In my classroom, students begin the day by working independently in their morning work books for 10-15 minutes. Trying to design the original version of the morning work book in 2003 is what first got me developing my own curriculum materials. Back then, my results were pretty basic (and typed in comic sans.) So it brings me great delight to share the updated model. We've come a long way baby!
After a year of work, my new bundle of joy is 180 pages of common core standard language arts/math spiral review. And 100% comic sans free! The first 30 pages or so review 1st grade concepts because the kids haven’t learned 2nd grade material yet and, by keeping the content simplified, children are able to master the expected procedures.
This morning work book is as comprehensive as I can make it while keeping the format predictable enough for students to work on independently. I think of it as spirals within cycles. Every ten pages is one “cycle.” The type of question on page 3 is the same as 13, 23, 33, etc., but the content within those cycles gradually increases in difficulty. So on page 8 students are asked to find a picture with a short i sound.
Every 10-page cycle has its own:
1. Vowel pattern focus (following the Words Their Way sequence) that progresses from short vowels through long vowels to diphthongs (oa, oy, aw, etc.). Words using this pattern are used throughout the cycle (in sight words, spelling practice, vocabulary words, story problems, editing sentences).
2. Consonant pattern focus (following the Words Their Way sequence) that progresses from basic blends/digraphs (sh, tr, etc.) through less common blends/digraphs (gn, nk, ld) to ending consonant patterns (le, tch, dge, on, etc.). Words using this pattern are used throughout the cycle (in sight words, spelling practice, vocabulary words, story problems, editing sentences).
3. Vocabulary acquisition word that fits either the vowel or consonant pattern for the cycle. Students will practice the word 4 different ways during the 10 –day cycle. The idea is that repeated exposures over time aid in retention of the word.
On the first day, students are given a child-friendly definition and asked to illustrate the word.
On other days, students are asked to make a personal connection to the same word and later asked for some non-examples of the word. Finally they’re provided with a sentence stem (to ensure accurate context) and asked to write about the word.
4. Original story to practice comprehension and fluency. Students read a story on page 5 (15, 25, etc.) answer questions about it, and finish a graphic organizer. On page 10 (20, 30, etc.) students read the same story for a second time. This time they answer vocabulary-related questions. They are then asked to rate their reading fluency. It may be useful to have students buddy-read the story and give each other feedback. Or you may want to time students reading the first time and again the 2nd time to see how they improve with repeated readings.
Stories alternate between fiction and nonfiction and many of the words in the story are taken from the cycle’s vowel/consonant focus.
5. Grammar/Usage/Mechanics focus. These are skills taken from the common core and are reviewed at different times during the book. Students are asked direct grammar related questions such as:
They’re also asked to apply what they’ve learned to editing sentences such as:
where is dans shoe
Still with me?
So the cycles are kind of like the backbone. Let’s put some fluff on this beast!
B. This box alternates between vocabulary and phonics. Questions rotate among 4 different question types for each subject.
C. This box rotates among spelling, grammar, and usage questions. Again there are 4 different question types that appear.
D. [Purple D] On pages 1,3,6,8 students are given a sentence to edit. The errors in the sentence relate to the cycle’s vowel/consonant and grammar focuses.
[Blue D] On pages 2,4,6,9 students are given a prompt and asked to write their own sentence. They then check for capitals, punctuation, and spelling errors.
E. Students are asked to identify which sight word is spelled correctly.
F. At the beginning of the year, students are given a number word and asked to write the numeral. As the year progresses this box holds time, money, expanded notation, and number sense questions.
G. [Purple G] On pages 1,3,6,8 students practice the cycle’s vocabulary word.
[Blue G] On pages 2,4,7,9 students write whatever sight words your class is working on for the week.
H. [Purple H] On pages 1,3,6,8 students do one of 8 spelling practice activities.
[Blue H] On pages 2,4,7,9 students complete a vowel practice, number of the day, guess my rule activity, or a math facts review.
I. Math content box that rotates among reviewing number bonds, place value, time, graphing, skip counting, number lines or money, measurement, or geometry.
K. Math review boxes that start with basic addition/subtraction practice and advance to more difficult addition/subtraction, number sense, and place value problems.
Phew! You can see what it’s taken me a year to finish! I used a rough draft of this with my class this year. Based on that experience I tweaked this some more. Can a book of worksheets be considered art? If so, this is my masterpiece!!
If you think this is something that would be helpful for your kiddos, you can get your copy over at Teachers Pay Teachers. And you can download a free 10 page preview there too.
Included in the set are:
*180 different pages covering nearly all of the language arts and mathematics common core standards.
* A cover design (if you choose to bind it)
* A scope and sequence for language arts
* A page of helpful tips
* A copy of this blog post explaining how the book is laid out
Please don't share these files with others. You would be handing out in seconds what has taken me a year of hard work to create.