Engaging Morning Work Ideas to End the Morning Chaos

Mornings in the classroom can sometimes be a chaotic time. Activities like putting away backpacks, getting things prepped and ready for the day, making lunch choices, taking attendance, talking to parents and teachers who stop by can all play into the chaos of a short period of time! Morning work is important because it is the perfect way to set the stage for the day and add a daily consistent routine. Students will get in some quality learning time, they will quiet themselves from the morning chaos and prepare for a day of hard work. Sound like the morning you'd like to have?  Let's dive into some of my favorite morning work ideas your students are sure to love!

Use these engaging morning work ideas to end morning chaos in your classroom this year.

Having engaging morning work available is important. Plan and prepare simple, yet effective and engaging activities for students so it takes the guesswork out of your mornings. Using things you already have on hand, plus awesome resources, you will be on your way to getting students prepared to tackle the day. Haven't used morning work before? It is never too late to start! You will see how magical it can be to get those few minutes of learning in at the start of the day, and how the morning routine can change everyone's entire day.  

Math Morning Work Ideas

Morning work is a great way to transition students from their home routine to the school routine.  With so many things going on it can be an overwhelming time of day.  Instead of moving forward with that feeling of being overwhelmed, intentionally build in a time to transition to a focused state where your students are feeling in control and ready for the day. 

Providing students with fun, engaging work they can practice easily at their desks is always best. Look for low prep, simple activities which make it easier on you as well! 

Using Math in your morning work ideas will help you get in more math practice but also give your students something fun and educational do to in the morning.

Math concepts make great activities for effective and engaging morning work. At the beginning of the year, students can review key skills from the year before. By the middle and end of the year, we have taught several key math concepts so there should be plenty to practice. Let's check out my favorite math morning work ideas!

Place Value Tens and Ones

Place value is a concept we practice over and over in the early years. It is a foundational concept that is the base of number sense and a concept that students will build on every year. Even after our place value unit is over, practicing this concept is important and a great time to do that is during morning work! 

Use place value tens and ones as engaging morning work ideas to get some hands on place value practice your students will love.

This place value activity will have students practicing place value tens and ones to 100. This clip card activity is highly engaging and will allow students to practice counting the tens and ones shown on the card.  

Students will be exposed to place value through pictures, ten frames, and base ten blocks. They will count and then clip the correct number to represent the amount shown. Like most morning work activities, these are self-checking so that students can work independently at their desks and decompress from a busy morning. 

Tangrams and Pattern Blocks

When thinking about starting up a morning work routine in your classroom, think about using things you already have on hand in your classroom. You can pull from centers, use low prep resources like the one mentioned above, and use other items you already have access to.

If you are like me, you have things like tangram pieces and pattern blocks in your classroom. These can make a fantastic activity to pop in a morning tub or to pull out when you need a quick and easy morning work activity. 

Tanagrams and pattern blocks are a great addition to your morning work ideas and are a fun game-like activity for students to complete in the morning.

Tangrams and pattern blocks help students with problem-solving and teach things like shapes, angles, measurement, and patterns which make them very versatile. They will get students jumpstarted for the day and get in some fine motor skill practice at the same time. 

Plus, students absolutely love them and they are so much fun to work with. If you are in a pinch and need a quick and easy morning work activity, pull out your tangrams and pattern blocks and let your students get to work!

Sight Word Practice Activities 

We can't forget about sight words, right?! I love using mornings to review and practice sight words. I try to make sure at least 1-2 days of the week include a sight word morning work activity to help my students master their word list. If you're envisioning endless flashcards... think again! 

Sight Word Secret Code

The mere mention of a "secret code" gets my firsties excited to participate! That's why I love using these Sight Word Color by Code Pages. Set 1 focuses on 72 commonly used sight words that you're likely working on with your students. They're a little different than your typical color-by-code since students will need to complete two steps to solve them. 

Sight word secret code no prep printables like these are engaging morning work ideas that require no extra work for you.

First, they'll write the letter for each beginning sound. Then, they'll crack the secret code to read the word! Finally, they color the picture in by the code. I find that these multiple steps help to ensure they stay interested in the activity. Plus, the no-prep nature of these pages makes them super simple to use any morning!

