Sunday, August 18, 2013

Morning Warm-Up

My reading instruction is broken into the whole group lesson and then small group instruction/workstations. In the beginning of the lesson though, I like to just do some daily activities to get their little brains churning before we dive into the nitty-gritty.

1) Morning Message: My kids get very bored with this very quickly. Their standardized testing in language arts requires them to fix "broken" sentences :)--proper tenses, capitalization, etc. So I do like to use a few sentences where they can review this. But I also include analogies so it does contain some higher-level thinking. Sometimes I will choose 2 things and ask them to compare/contrast them as well-this was a bunny and a dinosaur. I also like to do a Mad-Libs-type activity, where I ask them for adjectives, etc. and then we fill in the blanks-I love "Be gorgeous!". These pics are pre-Smartboard :

2) I wish I could remember where I saw the activity that inspired this idea for me-but I can't find the blog post. They were doing a bulletin board of it. However.....

I am going to give them an answer (probably a word for vocabulary review) and let them give me the questions. I cannot wait to try this out with my kiddos. They love wordplay and I think could really stretch their thinking with this activity. So if I said "penguin"-they could say "what is a bird who loves to slide on ice", or "who was an evil mastermind from Batman" (it was Batman, wasn't it?), or "what kind of animal is Tacky". What they could come up with would be limitless!

3) Poem for fluency: we read the same poem every day of the week and on Fridays they add it to their Poetry Journals. By the end of the week, especially if it's one with good rhythm, they usually know it by heart-so they are not only practicing that fluency, but also connecting the text with the words they are saying. I do use fun poems like Prelutsky, but also authors like Frost and Langston Hughes. How perfect is this one for our first week to go with our dragon theme:

4) Songs-I am a big fan of singing songs with the kiddos. This is also a reinforcement of their print connections because the words are on the screen and they are re-reading them each day. If you don't know the site: - a great resource for theme-related songs.

5) Ethics debate-this one I have posted about before. I have the kids turn to a partner and discuss a question-are they pro or con? What's more important?

6) I love using photographs! I will put a photo on the screen for them to practice describing words, creating titles or asking questions based on the information they are missing-unanswered questions. This site is an incredible resource:  . They are pics from around the world and some can be from war-torn places and therefore a bit graphic, so it's not something I let the kids go on by themselves.

7) Quote of the day-I give them a quote and ask them to tell me what it means. Sometimes this is very difficult for them. I'm going to do quote journals this year! :) I will share when we get them started. Our 1st quote is from Pete the Cat--"I just keep walking along, singing my song".

Do you do a morning warm-up for your reading lesson? And if so, are there any activities you would add?

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  1. Check out my newest post on Triads and click the link to my old post on Hink Pinks. They might help your students to be engaged in the morning message. I used to do morning message and incorporated them in with it and the students were far more engaged. Just a little idea!

    I'm your newest follower!

    Mrs. O
    Mrs O Knows

  2. Such a great list. Every time I visit you and find a teaching treasure! Thank you!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  3. Your students are so lucky that you are able to introduce higher order thinking in so many ways in your classroom.