6 Reasons to Use First Grade Morning Tubs

Are you looking for a simple way to help mornings run more smoothly in your classroom? Would you like your students to be quietly learning as you attend to the many things needing your attention in the first minutes of the school day?  Consider using morning tubs!  In this post, I’m going to share the benefits of using first grade morning tubs in your classroom.

First Grade Morning Tubs

Benefits of First Grade Morning Tubs

Morning tubs are more than a helpful classroom management strategy for arrival time! Here are several benefits of adding morning work tubs to your routine.

1. Save Time

Morning tubs are a low-prep way to have morning work ready for the week!  All of the materials your students will need for these activities can be quickly prepped and stored in their respective morning bins.  Each morning, students will just need to grab their assigned morning work tub before heading to their seats.  

An apple themed picture sort for long and short vowel sounds

Morning tubs can also save you time when it comes to giving the same instructions multiple times. Since these activities are self-explanatory or easily modeled on a picture instruction card, students can get right to work. This is why morning tub activities are a great option for arrival time when your attention is being pulled in five different directions!

2. Provide Hands-On Skill Practice

Hands-on learning activities are so important in first grade!  They keep students engaged while providing important fine motor skill practice.  Morning tub activities can help students practice grade-level literacy and math skills in a fun and engaging way.  They are able to sharpen their foundational skills for reading stories and solving story problems.

Morning work tubs can help students review and retain important grade level skills.  It’s important to be mindful that morning tubs don’t contain activities that are too difficult for students, causing frustration first thing in the morning.

3. Support All Learners

There are many ways to differentiate morning tub activities for your first graders and limit frustration.  I set up a morning work rotation to ensure that my students participate in the right morning work activities for their current needs.  I strategically partner students together for this rotation.  Then I fill morning work tubs with activities I know students can complete independently or with a partner. 

A morning work tub with a counting activity

On the other hand, supporting all learners might mean that you allow students to choose which tub they would like to use each morning. Students will likely choose the activity that best allows them to work independently because it is something that interests them.

If you choose to assign morning work tubs, you can also make quick adjustments to the tub based on which students will be using it that morning.  You could add or remove recording sheets based on whether or not students could use the extra accountability or challenge.  You can also add or remove the number of task cards in each tub to ensure that students have an appropriate amount of work and don’t feel overwhelmed. 

4. Build a Soft Start Morning Routine

Young learners thrive on routine, so it won’t take long for them to get in the habit of coming into the classroom, hanging up their backpack, taking care of their lunch choice or any other morning task, and then picking up their morning tub.

Morning tubs can also help your students ease into a day of learning.  Many students have chaotic mornings as they try to get to school on time. Being welcomed by a loud and hectic classroom won’t help them regroup! I have found that the routine of morning tubs can cut down on the morning chaos.  Students know exactly what to do and can quietly work on their morning activities.  This creates a soft start routine that gives students the chance to prepare for a day of learning. 

5. Encourage Sharing and Cooperation

A rainbow themed roll and cover activity

There are several reasons why it’s helpful for students to partner up for morning work tubs. For one, you can cut down on prep time and save space by needing fewer tubs.

However, the main reason I like to have students complete morning tubs with a partner is that it encourages sharing and cooperation.  In first grade, students can benefit from any chance to share materials and cooperate in partner tasks.

When you pair students, you can add games to your morning tubs.  While many of the game-like learning activities that I use for morning tubs can be played independently, students love completing them with partners!

6. Reuse and Repurpose

The final benefit of morning tubs that I wanted to share is that you can reuse these activities and repurpose them in different ways! The first grade morning tub activities that I’ve created are easy to repurpose as low prep literacy and math centers.  You can also make them available for fast finishers. Once you have laminated them for durability, you can reuse morning tub activities in many ways and for years to come! 

A cvc word building activity in a first grade morning tub

What to Put in Morning Tubs

The reason why morning tubs are so helpful is that you can customize them for the needs of your class and the amount of prep time you have.  There truly are no right or wrong activities to put in morning tubs!  Choose activities that are easy to prep and allow your students to quietly work independently.

Activities for First Grade Morning Tubs  

If you would rather have an all-in-one solution for morning work tubs, I have you covered! As I mentioned above, I have created printable activities for first grade morning tubs. In fact, I’ve created an entire year’s worth so that you can create a simple morning work routine that lasts from the first day of school to the last!

These literacy and math activities are organized into three groups to support your students at different points of the school year. Once prepped, these first grade morning tub activities can be used for center rotations, small group learning stations, or fast finisher activities! If you’d like to add morning tubs to your classroom, click below to take a closer look!

Save These Ideas for First Grade Morning Tubs

Be sure to add this pin to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest!  You’ll be able to quickly find this post whenever you want to revisit these tips for first grade morning tubs. If you would like even more first grade morning work ideas and tips, check out this post!

Morning Tubs for First Grade