Skip to main content

Morning Tasks

What a day!
I had absolutely no breaks all day long.
The two prep periods I had were devoted to meetings - one with a parent and another one to discuss our next PYP unit - the Exhibition of Learning!
And, as if that weren't enough, I had recess and lunch supervision.
Finally, there was a leadership meeting after school.


Despite the fact that it was an action-packed day, with no breaks for me, I loved the energy that my students and I created throughout the day. We laughed and were serious. We were loud and quiet all at once. Each part of our day today could be a separate blog post. I'm going to write about the conversation we had about our morning routines. At a later time, I plan to write about other things we're doing in the classroom.

Every morning my students have 15 minutes for morning tasks which include checking email and Edmodo, as well as finishing assignments. They can also read, write, work on a project, or do a classroom job. It has been a constant struggle this year to get some students to realize the value of this time for getting organized and transitioning into the school day. So, today we had a conversation about how 15 minutes can add up to a significant amount of time over the course of a week (75 minutes), month (300 minutes or 5 hours), school year (45 hours) and adding up to about 8 school days or about 40% of the total allotment of absences permitted by the Ministry of Education before a student is in danger of repeating the year. 

I probably talked more than necessary, but I feel it was an eye-opener for some kids to put our "morning tasks" time into perspective. Nevertheless, there are a couple of kids that need a specific assignment because they are not ready to take on this challenge for themselves. I'm thinking that a combination of 10 minutes doing a teacher directed task and 5 minutes on their own might be a good place to start, decreasing the teacher assignment over time.  

I don't want to take away these 15 minutes altogether because most of my students do take advantage of this time and are busy from the minute they walk into the room until it's time to break for PYP or another lesson. We'll see how this goes over the next few days.

What does your morning routine look like for your students?  

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Teacher I Want to Be

I have been dismayed to realize that despite my self-image as a teacher with a learner centered classroom, I am far from truly achieving that goal. 

I have been listening carefully to myself lately, and I don't like what I hear myself saying to the kids. Instead of empowering my students to take ownership of their learning, I am still the director on the stage. I still ask leading questions rather than ones that push the learner to figure things out for herself. I realize I often spoon feed my students hopeful that they will give me the answer I'm looking for. An answer that will make my job easier. Answers that will fit with what I expect students to say despite the fact that 30 years in education has taught me nothing if not that students are unpredictable, and if we prepare for anything, that is what we should be prepared for. 
An anecdote. The other day I was talking with a student about the fact that she was abandoning more books than she was finishing. I was as…

Searching for Balance

I have been doing a lot of soul searching over the last couple of days. 
And, I've come to the conclusion that I must change my attitude - shift my stance - so I can assume a new perspective. So that I am more aligned with what's important and may add value to my life.  
Focusing on the negative is not making me stronger or healthier. In fact, I am often stressed because I worry a lot about unimportant things. I obsess over situations out of my control. I dismiss positive experiences that would help lift my spirits and align my focus towards what's important. 
I need a distraction from my own thoughts.
I need balance in my life. Not because I work hard to prepare my classes. Not because I read a lot of professional literature. Not because I wrote a lot this summer and will continue to do so now that school has started. But because I have been obsessing on the wrong things. Mostly, I obsess about what someone said or did and what it says about me as a teacher. I obsess about …

Sitting in My Usual Spot

I am sitting in my usual spot.
At least it has been my usual spot for about a week now.
It has become my work space.
It's where I sit to participate in online summer PD activities.
It's where I read.
It's where I write.

My usual spot is in a corner of the couch.
The arm rest is unusually wide.
I can pile my books, notebooks and even my laptop there.
And, I do.

I used to have a more conventional work space,
but then my husband, who works from home,
and was struggling to stick to his side of the desk,
finally spread out,
invading my work space.

One day, after many attempts at getting organized,
and not succeeding,
he told me that he was going to add an extension to our house,
so I could have my own work space.
I told him it was cheaper to tidy up.
That was months ago.

Before claiming my usual spot,
I set up a temporary, wobbly table against a wall in my bedroom
for a work space.
I used that for a few months.
Not ideal, but better than nothing.

I've reclaimed my conventio…