre-printed exit slip for it but if they are busy discussing and interacting and are on task, that is fine too.
    *Addition War
    *The addition/subtraction version of "24" (challenging)
    *Racko (streamline it for quicker play)

    Sample Surprise Day Idea:
    Put down 2-3 scales. Put up a sign that says, "Weigh Yourself." Put it in the area they associate with math transition center. The kids will do the rest. You might have to tell one kid but they'll like weighing themselves. Make sure it isn't one of those stupid scales that is "adult proof." :)
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 2, 2009

    I'm with rainstorm on the unsolicited advice area...(funny)...

    There is a thread somewhere on here that talks about the developmentally appropriate age for kids to be ABLE to successfully copy from the board (fairly easy) and in second grade, some are still not developmentally ready to really start learning and applying that skill until the end of the year (ish). It's a good responsibility chore but it may be too laborious for them.
     
  9. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Jan 2, 2009


    I was thinking the same thing.
     
  10. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Jan 2, 2009

    You Rock Cut'N'Glue! Thank you for this info and great details:)
     
  11. old n new

    old n new Rookie

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    Jan 3, 2009

    Another math transition idea that my students love is to give them a handful of dominoes and they write and solve number sentences for each domino. So if there are six dots on one side and 3 on the other they would write 6+3=9. They always beg me to let them "play the domino game".
     
  12. 4alicat

    4alicat Companion

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    Jan 4, 2009

    I'm thinking that if youre short on time during that morning time block & the copying of the homework is a big problem, then maybe you can come up with another system for how homework is assigned. I too think it might be kind of hard for 1st graders to be copying down their homework assignments, especially at the beginning of the year.

    I send home a weekly homework packet. All of their assignments are listed on it for the week. Attached are any worksheets I may have assigned. I send it home Monday & it is to be returned on Friday.

    Then instead of having the kids use their class time to write down their HW, it would be ready for them to go beforehand and you'd just need to find a more convenient time during the day to explain to them what their assignments are. (Since I send mine home each Monday, I just give a brief explanation each Monday before they go home. The assignments I give are pretty routine, so they know what to expect & it's not hard to explain.)

    Good luck to you!
     
  13. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jan 6, 2009

    I teach first grade too, and we have to have the students copy homework. If there's a lot to write, I just print the homework on labels and have them stick it in. Could you do this for the few students who are not as ready developmentally, as long as they TRY for some amount of time?
     
  14. volleybalgrl5

    volleybalgrl5 New Member

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    Jan 28, 2009

    Good idea!

    I never thought to use the smartboard as part of my morning routine. They love using it. You said you have some of these made already? Could you send a few to me too just to get an idea to go off of? I was going to send a messege with my e-mail to you, but it wouldn't let me since I just joined. Maybe if you send one first? Is that how it works? Thanks!!
     

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