Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wake Up Your Brain

Many teachers ask kids to work on some kind of "start of the day" activity upon entering the classroom. Some call it seat work, others call it morning work, but I call it "Wake Up Your Brain." The kids love this fun play on words and it brings a playful element to sometimes boring or routine (but necessary) tasks. 
 I started doing "Wake Up Your Brain" in my first year of teaching when I noticed kids needing to do one short academic task to set the tone for being at school. I used to have them just start with some choice time where they could play games, do puzzles, color, legos, etc. Things would get a little rowdy when we went straight into play! I still find that time to be really valuable but I've found that it's better when they have already completed a learning task to kick-off the day! Usually, I choose something simple that they can do alone or with a partner. It's a great time to do some math practice pages, handwriting practice, or other "busy work" kind of things that support and reinforce learning. I don't usually introduce something brand new.
I created a cute sign to hang on the corner of my whiteboard then I write the task in the same place each day. The kids know to come in the classroom in the AM, put their things away, and look at the white board for the "Wake Up Your Brain" task. Then they're off with a great start to the day!