Start of the Day Activities

Age Range: 5 - 16

If you're looking for teaching ideas and activities to try at the start of the school day, browse through the list below. All suggestions were contributed by teachers and visitors to our site:

Mark Warner:

  • Crooked Brains is a great site which has photos which can be used for 'Start of the Day' activities:
  • Look at some of the 'Creative and Cool' designs and ask your class to create their own version of the objects shown.
  • Pupils could think of words / phrases to describe what they can see in a given photo.
  • Some of the pictures could be used as a starting point for a story... or for getting pupils to describe what happened next.
  • You could also ask the children to imagine that they have to sell something shown in the photographs... How would they describe it? How would they persuade people to buy it?

You can also access the popular Early Morning Activity Packs on our Teaching Packs site.

Lara Savory:

We have four activity starters on the board, a selection from:

  • Jumbled up letters,
  • A number (make it in different ways),
  • An unusual shape (what could this be?),
  • A word to find synonyms for,
  • A word to find rhymes for,
  • A subject to make an alphabet list for,
  • A picture of a character (what questions would you ask?),
  • A thunk (a la Ian Gilbert),
  • An answer to think of questions for,
  • Alternatively they can read,
  • At some point in the day we share our favourites.

This image shows one way of presenting these activities:

Starter Activity

Tucker1146:

We have DIG time...Digging independently toward your goals. I have four stations.

  1. They read e books. (fill out sticky note)
  2. Magazines then post on a sticky note a Wow fact that will make the next group want to find id.
  3. Computers. We have a site called www.studyisland.com to work on skills.
  4. Reading non-fiction. Also post on sticky notes the name of book and summary of what they read. At end of 40 min period we share the sticky notes and skills.

Andy260:

We have a wake up and work circuit, just 10-20 minutes at the start of the day with year 1, 

  • Mon- Learn the lyrics to a new song, good for improving reading skills.
  • Wed- Word off, competing against other classes to create as many words as possible from a phrase...eg, 'world cup is coming', you could make RING. Good for vocab and spelling.
  • Thurs- Idea shower- one word in the middle of the board, eg. space, and they post it what they know about that subject and stick on the board, this is really good for AfL on what you have been doing.
  • Fri - Learning a new dance, using wii- just dance, or just classic dances, this links to wake up shake up, and really keeps them active on the last day of the week.

The children have now embraced this rota and come to school earlier so they get this fun 10 minutes in. So boosted our attendance. :)

A visitor:

I work in a rural preschool centre where the children love singing to popular music. We put CD's on, mostly bought in from the children's home, and the favourite songs are played and sung repeatedly for a good 15 - 20 minutes. It is their choice. Our early group of 3-4 year olds love hopping up on their little chairs and singing to their hearts content at the top of their voices. Their favourite song of the moment is "Just the way you are" from the Glee CD. This singing together is an opportunity for the children to get active, as they hop up and down on the chairs throughout the song. It also gets them involved in a group activity and sets the mood for the day.

Mrdoctorwhomad:

A mixure, depending on what day it is, or what the first lesson is

  • MON - No wake-up activity until Homework is completed. Usually Brain Gym (Dancing)
  • TUE - Wall of Words. Create a "wall of words" out of one subject. i.e. Positive Words
  • WED - Paper Games (played on mini whiteboards) Hangman, X and Os etc
  • THUR - Singalong. Gather Years 1-3 and Years 4-7 to sing popular songs.
  • FRI - No wake up activity until Spelling Test is completed. Using the netbooks (Mathletics)

Mismissigt05:

As a bell ringer assignment, my kids love it when I give a Mind Trap Question. I call it critical thinking. They take little note sheets that I've cut from recycled paper from a designated location (usually near the board where the question is posted), and I tell them that if they talk I won't accept their response. When the timer goes off (or when I walk forward to begin class) their answer has to be in the designated location or else it doesn't count. I read the question aloud and, I read aloud each student's response. They soooo love hearing me anounce their name with their response (this takes usu. about 1-2 minutes). When done I say, "The students who response by stating....... are correct!" They celebrate and laugh, etc.afterward. I give those students classroom bucks, or sometimes I just let them put their response in a little box, and randomly pull someone's name at the end of each week for a small treat or incentive. They love it, and it lets me know that their brains are in critical thinking mode!

Laurie D:

I provide critical thinking activities- a question, a puzzle, riddles, or put a painting on the smart board and ask questions that require observation and critical thinking. They write these in their journal. When t\hey are finished, then they are to read silently.

Rachel:

EYFS - I always start the day with a caption challenge (phase 3 sentence) a writing challenge (phase 2/3 cvc words and a sentence), a maths challenge with repeating patterns/missing number from sequence/ addition and subtraction sums/ what is the name of this 3d shape, and a body challenge "Can you do this? and a picture of a child either rolling his toungue, spreading his fingers etc etc somewhere in the provision (Children choose to do it or not). Children love sharing their attempts at the challenges in morning diary time and lends itself to talking about talking about what they think they might need to practise that day!

Anna Kim:

I usually give my pupils a few quizzes to do on the board, like guessing the word. I noticed that they now come to the classroom earlier and start to "warm up" this way themselves and invite me to join their game too!

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please leave a comment below...

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Mark Warner

Crooked Brains - https://www.crookedbrains.net/ - is a great site which has photos which can be used for 'Start of the Day' activities:* Look at some of the 'Creative and Cool' designs and ask your class to create their own version of the objects shown.* Pupils could think of words / phrases to describe what they can see in a given photo.* Some of the pictures could be used as a starting point for a story... or for getting pupils to describe what happened next.* You could also ask the children to imagine that they have to sell something shown in the photographs... How would they describe it? How would they persuade people to buy it?

Rating: 
0

Ldsavory

We have four activity starters on the board, a selection from:Jumbled up lettersA number (make it in different ways)An unusual shape (what could this be?)A word to find synonyms forA word to find rhymes forA subject to make an alphabet list forA picture of a character (what questions would you ask?)A thunk (a la Ian Gilbert)An answer to think of questions forAlternatively they can readAt some point in the day we share our favourites.

Rating: 
0

Anton Benkestok

Since i belive, that divergent thinking is being neglected by a large, my energizers always tends to work with that. Its pretty simple and straight forward, for example i could use flash cards and place a few on a table, with the blank side up. The idea is, that the childs curosity is being trained and rewarded by an image on the flash card. The image could be anything you want, like a planet, animal or whatever. Its always a great way to start a school day, to curious.

Rating: 
0

Tucker1146

We have DIG time...Digging independently toward your goals. I have four stations. 1. They read e books. (fill out sticky note) 2. Magazines then post on a sticky note a Wow fact that will make the next group want to find id. 3. Computers. We have a site called www.studyisland.com to work on skills. and 4. Reading non-fiction. Also post on sticky notes the name of book and summary of what they read. At end of 40 min period we share the sticky notes and skills.

Rating: 
0

macadaser

yes when i do the register the kids read quietly and i put some warm up games so they dont be lazy

Rating: 
0

Andy260

We have a wake up and work circuit, just 10-20 minutes at the start of the day with year 1, Mon- Learn the lyrics to a new song, good for improving reading skills.Wed- Word off, competing against other classes to create as many words as possible from a phrase...eg, 'world cup is coming', you could make RING. Good for vocab and spelling.Thurs- Idea shower- one word in the middle of the board, eg. space, and they post it what they know about that subject and stick on the board, this is really good for AfL on what you have been doing.Fri - Learning a new dance, using wii- just dance, or just classic dances, this links to wake up shake up, and really keeps them active on the last day of the week.The children have now embraced this rota and come to school earlier so they get this fun 10 minutes in. So boosted our attendance. :)

Rating: 
0

guest

I work in a rural preschool centre where the children love singing to popular music. We put CD's on, mostly bought in from the children's home, and the favourite songs are played and sung repeatedly for a good 15 - 20 minutes. It is their choice. Our early group of 3-4 year olds love hopping up on their little chairs and singing to their hearts content at the top of their voices. Their favourite song of the moment is "Just the way you are" from the Glee CD. This singing together is an opportunity for the children to get active, as they hop up and down on the chairs throughout the song. It also gets them involved in a group activity and sets the mood for the day.

Rating: 
0

Mrdoctorwhomad

A mixure, depending on what day it is, or what the first lesson isMON - No wake-up activity until Homework is completed. Usually Brain Gym (Dancing)TUE - Wall of Words. Create a "wall of words" out of one subject. i.e. Positive WordsWED - Paper Games (played on mini whiteboards) Hangman, X and Os etcTHUR - Singalong. Gather Years 1-3 and Years 4-7 to sing popular songs.FRI - No wake up activity until Spelling Test is completed. Using the netbooks (Mathletics)

Rating: 
0

Mismissigt05

As a bell ringer assignment, my kids love it when I give a Mind Trap Question. I call it critical thinking. They take little note sheets that I've cut from recycled paper from a designated location (usually near the board where the question is posted), and I tell them that if they talk I won't accept their response. When the timer goes off (or when I walk forward to begin class) their answer has to be in the designated location or else it doesn't count. I read the question aloud and, I read aloud each student's response. They soooo love hearing me anounce their name with their response (this takes usu. about 1-2 minutes). When done I say, "The students who response by stating....... are correct!" They celebrate and laugh, etc.afterward. I give those students classroom bucks, or sometimes I just let them put their response in a little box, and randomly pull someone's name at the end of each week for a small treat or incentive. They love it, and it lets me know that their brains are in critical thinking mode!

Rating: 
0

Laurie D.

I provide critical thinking activities- a question, a puzzle, riddles, or put a painting on the smart board and ask questions that require observation and critical thinking. They write these in their journal. When t\hey are finished, then they are to read silently.

Rating: 
0

Mark Warner

We've recently published a set of 200 'Early Morning Activities' that can be used at the start of each day. You can download them on our Teaching Packs site at https://www.teachingpacks.co.uk...

Rating: 
0

Rachel

EYFS - I always start the day with a caption challenge (phase 3 sentence) a writing challenge (phase 2/3 cvc words and a sentence), a maths challenge with repeating patterns/missing number from sequence/ addition and subtraction sums/ what is the name of this 3d shape, and a body challenge "Can you do this? and a picture of a child either rolling his toungue, spreading his fingers etc etc somewhere in the provision (Children choose to do it or not). Children love sharing their attempts at the challenges in morning diary time and lends itself to talking about talking about what they think they might need to practise that day!

Rating: 
0

Kim

I'm a new reception teacher with a class of 14 of which 10 do not use English as their first language. Any ideas on learning the alphabet to make.it enjoyable for all

Rating: 
0

Anna Kim

I usually give my pupils a few quizzes to do on the board, like guessing the word. I noticed that they now come to the classroom earlier and start to "warm up" this way themselves and invite me to join their game too!

Rating: 
0