Why Not Morning Work?
What Are the Procedures?
When the timer goes off, I set the timer again for 2 minutes. Students know they have to work together as a team to clean up and be on the carpet by the end of the 2 minutes. If a table has not synergized, they lose the privilege of participating in morning tubs the next day. Three weeks in, this has never happened. My friends really treasure Morning Tubs.
What is the Teacher Doing During Morning Tubs?
Great question! During morning tubs, I always take Attendance on Infinite Campus and check the turn-it-in tray. Earlier in January when first introducing morning tubs, I spent a lot of time playing with my friends modeling kind social interactions. Now, if specifically asked or needed, I will join our morning-tub time, which I love doing. BUT 8 minutes, is just the right amount of time I need to read with a friend. My friends LOVE getting to new reading levels and it’s been a wonderful structure to encourage me to read with a friend each morning.
What Have Been the Benefits?
- My friends have started thinking outside the box with the materials. Base 10 pieces are logs and phonics dominoes are a card tower. All the ways they want to play with reading and math manipualtives during reading and math, they now have a devoted time to do so.
- Student walk in the door excited to get started. Morning tubs have minimized our morning routine. Students don’t want to waste any time making lunch choices, putting away their folders, or stowing their backpacks because they know their time is already limited.
- After playing and talking and laughing, my friends come to the carpet and are ready to learn. Our first Daily 5 choices have been out-of-the-world lately.
- We’ve become a *little* more flexible. While I love morning tubs (and my 1st graders do too), sometimes it isn’t possible. We need to start early or there has been a change in the schedule. When that happens, we’ve learned to say – “Oh well!” It’s a special treat when morning tubs happen, but not expected.
Where Do I Get the Tubs?
Several years ago I feel in love with this clip top Sterilite tubs. They make the PERFECT storage container…so much so that I wrote a whole post about them here. I use these medium clip-top bins for morning tub bins. They are much smaller than the large bins and SUPER deep. They are perfect for storing lots of manipualtives, cards, or materials. You can snag the labels FREE here.
What’s In Our Morning Tubs?
Our morning tubs are filled with lots of manipualtives (reading and math). While students are ‘playing’, they are also engaging with academic tools in a non-threatening way. They have the chance to explore new words with our phonics dice, they can make silly sentences with our sentence puzzles, create words with our letter tiles, conjure difficult math problems with the base ten pieces, and create 16-sided shapes with our geoboards.
Through Donors Choose I requested this low shelf that stores our morning tubs and indoor recess items. I love having one space where the bins are so students can grab them and go!
We have A LOT of building resources in our tubs. While this can quickly branch into “indoor recess” type of material, students still don’t have full recess range of freedoms. Additionally, when students build, create, and collaborate they are active, talking, and building relationships. We love Tinker Toys because we can create spinning and moving machines!
Interlox are also a class favorite. At first my friends struggled with them because their natural reaction is to build up. Students quickly learn that if they only build up, their towers will topple. By building wide and creating a strong base, students learn that they can create intricate buildings with these tools!
MagnaTiles are THE favorite material in our morning tubs. These magnetic building blocks are amazing and students can create almost anything they want. From 2D shapes to mazes to 3D masterpieces, MagnaTiles are pretty awesome! With that said, they are incredibly expensive (thanks, Donors Choose!) and they are a beast to clean-up. Still, childhood joy and excitement wins, so the MagnaTiles stay!
My 1st graders also LOVE Story Cubes. Each set of cubes has a different theme (verbs, ways to move, places to visit). Students role 2-3 of the dice and combine them into a story. These dice are perfect for adding excitement to writing and build a nice bridge to work on writing!
Reuse, Reuse, Reuse
While our classroom has been blessed with lots of Morning Tub choices from Donors Choose, yard sales, and family donations, I routinely use materials I am also using for reading and math. Just starting with Morning Tubs? Check out some of my go-to tub items!
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