An Alternative to Morning Work

I got an interesting idea in my inbox this week from my blogging friend Kathleen at Growing Kinders.  She had the idea that she wanted to get rid of paper morning work and try something new . She decided that morning baskets were something she wanted to try and gave some examples in her blog post here.  I liked her idea almost immediately and started making a list of materials I could include in mine.  I really like the morning work I’ve been using–there’s not a thing wrong with it, but I also wanted my kiddos to have experiences reviewing ideas and concepts that we have learned about before–plus it saves paper!!  I pitched this idea to my student teacher and we jumped up, yelled “Go Team!” and began raiding the closets.


Here is what we came up with:

Basket #1 contains an ABC puzzle, roll a shape game, books, and an iSpy bag.


Basket #2 contains Brown Bear color cards and letter tiles, books, iSpy bag, and some fun candy corn playing cards


Basket #3 contains an iSpy bag, I can spell three letter words flip book, shape matching game, and booksphoto

Basket #4 contains number memory, books, a Chicka Chicka magnet board, and an iSpy bag with lettersphoto

Basket #5 contains a rhyming game, books, an iSpy bag, and some fall themed patterning cardsphoto

Basket #6 contains an addition game, books, Halloween themed pattern cards, and an iSpy bag with

We collected everything from my math and literacy cabinets.  I got the pattern cards from Scholastic book orders several years ago, the books are some of our old leveled readers, most of the boxed games came from Marshall’s department store (T.J. Maxx/Home Goods), and I made the iSpy bags last summer.  I plan on making more of them soon. 🙂

We tried to put at least one math and one literacy activity in each basket along with some books and an activity that required partner work.  Each table of 4 children will share one basket and the baskets will rotate daily.

I told my children that we would try them out to see how it works but that I needed their help to show me that they could be responsible in taking care of the materials.  I also mentioned that the children who eat breakfast would need to wait until they were done with breakfast to use the materials so they would not get milk and juice or syrup spilled on them.

What do you think of this idea and what are some other activities you would include?  Thanks to Kathleen for this wonderful idea!  I was tossing it around in my brain but couldn’t come up with anything, so thanks for bringing this to fruition!  I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

About Kristen Poindexter

I am the 2014 National Shell Science Teacher, 2014 PAEMST Awardee for Science, and a Kindergarten teacher who blogs about my adventures in teaching!

Posted on October 30, 2013, in Morning Work. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hi,
    I am intrigued by I Spy Bags. Where do you get them and how do you use them? Also, how will you manage the additional “learning noise” with children using baskets? I am fine with engaged chatter and talk but we only have 10 minutes before we have to move into small groups for reading. Any help you can provide is most welcome.


  2. Hi Kristen, I love the idea of morning baskets. I think I will try them too! If you have time, could you send me the November calendar? Were you able to order the popcorn for me from Jake? Just let me know what I owe. Thanks!

    From: Kristen’s Kindergarten <> Reply-To: Kristen’s Kindergarten <> Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:01 AM To: karen berman <> Subject: [New post] An Alternative to Morning Work

    Kristen Poindexter posted: “I got an interesting idea in my inbox this week from my blogging friend Kathleen at Growing Kinders. She had the idea that she wanted to get rid of paper morning work and try something new . She decided that morning baskets were something she wanted to t”


  3. Good ideas! Our kids enter the building at 8:25-8:50 this year so we need to keep them engaged for 25 minutes. This would create choice & independence! Also curious about the I-Spy Bags.


  4. I’ve done something similar for years and it’s great! Helps with the late arrivers and getting them settled in the morning, without being too boring. I do Literacy baskets first thing in the morning (early in the year, just working on their names with different materials) and after lunch we do the same thing, but with Math baskets.
    I rotate the groups each day, and change the activities each week or two.


  5. Hi! What a great idea to put our all those games to use.


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