I realized just how much I love this system when I started writing sub plans one day. As I started to write them the first thing I listed was morning work. All I had to write was they come in and do their morning work and they all know what to do. It felt great, so I decided to snap some pictures to show you what I use and explain to you why I am in LOVE with our routine. First, every table in my class has their own morning work basket with a number on in.
Inside of the baskets are all of the materials they will need for the whole week. (We rotate baskets each week). The materials are a ring with 5 morning work task cards all aligned to CCSS, books, morning work sheets, and a bag with their name for unfinished morning work. This is where though you could insert your own tasks or morning work ideas if you wanted to.
When the kiddos first get to the room they have their basket already on their table. They pick a card from the basket and get to work. Some cards may ask them to read a book from their basket and complete a task and others may ask them to get a morning work sheet to complete. All of this work is done in their morning work notebook. The pages are numbered in their notebook so they know what page to complete each task on (makes easier for grading). The cards are simple enough that they can complete one card each morning. At the end of the week, I take up the notebooks and baskets and grade them. On each page I either put a check or I circle the number if they need to go back and look at it again. I might even put a note as to why it was circled. Most of the time it is because they did not follow all of the directions on the card such as color your picture.
On the inside of their notebook I put the date and the grade they got for the week. As you can see in this picture I used it was the first time we did these, and I waited and graded at the end of the month of August (we had only been in school 2 weeks) and the girl missed 10. After that they start to get the hang of it and do much better.
Now why do I LOVE this routine so much? Several reasons. One, it is aligned to CCSS and increases in difficulty through the year. Two, I can get grades from it each week. Three, the kids know what to do all year long without me having to explain it. And the biggest reason of all is because at the beginning of each month all that is required of me is to print and laminate the cards (which I won't have to do next year) and make a few copies of the required morning work sheets to put in their baskets. After I take care of that I am finished preparing morning work for the entire month. Ahhhhhh sigh of relief! It feels great.
Click on the picture to be taken to the bundle for the whole year if you want to see more images. I'm going to put this bundle on sale for just $15. Like I said though you can easily use the general basket/rotation idea that I just described with your current morning work. Try it and I promise you will fall in love!