Saturday, March 16, 2013
We are always looking for good morning work. The trick is to get something meaningful to the students but that takes very little prep. Since we came back from the winter holidays, we have been using an assignment that is working very well for us. We put one vocabulary word on the board and one spelling word. We have been struggling with our children starting sentences with capitals and remembering to put the ending punctuation so we wrote a rubric that included writing the date correctly (the idea is that if they have to write the date every morning they are more likely to remember how to spell the months!), writing a sentence with the spelling word (caps and punctuation count) and the word must be spelled correctly, and writing a sentence and picture with one of the words. Both the spelling words and vocabulary words are part of the Skills assessment at the end of the week. We give the children 15 minutes after the bell rings to unpack, change out their book-in-a-bag while the school's news show, WCCE, is on. We also pledge and sing the Star Spangled Banner during that time. We grade the spiral bound notebooks intermittently to keep the children interested. Some days we actually ask the students to bring their notebooks to the carpet and call on students to show the others what they have written and drawn. All in all, it's pretty satisfying morning work!