Morning Routines: Avoiding Worksheets

Hello all!

Today I want to get some of your ideas for morning routines, more specifically morning work/bell work. I really dislike the idea of having students come in, sit down, and get started on some type of worksheet. I'm currently re reading my Daily 5 and Cafe books and I completely agree with the sisters when they say they were so tired of students doing busy work and even more tired of grading it. So, I'd really like to have a paperless morning work or if I do have to use paper, I want it to be of high engagement. I've seen some teachers just have students read, some do worksheets, some play games, etc. I don't like the idea of having students just come in and read because I plan on having my literacy block in the morning, so I feel that's a little overwhelming for some students in the amount of reading time. Also, in my building, students can start coming into the classroom at 8:15, but the tardy bell doesn't ring until 8:30. So some kiddos might be working on something for 15 minutes before some even get in the door! Then, if I start instruction right away at 8:30, whatever students were working on from 8:15 to 8:30, the poor kiddos that were tardy don't even have an opportunity to work on the task. UGH! Can you see my frustration?! Please tell me you're in the same boat!

I also really want some variety in my morning work. I would like to have a "theme" if you will for each day, or at least 3 different ones, Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday, and something fun on Friday. 

For example, "Magazine Monday", "Technology Tuesday", "Wacky Words Wednesday", etc. Just so it changes it up a bit. I know I always got bored with my bell work in elementary because my teachers didn't have any variety or choice for students. 

So what are your thoughts? If you are doing worksheets, what kind are they? What else are you using for morning work and how do you make sure all students get an opportunity to do the task(s)?!


P.S. Someone wanted to say hi to you all today. Say, "Hi Maxwell!"


  1. I'm all about avoiding worksheets. Last year I just taught language arts so I'm not really sure how I'd incorporate math into morning work but I gave my kiddos choice for their morning work last year and they loved it. They could read from their book box, work on their handwriting practice book or write in their morning journal. Their morning journal wasn't anything I ever checked or graded. It was just a place they could write about things that had already happened or things they were looking forward to. I think giving the kids choices kept it exciting all year since they were in charge of what they worked on :)

  2. Love it! How long was your morning work?


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