Need Center / Morning Work Ideas

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by MusicMaker, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. MusicMaker

    MusicMaker Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2006

    I need ideas for centers and morning work.

    Morning work:
    I like to have the kids come in and get started right away on writing. Usually, I have a writing prompt, such as "Write about your 10 favorite things..." etc. Does anyone have suggestions for writing prompts?

    Currently I have 6 centers and the kids tend to get off task quickly after they are done. I really want to make the centers meaningful and hands on, not just busy work. This is what I have so far:

    Sight Words:
    Raindbow Write (write sight words over in different colors)
    White Boards (write sight words)
    Memory Game (match using sight words)

    Listening:
    Listen to book on tape, then respond in listening journal. Write title, picture, and sentence.

    Writing:
    They usually writ eabout science or social studies. But, I'm running out of ideas for this one.

    Computer

    Reading
     
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  3. TVBaby

    TVBaby Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2006

    Topic Banks

    It sounds like you already may do this. Topic banks are a good way for the students to generate their own ideas for writing. Call them top ten lists. When students come in, you specify the list. For example say, "List your top ten favorite movies," or "Make a top ten list of yucky foods." After a week of this your students will have topic banks of about fifty subjects. And you are on your way.
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 30, 2006

    What did you do last weekend? (favorite for Monday morning). What is your favorite subject. Why?
    What food will you NOT eat?
    If you could be a superhero, who would you be?
    Describe your pet (or class pet, or what pet would you like to have?).
    What is your favorite season? What do you like about ________?
    Name some things that remind you of winter. (snow, mittens, etc)
    What is your favorite color? What things have that color?
    What vegetables do you like to eat?
    Write a short story about your favorite toy or animal and use 3-4 words that rhyme. (I have a cat. He sat on my chair. He has long hair. I like to pat my cat.) (P.S. You know your students and if they can handle this one).
    How do you make your favorite sandwhich?
    What is your favorite excercise?
    If the class went to the zoo today, what animal would you like to see?

    Use your social studies curriculum to think of new stuff too.

    Do a search for spelling/vocab type actitivities. There are TONS of them.
     
  5. grade1teacher

    grade1teacher Companion

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    Nov 30, 2006

    I usually write a prompt on the board and they finish the sentence - hopefully with additional sentences.
    I tell students that if they think of a topic that they would like to see on the board, they should write it on a slip of paper and put it in the finished work basket. I see it when I am grading papers, and they get so excited when I use their idea!
    My students like lots of "favorite" topics :
    MY favorite _____ is" (color, food, game, season, weather, day of the week, subject, room in my house, month, holiday, hobby, sport, team, place to visit, etc)
    Also, I like to choose ideas based on what we have been learning:
    If we are learning about bears, the journal idea might be about teddy bears or what it might be like in the life of a real bear...
    If we are learning about a certain letter or sound, use a key word with sound to create a prompt... If you are learning about sequencing, ask them to write out the steps of how to make their favorite sandwich (as DeafinlySmart mentioned) or the steps ot make a snowman....
     
  6. ozteach

    ozteach Comrade

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    Nov 30, 2006

    Google 'journal prompts' or 'journal jar'. You will get thousands of writing prompts! I use a blank monthly calendar and for each day I fill out a writing prompt. this sheet is pasted into a journal. The other idea I love is to have a journal jar filled with slips of paper with writing prompts. I have a child select a slip and that's the topic for the morning.

    I also have spelling, grammar and comprehension booklets for each child and they are to be completed if they are finished early. Each booklet is due at the end of the term (4 x 10 week terms in Australia).
     
  7. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Nov 30, 2006

    For journal prompts I had a book from the Mailbox which is really great!!

    For centers this is what I have:
    Computer center
    Listening center
    Spelling center (word family minibooks to highlight spelling words, chalk and black paper to write spelling words, rainbow words)
    Writing center (draw and write pages and sticker stories are what we've done so far)
    Phonics center
    Pocket chart center
    Magnetic letter center
    Discovery center (activity to do with our social studies/science topic)
    Independent reading
     
  8. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    Nov 30, 2006

    If they're writing about science and social studies topics for writing... You can have them put a fiction twist with writing prompts. Here are some:

    My life as a ____ (pick any object from science).
    If I were a ___ (plant, animal, cell...)
    If I lived ___ (pick a historical time, i.e. Revolutionary War)
    If I was a ____ (government official, i.e. senator, mayor, president)
    What to do during a ____ (pick a disaster, i.e. flood, tornado, fire)

    Or, you could have them do KWL Charts and write from them.

    Hope this helps!
     
  9. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Dec 4, 2006

    For journal prompts, I will usually go to the internet and find a calendar for the current month that lists the important things that happened (I believe there is a book out like this, also). As an example, on 12/7 we are doing a writing prompt on cotton candy as that is supposedly the day it was invented, and I will have small bits of cotton candy for them as they are writing. We did a journal entry on apples on 12/1 because the expression "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" was originally made then, and as they were writing in their journals they got to eat apples. I will look for imp. things in history as well as expressions, such as "Do not criticize a man until you walk a mile in his shoes", which is a Native American saying and ties in with a story we are reading. This is all with 5th grade.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Dec 4, 2006

    What about some sort of math center?? I had blocks & they would have to do different ptterns or something of that nature before they "played". When they plyed the still counted made patterns.

    I did coloring math sheets or letter sheets in the morning!!!
     
  11. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Dec 4, 2006

    I usually have morning work consisting of previously taught topics from Grammar and a few questions involving a topic that hasn't been introduced so I can get a quick feel for who already knows it. Right now, my students come in and get started right away, as it takes them about 30 minutes to finish.
     
  12. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Dec 4, 2006

    My morning work consists of:
    1. Morning Message-Usually a 2-3 sentence letter from me to the class asking them a question. They have to respond to me in letter form. I've trained them to write at least 5 sentences about anything they want to when I don't write anything up there. They get pretty creative with their letters to me.
    2. Handwriting- I use the Even-Moor Daily Handwriting Practice sheets. It is a half sheet Monday through Thursday, and a whole sheet on Friday. My students know I take a grade on their writing on Friday.
    3. Word Study- Each day the students do something different. On Monday they cut and sort their word cards. On Tuesday they sort their word cards and write the sort down in their notebook. On Wednesday, they look for their word study pattern in their Guided Reading Book. On Thursday they brainstorm for new words in their pattern. On Friday they sort one last time before they take their test.
    4. Reading or Writing-When finished with the first 3 tasks, they are to read or write quietly at their desks until it is time to begin whole class work.
     
  13. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Dec 4, 2006

    For my stations/centers, I do it a little differently.
    I have a set of 12 different stations that are on a 6 day rotation. I have 4 students per group (at least one high student and one low student per group). Their job is to go to both stations by the time stations are finished.
    Example stations may include:
    Independent Writing
    Independent Reading (with book review)
    Listening Station (with a book review)
    Computer Station (must be SuccessMaker)
    Reading and Writing Around the Room
    Word Study Station (includes stamping/tracing new word wall words)
    File Folder Station
    Leap Pad Station
    Basket of Books (books about what we're studying in Science/Social Studies)
    Money Station (this changes to what we're studying in math)
    Glyph Station (only once a month for 6 days)
    Puzzle Station
    Peer Resource Station (buddy reading or editing each others writing)
    File Folder Station

    I change the stations around as well. Depending on what we're studying, I may put a science station in.
     

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