I Know The Secret To A Great Morning!

The secret to a great morning in kindergarten is no big secret…it’s really quite simple.  Get them in the door with activities that are independent, engaging and keep them coming back day after day.  Easy right?  Right!  Well maybe the idea is easy, but sometimes the activities, organization, and implementation can be a challenge.  That’s where I come in.  I believe in the power of morning work.  I’ve seen the difference starting the morning with these activities has made in my classroom and in the attitudes of my students.  Students are on time.  They come in excited to ‘play.’  And when we do start the day, they are ready!

November Morning Work Stations - Hands On and Engaging

How It Works!

If you are new to my morning workstations, you can learn more about how I set them up and organize them in my classroom by checking out my blog post about Back To School Morning Work Stations HERE.

In addition to building on previous knowledge and familiar activities, one of my ‘must haves’ for keeping morning workstations independent is having a visual, in action ‘I Can’ sheet for each activity.  It is a great way to give students a visual nudge in the right direction.

These are all the ones you’ll find included in November’s packet.

And I know they are going to be so excited for November’s set, just as much as they loved October.  So let me show you what I’ve come up with.


1.  Trace and Cut Lines

2.  Dry Erase Tracer Pages

3.  Linking Leafy Words

I provided the ability to edit the ‘bag of leaves’ cards so that you can give your students the words you want them to practice while they use these plastic links.

4.  Linking Acorn Numbers and Quantities

Students love when I put these activities into a small sensory bin.  Choose which skills you want them to focus on or give them the challenge of matching up all the quantities using plastic links.

5.  Feathery Sight Words In Sand

This is always a favorite for my students. My 85-year-old mother tromps through the words every year to find me turkey feathers, but you can also get them on Amazon or often at local craft stores.

6.  Feathery Sight Words Now and Then

When I really want to step up the ‘writing with a feather‘ activity, I add a response sheet and a little diluted tempera paint. Editable feather cards mean that students can work on the words that are appropriate for them.  Just print them off on different colors of Astrobrights cardstock for easy differentiating.

7.  Playdoh Acorn Counting Math Mats

I still have students struggling with numbers so these simple cards are perfect.

8.  Playdoh Acorn Counting Making Ten

SInce all kindergartens want to use playdoh, I didn’t want to leave my kids who had mastered their numbers out, so I extended the activity a bit with a ‘making 10’ challenge.

9.  Playdoh Turkey and Fill Your Plate Mats

10.  Fall Q-tip Pictures

Another favorite fine motor activity . . . choose from a maple leave, acorn or pumpkin design or complete all three.

11.  Autumn Leaves Finger Painting

12.  Hidden Acorns

It wouldn’t be morning work with a therapy putty activity.  I found these small acrylic acorns at Hobby Lobby, but you can use buttons or pony beads just as easily.

13.  Hidden Acorns Find and Sort

Here students simply sort what they find by color.

14.  Hidden Acorns Find, Sort and Count

You can also give them this laminated recording sheet for sorting and counting.

15.  Feed The Bird

It’s super simple to differentiate this activity just by changing out your playing dice.  Here my students use a dice-in-dice and add that many pieces of ‘bird feed’ to their turkey.  When all the feed is gone, they count up their pieces.

16.  Leafy Ten Frame Self-correcting Cards

Making morning work independent is easy with self-correcting cards!  Here students make numbers 0-10 on ten frames by moving the plastic leaves (you can also use foam) to the mat to make the number.

When they have completed the task, they open the card to see if they did it correctly.

17.  Leafy Ten Frame Self-correcting Cards Counting Before and After

For those students that need a bit more challenge, I added recording the number that comes before and after.

18.  Acorn Grab, Spin and Win

You can use either real or artificial acorns for this activity.  I live in the woods of Northern Michigan, so I have used both.  Simply write numbers on your acorns using a paint pen or silver Sharpie.  Students use tongs to select a number and compare it to their partner’s number.  They then spin the spinner to find out if the number that is less than or greater gets to keep both acorns.

