The bell rings and your students are ready to start the day but are you? So many things happen when the day officially begins and it can be overwhelming. Your students are getting ready to start the day while you are taking attendance, getting a lunch count, answering questions, tying a shoe, and on and on and on. With everything going on, your students are bound to get a little restless. To combat this restlessness, here are morning activities for students to do during the first moments each day.
#1: Game-On Review
One way to motivate your students for the day is to start off with a game. The game can be a group (I would not recommend more than what is in a pod) or individual. You can also use MobyMax and Bump games to start the day off in learning center games as well.
If you are doing a group game, make sure the groups are predetermined and all the “pieces” are readily available. If it is an individual game, you should have everything ready as well so students aren’t wasting time getting out the needed supplies.
Start with a game that is relevant to what you are learning that day right away in the morning. This gets your students actively involved in the content. In addition, you are buying yourself some time to do some of the morning madness work.
#2: Spiral Back
Another great use of those morning minutes is to spiral back to what you have already learned. In other words, a good use of time is to have students work on spiral review. This is especially helpful if you are looking to start something new.
For example, if you are going to start working on division, you might want to spiral back and brush up on your multiplication skills. You can do this with a math spiral review activity.
When you use spiral review effectively, you are bringing up prior knowledge and getting your students ready for the morning work you plan on doing.
#3 Sneak Peak Set Up
Morning activities for students can also an introduction to new things! Students love it when they get to do something new! When you are going to start the day working on a project that requires some set up, put a very specific to do list on your students’ desks and let them set it up!
By allowing your students to set up the activity, you are giving them a sneak-speak at what they will be doing which will get them excited for the activity. While you are getting them excited for the new activity, you are helping them exercise their predicting skills as well. Inducing curiosity in your students is always a good way to motivate your students to put on their learning caps!
#4 Who’s the “Boss”
This morning activity might not reach every single student every day, but giving students a job in the morning can help the morning run smooth. You can even have some students be the “boss” of taking attendance or lunch count allowing you to get ready for the day.
Giving your students some extra responsibility can help make them feel special and it helps them get motivated for the day as well. Keep in mind if you are making students “the boss” it doesn’t have to be anything big.
Allowing a student to check the pencils can seem like a little thing to you but it’s huge to a student. If you decide to make a “boss day” or a boss job every day, you should rotate who’s the boss and always monitor to make sure bullying isn’t happening.
#5 Check Up
The final way to help get your students motivated in the mornings is to start the day with a “checkup.” This checkup can be a list of items they need to make sure they have like their books or any homework you may have assigned.
A checkup can also be a small worksheet they work on and then check to make sure they got the correct answers. The best part about doing a checkup, is you can literally do anything including:
- Checking homework
- Mentally checking on students through journaling
- Ensuring paperwork is signed
- Putting a book back he/she borrowed
The checkup method makes all of the options above possible and it gives you time to start your day.
Getting your students motivated for the day can be a challenge especially when you are trying to do a million things at once. Make sure you are taking advantage of the first few minutes of class by getting your students mentally and physically ready for a day filled with learning using some of the morning activities for students shared above..