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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Kindergarten and First Grade Morning Work Tips, Ideas, and Resources

Morning work ideas for the kindergarten classroom, and for first-grade students, too. Low and no-prep, engaging printable activities that get students focused and ready for the day. Great teaching ideas for your morning work routine.

Morning Work Ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade

As we know, students thrive on expectations and routines. Starting off the school year right by establishing a good morning routine provides a great opportunity for your students to have a solid start to their school day. This practice of setting up a solid routine will pay off, for you and your students, for the entire year. It’s an invaluable ‘best practice’ that will undoubtedly set you up for success when it comes to classroom management.

We already know there are many benefits to having students engage in a morning work routine. Other types of more casual morning routines for kindergarten and first grade students just don’t pack the same power for prepping your students for learning.

Read, Trace, Glue, Draw Ocean


One significant benefit of morning work time, (as structured academic time), is that it gives students an extra opportunity to review and practice previously covered material. Because of this extra practice time, morning works builds confidence and independence in our young learners as well.

Another tangential benefit of the structure of morning work is that it naturally decreases negative behavior. Students who are engaged in rigorous and meaningful activities are not apt to look for, or find, early morning mischief! So, it follows that a morning work routine also increases positive student behavior. 

We also see that structured morning work can serve to improve listening skills, help students learn to follow directions, and provide peer to peer assistance and cooperation. 

When the morning is chaotic or unstructured, it’s usually followed by a cascade of negative behaviors.  This can lead to a negative start to the day, which causes an unproductive day, and from then, an overall negative learning environment. All this can result from the domino effect of unorganized mornings in the classroom. We owe our students more than this! 

Research tells us that with the routine and structure of morning work, the learning environment becomes more positive. From that positive learning environment comes a HAPPY domino effect of benefits to our kindergarten and first grade students.

Save My Ink August

A Positive Classroom Environment

A positive classroom environment helps students to become more successful with academics, as well as socially and emotionally. {“There is general consensus among researchers in the field that students’ sense of belonging is one of the basic psychological needs that when this need is met, positive educational outcomes can occur”} (Sari, 2012, p. 2)

Simply put, morning work equals a positive learning environment, and a positive learning environment gives student’s a sense of security and comfort. When those needs are met, the potential for learning goes through the roof! So, in a sense, we owe to our students to set them up for success at the start of every day!

Also, the way I see it, for K-1 students, one of the reasons morning work is so important, is that it serves to wake up their brains and get them ready to learn for the next 6 hours! 

I’m so excited to share a few different morning work ideas and new activities with you. They are simple and give students a great way to have extra time practicing vital skills, independently, during your morning work time.

1. Read, Trace, Glue, & Draw

Read, Trace, Glue, Draw Back to School

This activity is truly one of my favorite kindergarten morning work packs, and I always had it as an option for my morning work. Students practice sentences and handwriting. There are three formats available to easily differentiate and customize for your students’ needs, depending on their level.

Read, Trace, Glue, Draw 2

It also allows them to practice reading, handwriting, sentence structures, punctuation…and a little art! This activity is also an excellent way to practice their high-frequency words.

At the beginning of the year, I like to provide the tracing option for students. Forming letters in the beginning of kindergarten is hard! But we know that growing those fine motor skills in our young students is essential!  So, for a few months, students practice tracing the sentence. Once students develop strong letter formation by doing these types of activities, they begin writing complete sentences on their own.

Read, Trace, Glue, Draw

Check out this resource here:

2. Roll, Read, and Write

Roll, Read, & Write Spring

This is one of my newer products and it’s a great activity. This editable resource is used for students to practice letter formation, sight words, and spelling. Since it’s editable, you can add your own letters or words. Time is a premium! This resource was created so it doesn’t take a lot of time to customize for your kindergarten students!

Roll, Read, & Write Back to School

You can pick and choose from various themed options, including the holidays and seasons of the year.

Kindergarten and First Grade Morning Work Tips, Ideas, and Resources 2

What makes this set so useful is that, yes–it’s great for morning work, but it’s also perfect for early finishers, homework practice, small group work, (and small group warm-up!), and intervention group warm-up too.

You can find these units here:

3. Save My Ink

Save My Ink

All of the Save My Ink resources are perfect for when time is short and you need something engaging that’s also no prep! Just print and copy for your students. The Save My Ink monthly units come filled with a plethora of math skill activities and literacy skills plus activities that are perfect for morning work!

Kindergarten and First Grade Morning Work Tips, Ideas, and Resources 3

You can find these resources each with hundreds of pages, here:

I know that time is precious for a kindergarten teacher, but when you have a moment, I know you’ll find some great nuggets of wisdom in the other blog posts listed below. The ideas I shared for morning work routines in these posts offer engaging activities and ideas to keep your morning running smoothly. They are brimming with great ideas for morning work options, your morning meeting, fine motor activities, and even important social skills, all of which are very important components of any kindergarten curriculum:

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Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

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One Response

  1. Thanks, I get it and I’ll pay attention to it. Keep sharing info like this.

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