19.  Self-Correcting Sunflower Seed Count

Because I can’t get enough counting exercises in this year, I included this sunflower seed self-correcting counting activity for numbers 0-10.

Love how those cards make this so independent.

20.  Self-correcting Acorn Count (0-20)

For students who need to count beyond 10, there is a self-correcting counting activity using these pretty artificial acorns I found on Amazon.

21.  Acorn Sticker Count

Who would have guessed that stickers could be such amazing fine motor practice, but they are.  Students outline the acorn with stickers and then count up how many they used.  You can use any stickers you find really.  I snagged these up at a local department store.

22.  Gel Bead Sort

Of course, there is a gel bead activity.  Students really have to work hard to pick up those beads one at a time.  The sorting activity is a great enough challenge some days.

23.  Gel Bead Roll and Win

If I really need to extend the activity beyond sorting, I can differentiate using various dice . . . and by the way, a small light table takes this activity to a whole other level of engaging.  Trust me.

24. Thankful for Legos:  Pilgrim Hat, Fall Tree, Turkey

My students are once again, obsessed with Lego challenges.  This month my son, MaGill, was my guest Lego designer.  He came up with this fabulous turkey, a pilgrim’s hat and fall tree to challenge my morning work students.

25.  Constructing Letters and Words

Need a new way to practice sight words?  I always do, so I created these editable Fall Sight Word cards, and I’m putting this fall leaf scatter to good use by making words with them.

If your class is like mine and you still have students who are not yet ready for sight words,  I also have letter cards for them to practice letters as well.  Again, those transparent scatter pieces are amazing when you throw them on a light table.  You HAVE to try it.

26.  Turkey Containers Count and Record

Dollar Tree containers are my most favorite thing these days.  They are easily converted into some thematic picture and can easily house various manipulatives.  These little turkeys I created will house more of that great acrylic fall scatter, but you could use buttons, pompoms or pony beads if you prefer.  Students count the leaves and record their answer.

27.  Fall Tree Containers Adding Up

For my students who are working on addition, I simply changed the containers to fall leaves.

28.  Leafy Lowercase/Capital Matching Puzzles

My students love these puzzle activities, and when I throw them into a sensory bin with some seasonal filler, it becomes their favorite!  I decided to print each set off on a different color of Astrobrights cardstock for easy differentiating and organization.  This set matches capital and lowercase letters.

29.  Leafy Letter Sounds Matching Puzzles

These golden leaves are for students working on beginning sounds.

30.  Leafy Simple CVC Words Matching Puzzles

The green set will be available for students working on CVC words.

31.  Fall Color Patterns

I am a big fan of kinders working on patterns.  This self-correcting activity keeps this one independent.  Students complete the pattern and check their work by opening their card.  Instant feedback!

32.  Shucking Corn

Don’t laugh.  Shucking corn is incredibly good for fine motor, and, quite honestly, it feels so therapeutic to me.  I’m not going to lie . . . I’m often hanging out at the activity.

33.  I Spy a Leaf Letter Match Up

These fall tree mats are editable so you can program the letters you want your students to practice. Just label those acrylic leaves with a matching lowercase or capital letter.  Students take turns selecting a leaf and attempt to be the first to cover their mat.

34.  I Spy a Leaf Sight Word Match Up

I didn’t want to leave my students who are practicing sight words out of this fun, so I have another mat that is programmable for sight words as well.

35.  Story of Thanksgiving Bracelet (and Easy Reader)

Finally, I love any activity that marries fine motor with other academic skills, and this one is no exception.  It’s and oldie, but definitely a goody.

And that, my friends is just a quick overview of all things November for Morning Work in my classroom.  Want to find out more?  Just clic HERE or on the picture below to get all the details.  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to December’s set . . .

Marsha Moffit McGuire

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