Phonics Morning Work Ideas

Practicing phonics in the morning can be a great way to get students focused and engaged. There are lots of fun, interactive activities that students can work on independently as they start their day. These activities will get students' brains fired up and ready for a day full of learning. Here are some of my favorite phonics activities to use as morning work.

Beginning Blends Clip Cards

Clip cards are one of my all-time favorite activities for morning work because they're super easy to prep, and engaging for students. Plus, my kiddos get the added benefit of fine motor practice as they work to clip a clothespin to show the correct answer on each card. This bundle of Beginning Blends Clip Cards is the perfect way to practice L blends, R blends, and S blends first thing in the morning! 

Get in some extra beginning blends practice with these clip cards you can use as engaging morning work ideas that can be completed in small groups or centers before the day begins.

Each set includes 36 clip cards and 2 phonics worksheets each with 3 versions to differentiate as needed. These easy-cut cards are so simple to prep and will quickly become one of your go-to activities to have in the rotation. I like to laminate the cards for durability and store them in photo boxes. Then, before your kiddos arrive, simply place the task cards out with a bucket of clothespins and you have instant morning work! 

Beginning Blends Tic-Tac-Toe 

Speaking of beginning blends, this Tic-Tac-Toe Game will quickly become a student favorite! Your kiddos will LOVE working with a partner in the morning to practice beginning blends. They'll take turns using a paperclip spinner to spin a blend. Then, they choose a square and complete the word. The first one to complete three in a row wins! 

In small groups, or in partners use these beginning blends tic-tac-toe cards for a fun game-like morning work idea your students will love.

There are 2 gameboard printed on each page to save on paper and make prepping these a snap! I print, cut, and laminate for long-term use. You can also have students play solo for blackout as well. One things for sure - your students will absolutely love this fun morning work option! 

Are your students working on ending blends instead? Not to worry, I have a set of gameboards for those as well! These will come in handy all year long for practicing and reviewing blends during your morning work activities. They also make a fantastic sub tub option as well. 

Consonant Digraph Puzzles

Next up on my list of engaging morning work options... Digraph Puzzles! Around here, I'm a big fan of easy-cut puzzles for many reasons. First off, they're simple and quick to prep. No spending hours cutting along jagged lines! Second, they're a bit more challenging for students since they won't be able to simply match up the puzzle based on how it looks. They'll have to carefully solve each puzzle through skills application instead! 

consonant digraph puzzles like these are a great addition to your morning work ideas and give students the opportunity to quietly get in some ELA practice.

These puzzles focus on matching common digraphs to the correct picture. Students will choose a picture card, say the word, and then find the written word to complete the puzzle. Then, they write their answer down on the included recording sheet for accountability. There are two recording sheet options, one with word writing and one with word mapping to customize this activity to your students' abilities. I love that this activity offers some hands-on learning first thing in the morning as students arrive for the day. 

FREE Trigraph Puzzles 

Would you like to try some of these easy-cut puzzles out for yourself? Be sure to grab these FREE Trigraph Puzzles to use with your students. These puzzles feature a super cute lemonade theme that your students will love. Plus, they'll give you a chance to see how well they work for morning work activities!

Grab this trigraph puzzle FREEBIE to use in your engaging morning work ideas to help end the morning chaos this year.

Making The Most of Mornings

Mornings don't have to be a chaotic and overwhelming time in the classroom. With a little bit of prep work, you can easily transition students from the hustle and bustle of the morning to a calm and focused transition to learning.  

Make the most of your morning work ideas with engaging and fun ELA and math activities your students will look forward to every day.

By combining things you already have on hand with some low-prep, engaging resources and you are well on your way to creating a smooth and seamless morning for yourself and your students. Because mornings will set the tone for the entire day, it's important to get students focused and ready to learn with morning work activities that engage the mind and are fun at the same time. I hope you enjoy these morning work activities and ideas as much we do! 

Save These Morning Work Ideas for Later

Be sure to save these morning work ideas to your favorite classroom Pinterest board!

Looking for fun and engaging morning work ideas to help you end the morning chaos in your classroom this year? Grab these exciting activities that are not only fun for your students but little to no prep for you. Use them all year long for meaningful ELA and math practice you can fit in every day before school starts.

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