Morning Work Activities For Special Education Classrooms

Morning work activities can be a great time to build in social skills and fine motor in a routine way. It doesn't have to be worksheets and it doesn't have to be extra prep for you! I use morning work as a way to prime students for the rest of the day. We spend our day integrating social skills, fine motor and language, so I wanted to start their school day in a way that prepared students to meet the expectations.


Morning work activities can be a great time to build in social skills and fine motor in a routine way. It doesn't have to be worksheets and it doesn't have to be extra prep for you!

I use morning work as a way to prime students for the rest of the day. We spend our day integrating social skills, fine motor and language, so I wanted to start their school day in a way that prepared students to meet the expectations.

My goals for morning work


  • Be hands on activities and engaging. I want my students to like this time & not trigger behaviors. 
  • Encourage social skills and fine motor skills
  • Be something my students could set up or get out. I already have enough prep!
  • Be routine and predictable


Our morning work routine

To accomplish all of my goals, I chose 5 general activities and assigned them each a day. I posted the schedule on the wall near the table we usually use. Here is what it looks like:

Morning work activities can be a great time to build in social skills and fine motor in a routine way. It doesn't have to be worksheets and it doesn't have to be extra prep for you! I use morning work as a way to prime students for the rest of the day. We spend our day integrating social skills, fine motor and language, so I wanted to start their school day in a way that prepared students to meet the expectations.


The first student into the room looks at the schedule and gets the materials out for the class. It builds in some responsibility on their part and can be motivating to getting into school for some students.

All of these activities are easily tweaked a bit. For example, we can use plain paper or paper based on our theme on both Mondays and Fridays. We can rotate puzzles and building sets monthly so they stay fresh and engaging. We also add in different sensory dough on Tuesdays. Super simple!

Results

  • My students really enjoy this time! They enjoy that they have time to play with these materials. 
  • Rotating materials in and out within the activities kept it fresh and engaging for students.
  • Students were motivated to get off the bus and into the classroom. 
  • Doing morning work this way met all of my goals. My students were engaged and interacted with peers. 
  • Having engaging activities required less supervision and support, so we were able to get more accomplished during this time.

We will definitely be continuing this system!





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3 comments

  1. I have used a similar system for years in both gen ed and special ed settings. It is fantastic! For my higher functioning kiddos, I allow they to choose from the list of activities. I love the part where they get it out, direct their own work, and clean-up. This type of activity is such a good way to build community in the classroom.

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  2. What were some of your activities for your higher functioning kids? I think this is a great idea and am thinking of using it myself!

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    Replies
    1. We used these activities for the whole class because the focus was on social skills. You could do board games or any activities your class enjoys.
      Thanks,
      Pam

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