The arrival of students at the beginning of the day is always… stressful. You have students who ride the bus, students who get dropped off, some students eat breakfast, others walk little siblings to classes. They seem to arrive at school at the same time. But, they really never arrive in the classroom AT THE SAME TIME. This is where 2nd grade morning work can really come in handy! It allows students to get started with a task as soon as they actually arrive at your class.
In 2nd grade, morning work can really be a great time to set your students up for success in their day. Second grade morning work gives them a taste of independence and gives you some great data on what your students can accomplish on their own. (I have also used morning work in 1st grade and 3rd grade and love it just as much.) Here are 4 reasons I love using 2nd grade morning work in my daily classroom routine!
4 Reasons to Begin Second Grade Morning Work
There are many amazing reasons second grade morning work is an amazing activity to add to your students’ mornings. Here are my main 4 reasons I love 2nd grade morning work! If you have other reasons, you love using morning work in your classroom. Please share them! I love to hear teachers’ ideas, thoughts, and feelings!
Provides Structure and Routine
When students are in 2nd grade, they really thrive on structure and routine. They like to know what activities are coming when and really do well when things go according to plan. As teachers, we have all been there when an activity changes, or gets moved or doesn’t work the way it is supposed to. The room often goes into chaos!
During the morning, I found if I gave students a lot of downtime once they arrived in the classroom. It became very hard to get the structure back and to get them back on task for the rest of the morning.
It gave my students a task they needed to complete each day. Some days it was a morning worksheet, other days it was an activity on their iPad or Chromebook. Sometimes I used the amazing morning tubs full of activities for them! But by giving them a task every day it gave them the routine they craved and thrived from.
I really worked very hard to make the morning work I gave my second graders engaging and fun to complete. This way I did not need to focus on classroom and behavior management at the beginning of the day. I could greet students, take attendance, lunch count, look at parent notes. All while my students completed their morning work.
1st grade morning work, 2nd grade morning work and 3rd grade morning work will all look different in terms of engagement. When using 1st grade morning work you will probably involve more cutting, glueing and coloring to make it more engaging. When using 3rd grade morning work you may include high interest reading passages, and graphics to be more engaging. I felt like second grade morning work was always that sweet spot between the cutting and the reading passages!
You want to find activities that will keep your students engaged in their learning and make them want to complete the morning work every morning. Handing a child a 2nd grade morning work worksheet with Times New Roman point 12 font, no pictures, or engaging graphics is just not going to cut it! In my morning worksheet bundles, I include all different questions and activities to get students thinking. Each day is something different!
Providing an Opportunity for Review
Morning work also provides the perfect opportunity for your students to review standards you have already covered during the year.
Morning work is a great opportunity for spiral review. Hitting standards you’ve already taught to see which students have kept the knowledge and which students may need some additional practice and review to master the standard! In 2nd grade, this is my favorite reason! The transition from 2nd to 3rd is often huge. I love to use 2nd grade morning work to review standards with my students. So I know they are 100% prepared for the jump into 3rd grade!
I have also heard teachers using morning work as a chance to get a preview of what students already know as well. Some Kindergarten teachers use 1st grade morning work at the end of Kindergarten. This allows them to give the 1st grade teachers some data on what the students already know! You can do the same thing with 2nd grade morning work and 3rd grade morning work.
Quick Informal Assessments
In 2nd grade, I found that students really tried their best 99.9% of the day and year. I also found that when students didn’t know they were being assessed they showed their true skills and thought process on their papers.
I loved using my 2nd grade morning work for informal assessments for students. It really allowed me to see exactly where my students were not as successful and where they were successful. Since these were informal, I didn’t feel the need to send them home to parents, or to go over every single question with each student. I gathered students who made similar mistakes together during a free second of the day (which was often hard to find) and I reviewed the skills they all struggled with. I could use the morning work to help inform my teaching and review for each student.
Morning work is a great tool to get your students started on the right foot when they walk through your classroom door! These are just 4 reasons why I love using 2nd grade morning work!
Looking to start morning work but not sure if it will work for your classroom?
Wanting to add morning work to your 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade classroom?
I’ve got you covered!