Morning time is a staple for public school classrooms in elementary school. It’s a great way to review math, writing, and a bit of reading. When my kids were younger we had the typical calendar time, and as they got older our morning time changed to include a review of whatever topics I thought they needed more review in at the time. Now that we’re almost finished with middle school, I thought I would share our morning time for middle school.
My goal for morning time during middle school
I want to use morning time to review and practice skills that do not need or require a full class. Morning time is a time to hone basic skills.
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Our morning time supplies
As I said, we’re using this as a time to review basic skills and make sure they’re able to quickly do basic math facts, so these are going to sound a little simple.
dry erase board and dry erase markers, vis a vis markers, Baffle Gab (will be explained), Daily Language Review, Daily Paragraph review, minute math book (I can’t find the actual title, it’s a bunch of basic functions math pages and fraction reductions, percentages, etc), homophone pages
Our morning time schedule during middle school
This has been a slow evolution to get to our final morning time schedule for middle school. I’ve added in things and deleted them as we needed to.
These first three each take one minute. The goal is speed, and precision.
- minute math- They get a laminated sheet full of 30 math problems, some form of basic math functions
- short story- I write 5 words from the Baffle Gab game on the overhead, each word has a point next to it. First, we rotated between ABC order, identifying parts of speech, and writing a short story with it. Very quickly I got down to writing a short story and they got buttons for each word they used in the story.
- homophones page- my kids are the WORST with homophones, so I have them work on them
This next part takes around five to ten minutes to do. We are working through the Daily Paragraph Editing and Daily Language Review (I bought them as downloads so I can easily print several, but I can’t figure out how to link to the download on the Evan Moor site). Each day they complete two days for each of the styles. It’s significantly below their grade level, but it gets them used to looking for mistakes and how to edit someone else’s work.
I also sometimes print out the spam email I get and have the kids edit those, but that’s only occasionally.
Previously, we’ve done reviews of our history and science lessons in the past, but haven’t figured out a good way to do that right now.
Extra bits we’ve done for our morning time during middle school
The day’s events, as they’ve gotten older our schedules have gotten more complex. It’s helpful to talk through all of that when we’re in the same place.
Daily paragraph. For most of seventh grade, my kids wrote a daily paragraph to my husband to work on their writing skills. It’s amazing how much their writing changed after that.
How to make morning time for middle school fun
I mentioned buttons when I talked about our Baffle Gab. If they finish their minute math, they write their name on it in Sharpie (so they don’t get that page again) and get a button. They get buttons for the words they successfully use in stories or a particularly good job on something.
At the end of the month we count up the buttons and see how many they got and they earn a prize. Sometimes it’s going to eat somewhere special. Other times it’s a special field trip, or maybe a special ice cream treat.
Those buttons are a big driver of motivation.