Starter For 10…

So… here we are.  I have decided to take the plunge into blogging.  I hope this goes well!

The sun glistened in the sky on a bright Sunday morning during the summer holidays and while I was getting dressed to take my lad to rugby I had an inescapable urge to find some interesting things for my class to do when they bounce through the door of my classroom.  I already have a bank of activities that work well for me, but I wanted to see what others do, partly so I could compare and think ‘Oh, I do that too!” and feel happy in the fact that others do the same, but more to see what I can do to improve my own practice.  I took to twitter.  All year I have been developing my PLN (Personal Learning Network to those – like me – who didn’t know!) and this was really the first time I had thrown a question into the twitter abyss.  I expected to get perhaps a couple of responses, but I was delighted when my phone wouldn’t stop buzzing in my pocket at the rugby… for more than one reason!

I retweeted the responses I got so that my followers saw the ideas that people were coming up with, but, for the first time, I felt like I had actually something worthwhile to blog about as well!

So here it is.  My first post.  A bank of activities that we came up with for quick activities to give to children when they come through your door in the morning!

My initial tweet asked for 5 minute independent activities for KS1 children to come into class and settle to in the morning.  These were the activities I got in response:

Read a book.

Number of the day:

Choose a number and write it on the board.  The children have to:
add 1;
take 1;
half it;
quarter it;
double it;
divide by 10;
x 10;
+ 100;
– 10;
+ 10;
+ 99;
– 99;
state how many tens in the number;
state how many units are in the number;
state if the numb is odd or even;
state which multiplication table it is in;
write some problems where today’s number is the answer;

Register games linked to SPaG, e.g. name as many nouns beginning with the letter of your first name.

Have sets of magnetic letters where children have to make words with a given criteria, .e.g. words with a certain phoneme.

Reading detectives:

Give a text and children have to find a specific phoneme/word.

Hundred square jigsaws.

Thunks which are similar to…

Thinking keys:

I have not come across these before but a quick search came up with this TES link which has an explanation of the keys and example questions to get you started.

Guess the number: Give children clues to a number using mathematical terms.

Nrich site with a countdown game

Look at the same book but different covers – how are the different.

Maths drills from

Look at books in a series and find the similarities and differences.

Put a joke on the board without a punchline and discuss.

Handwriting practice – names, spellings, etc.

Look, cover, write, check for spelling practice.

A variety of phonics games.

Draw a… (spaceship, bridge, lighthouse, coastal scene, etc.)

Find the other calculations: Put a calculation on the board and children have to write what other calculations they can work out from it, e.g. write 2+4=6 and the children have to find 4+2=6, 6-4=2 and 6-2=4

Find the word in dictionary game: children have a dictionary in partners.  Teacher says a word and the class race to find the definition. Alternatively, words are written on the board and children write the definitions on their own white board.

Speed tables:
Print a 5×5 grid with a selected times table written in the top of each cell (leave enough room for the answers).  Children have a minute to complete as many as they can.  They then complete the activity again overleaf with the same selected times tables written in a fresh 5×5 grid trying to beat their own score.  Alternatively, give the children a blank times table grid and see how many answers they can write in a selected time.  Can do with different sized tables for younger children just sequencing numbers to 20/50/100.  Tests love to throw in a number square where the last number on each line isn’t 10!

Put 3 numbers on the board and see what the children can make using only these and the four operations.

Write a selection of letters on the board.  What words (real and pseudo) can they write.  Pseudo words have to be given a definition!

How many number bonds for numbers up to 10/15/20 can they write in 5 minutes?  Keep a personal best.

A-Z lists: names, places, food, brands, nouns, adjectives…

A few websites that were tweeted:

Slightly out of date but worth a look for an example – Start Of Day Activities

Daily Writing blog post

Mathematics Shed – Popular Culture Shed

Mathematics Shed – Early Years Shed

And finally…

practice looking at the wall, sitting on the carpet, silent… thanks, Rich!

A Word on Variety
Most importantly of all those is variety.  Doing any of these all the time is deadly both to the kids and to your career!  Variety is the spice of life and having a range of 5 minute educational starters will help my children come and be ready to learn in the morning.

A million thanks to all who joined in the chat and gave their ideas:

@grahamandre @Bennett31 @bryngoodman @MissKingsley85 @FarrowMr @Year2lowerplace @HylandMcCabe @Jenga76 @Janine2014UK @DWar @MeadusE @emmacoyle83 @johndcotter @WatsEd @MrsSNeedle


5 thoughts on “Starter For 10…

  1. Fab to see the ideas all here in one list. May I print it off for my next team meeting?

    Glad to have contributed 🙂

    Love the PLN – never heard it called that, but glad you are in mine!


  2. So glad you are doing this. I am seriously considering blogging and will follow yours with interest until I am brave enough to start!


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