What do the children in your class do first thing in the morning? Sometimes the morning can be a little be unstructured with children arriving at different times, some children needing a movement break or OT straight away, some needing to eat etc. Morning work-packs are something that have worked well for me to bring everyone together in the morning time with some groups I have had.
How to structure?
Each child has their own morning routine unique to them to help them settle e.g. unpacking their bag, using the toilet, eating, having a movement break or some quiet time. Once the children are settled, next on their schedule is morning work-packs. We all sit together at a group table doing our morning work-packs. If it suits your child or setting better, they could sit in pairs or individually.
What’s the function?
When the children are sitting at a group table to complete their work-packs, we can work on some targets from children’s Individual Education Plans (IEPs). For example the children may be learning to tolerate others sitting near them, they may be learning to sit and work as part of a group for X amount of minutes or to complete X number of tasks in a group setting. The children could be learning to work parallel to another child, to tolerate others in their workspace or to concentrate on their own work while being part of a group.
Because we use this time to work on some of those targets for the children, we ensure to include tasks the children have mastered before with some variety or change in the tasks. I find getting the children to start with these kinds of activities helps them to focus and settle into the school environment and their day.
What to include?
Depending on the needs of the children I am working with, I include a variety of different tasks. Some children may have one or two tasks to complete, some children may have a full work-pack of tasks and others may have a choice of tasks to complete. I have included some photos of each activity I mention.
Some general things I like to include are: Calendar related activities, day, week, month, weather. This gives the children a chance to process and figure out what to put onto the calendar before doing it as part of our morning circle.
Questions about the child: ‘How am I feeling today?’, ‘What colour ___ am I wearing today?’
Identifying, matching or sorting tasks, e.g. shapes, emotions, upper and lower case letter matching.
Practice writing their name, making marks or drawing lines, shapes. I laminate these pages and keep a small whiteboard marker with the child’s work-pack so this task can be repeated or swapped with other children’s work-packs.
The ideas for these work-packs are endless, these are just some of the activities I have found have worked well.
Here is a link to the morning work-packs I use, made using Smarty Symbols:
If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you.