A DAY IN AU {Morning Work}

I didn’t start off the year doing morning work, we just went straight into circle time. With time I noticed that if I wanted to get some solid one-to-one work time with some of them, they worked best first thing in the morning! Once they got the hand of the routine, we barely had to assist our older friends, so now we are able to give some extra attention to our young guys! This time is also great for going over social stories and behavior contingency maps to get a good start to the day.

After my students unpack, they sign-in on the promethean board and then check their schedules. To represent work they do at their desks, we use a yellow “work” card on their schedule that matches the large “seat work” card at their desks.

Yellow work card
Expectations for seat work poster

We do familiar routine activities for our morning work, so the students can learn to do them independently and these tasks can be added into their workboxes.

Organizing Materials

Since we complete our morning work at our desks, I keep EVERYTHING needed at my front table to ensure a quick and easy set-up before the students arrive (or sometimes at the end of the day the day before if I’m feeling overly-productive – very rare).

I make all copies in advance so they are always available and I don’t have to go running to the copier just to wait in line for 20 minutes on Monday morning.

We keep all hands-on puzzles/fine motor activities in a crate under the table by the desks to place out in the morning. Pieces are kept in small baskets to keep us from having to scatter them all over the desks so we don’t end up losing or mixing up pieces!
Morning Work Activities

Older Students: My older students complete Words Their Way sorts and basic skills goal work daily (counting, addition, subtaction, patterns, time, money, etc.). I use activities from my basic skills packs for goal work. I also use activities from my One-to-One Correspondence Pack for my students that are still struggling with counting correctly. I create similar activities in these monthly packs so students don’t need as much direction from me once they get the hang of the activity. This promotes independence, which makes this teacher SMILE! 🙂

Words Their Way: We follow the same weekly routine.

Monday:Pre-test/Cut words out
Tuesday-Thursday: Practice Sorting
Friday: Glue into notebook, Post-test

Younger Students: A lot of my little guys are working on colors, matching, size, shapes, etc. so their morning work consists of a lot of hands-on activities such as puzzles or matching tasks. We also do binder work using the matching pages from my monthly basic skills packs, as well as the tracing and cutting pages.

Turn it in

After students finish their work, they are expected to turn it in, so they can go on to do whatever they were working for (computer, reading center, sensory, playdough, etc.). We have reinforced names and dates since the beginning of the year, and they are rocking this!
For my little guys, we still write their names with a highlighter and help them trace it, but they still get the idea of what they are expected to do. 
Next up: Circle Time! 

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  1. Christine Ranta on March 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Good morning! I found you through pinterest and am very glad that I did. I just returned to teaching after a short hiatus because I thought I would never teach again (bad district). Anyways, I'm back and very happy. I am in a different state and returned for this year as a para pro. I have a single student who is nonverbal. After spending a few weeks with him, I think he is ready to learn to read. Problem is that he is non verbal. Any ideas how to proceed?

    • Mrs. Dixon on March 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      That's awesome, Christine! For my students that are non-verbal, I do a lot of receptive language activities, for example, "Point to the picture of a ____, point to the letter ___, point to the letter that makes the sound __, point to the word ____." When they are reading sentences, you could have them read a sentence and then access what they know by asking them to point to different words in the sentence. Depending on this students level, you could also use comprehension activities with words or pictures as answer choices after the student reads a passage or story to see what they understood from it. Does your county use a structured reading program, such as SRA or Edmark? Starfall is a GREAT free website to use with beginning readers and they have tons of free printables to go along with the lessons you could use! I will try to remember to write a longer post for this later when I'm finished with this series, but if you have any other questions, just contact me at the link above. I'd be happy to help any way I can! Thank's so much for the question!

  2. Anonymous on June 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I have been using the Edmark Functional Word series with my non-verbal son. We've tried different phonics programs and he knows all letter sounds but has been unable to blend sounds. This series is sight word based. It's amazing how quickly he picked up on it. He can point to the requested words and is even trying hard to say some words. They have grocery words, safety words, and signs around you words.

  3. Anonymous on July 28, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you for your post. I have just been hired as an ASD 4/5 grade teacher this year and was wondering if what I had in mind for my curriculum was in line with other teacher. This was a very helpful outline!

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