Making a Change to what Kindergarten Morning Work looks like…
After seeing so many of my students struggle with basic fine motor skills, I knew I something needed to change. Enter what I call “The Fine Motor 15!” I decided to scrap the traditional morning work worksheet and begin each day with 15 minutes of fine motor activities. I only wish I had done this sooner because the benefits have been endless. This valuable time allows my students to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the hands while also learning to play cooperatively, take turns, and get their brains into the “Ready to Learn” mindset for the day. My students enter the room each day eager and excited to see what STEAM-based materials they get to explore that morning. It truly sets the tone to make every day a great day!
The Benefits of Increased Fine Motor Activity
Dedicating a short time to fine motor play each morning will pay off in the long run. “Working to help children develop the best fine motor skills possible at a young age helps to set the stage for success in school and at home, and more so, contributes to them feeling good about themselves. It also has huge run-off benefits for teachers who can then concentrate on teaching concepts of information rather than focusing on the mechanics of cutting, gluing, or writing.”- Fingergym.com
Today, there is so much pressure to teach all of the standards that we sometimes forget how important it is to lay the foundation before constructing the building. The Fine Motor 15 has allowed me to lay a solid foundation for my kindergarten students by providing them with the skills necessary to successfully complete any writing task thrown their way! I am so glad that I made the switch from the traditional morning worksheet.
Here are some of my students’ fine motor favorites for the new Kindergarten Morning Work…
My kids love this Word Construction set from Hand2Mind, and I love that it incorporates fine motor and reading at the same time!
Gears by Hand2Mind are always a favorite!
Students love these Magnatiles by Discount School Supply.
Stringing beads onto pipe cleaners make a fun and simple fine motor center. You can even incorporate this into math. Have the kids string 10 beads, separate them into two parts, and write all of the different combinations!
Play-doh Extruders by Discount School Supply are perfect for working those hand muscles!
Bristle Blocks by Discount School Supply are another fine motor fav!
The kids can’t get enough of Squigz by Discount School Supply !
Hand 2 Mind Custom Straws and Connectors are perfect for incorporating geometry into fine motor play.
These STEM BINS by Hand2Mind are on my fine motor wish list! They include 18 different manipulatives to use with open-ended STEM activities and make the perfect ready-to-go fine motor centers!
I also love this Fine Motor Bundle Kit by Discount School Supply. It has everything you need to get started with fine motor activities. This is definitely a big investment. It would be a great idea for a grant or Donor’s Choose project!
Have you made the switch from traditional kindergarten morning work?
Comment below. I would love to hear what morning work looks like in your classroom!
Check out my Kindergarten Korner Blog for more ideas for your primary classroom!