Morning Seatwork Challenge

For the past two years and this year, I have used the Mastering Basic Skills® Second Grade and Mastering Basic Skills® Third Grade books for Morning Seatwork with my second grade students. On the first day of school each week, my students arrive to a fresh Morning Seatwork packet on their desk, and they complete one page (front and back–on the back page, students write their spelling words one time) each morning, after unpacking and before being able to read silently in the library area or trade out their book box books. I love using these books to supplement the curriculum and provide fun and challenging morning work for my students.


This week, one of the challenges my second graders got from the Mastering Basic Skills® Second Grade book was an addition chart! After students attempted to complete the chart on their own (with much guidance), we looked at a completed chart and discussed all the patterns we could find.

This was a great way to get my students thinking bright and early in the morning! How do you get your students working first thing in the morning?


What Is A Sentence?



Good afternoon!

I’m sure you’ve noticed that your child has been taking home lots of writing! For the first two weeks of this school year, I wanted students to have the freedom to write a lot for a few reasons.

Related imageFirst, I wanted to test their endurance and see how long our class could work on silently drawing a picture and writing about a specific topic.

Next, I wanted to informally assess the students’ understanding of what elements form a complete sentence and how to put sentences together to make a paragraph. I’ve also been looking at spelling, grammar, syntax, and puncutation.

Finally, I wanted students to get used to the initial structure I have for Centers in our classroom. For the first several weeks, we will be working in Centers as a whole class, following a schedule of DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), Silent Picture-Drawing, Silent Writing, Group Word Work, and a Fun Center.

While some of our students are very comfortable with using telling sentences and asking sentences (statements and questions) to form interesting short paragraphs, many of us need some review and additional support around forming a complete sentence and using punctuation to separate our thoughts.

Here is a short video we watched in class today that reminds us of important parts of a complete sentence: