No matter what grade you teach, it is always important to start your class or day out the right way. The way your class starts is a good indication of how the rest of the day or period will go. This is why it is so important to start out the first few minutes of class on the right foot. Students love consistency. If they are able to anticipate what is coming up, it will help ease any anxiety of surprises students may have. If you can consistently get a good routine down with great morning work- something they can get started on immediately as they walk in the door, this will not only help you out, but will also help your students.
What is Morning Work?
Morning work often has many names. In middle school it is often referred to as “starter” “bellringer” “warm up” “do now” or “entry ticket.” In elementary school sometimes it is referred to as “morning work”, “bellwork” or “brain booster.” What it ends up being called might vary by the school, the district or sometimes even the teacher. Sometimes teachers make up their own to sound more exciting like “sizzler.” Whatever it is called, morning work should be something that is engaging to help the students to get on task immediately as they enter the room. Usually it will be on the board so they can get started right away without being told what to do. Here are some morning work ideas:
- Questions on the board- one for fun and then one relevant to what students will be learning for the day
- Puzzles- word puzzles to get the students brains going about anything
- Quick story prompt- get the creative juices flowing and begin writing
- Drawing prompt- motor function stimulation
Why is Morning Work Important?
Morning work is very important to start the class off on the right foot. If the first thing in the morning before class officially starts, the students do not get started off on a good note, this could put students in a bad funk for the rest of the day. If you tend to have behavior issues in class, and have not implemented morning work or “bellwork” this could help your behavior issues tremendously to incorporate it. Oftentimes students get to school and are craving attention, sometimes immediately when they walk in the door, they may walk in dramatically or loudly, simply for attention or because they are not sure what to expect from the class, so they bring in their own expectations. If the students know what to expect as soon as they walk through the door, it might help them to be more calm by knowing what to anticipate. Consistency is key. Benefits of morning work:
- Getting to know your students more personally
- Behavior issues minimized
- Consistent task for students
- Gives teacher time to take attendance
- Gives students time to get settled and ready to learn
- Stimulates the brain to help students wake up
- Starts the day off learning immediately
- Helps teacher know which topics to review for the day