In our packed timetables it is important to make use of every minute that is available to us. Below are some more ideas that we use to start the day:
Mobile gaming: In our school we have a suite of 15 PSPs with copies of a brain training game. Over the week every child has a go on one of the brain training mini-games. Scores are correlated and over time we can create class scores, compare and, for the really competitive people amongst you, have leagues. Even if you do not have access to this sort of thing through mobile technology, you can make use of online games to achieve the same thing. The important thing is the competition is motivating and children are able to get their brains going before the day.
Sharing poetry: In our class we have a Poem of the Week. At the beginning of the week the poem is introduced and then a range of activities can follow. Pick words from the poem and find synonyms, create similar descriptive passagea, find rhymes and look at the cultural background to the poem. This allows you to share famous, or not so famous poetry that does not necessarily come up in literacy lessons. So far this year we have had poems from Tolkien right through to Maya Angelou.
Art activities: When I have visited museums recently, we have been able to buy black and white versions of famous pictures to be coloured in. We have shared the original art on the board and then invited children to make their own versions. For the more able artist they are able to create their own interpretation, whilst the less able can use the templates purchased at the museum.
Speeches: A really simple one. Play famous speeches on mp3 in the class then discuss the historical significance of them. For more detail, try analysing the word choices made.