Always have a sponge ready for a class to do when they come in first thing in the morning. This calms them down and prepares them mentally and physically for the days work. It may be journal work, handouts, sentence practice, etc... These vary according to the grade.

The following are examples of sponges that can be done in a classroom:

Write 3-4 sentences on the board that have something wrong with them and have the children write them on their paper correctly. They can then make changes on the board. (Capitalization, spelling, punctuation).

How many words can you make using the letters in a word on the board and write some of the words found on the board when done.

Color puzzles where a number stands for a certain color.

Individual state puzzles to be done by students. Can also be used to reinforce a Social Studies lesson(can be ordered).

Picture stories: Show a picture or poster and have the students write either 5 sentences about the picture or a story about the picture(poster).

Letter words: Have students write 10 words beginning with a certain letter A - Z.

Word search puzzles can also be done if appropriate for the grade and age level.

Journal writing: A journal is not a diary of this purpose. It is a notebook to write thoughts and other things in. Examples: Write 5 - 10 words on the board to do with something happening that day. Then have them write a sentence for each word(windy, music, art, test, lunch, recess, etc...).

Write a situation on the board each day. Have the students copy these to their journal and write their answer or response.

I would's and What ifs:

If the moon were made of green cheese I would:
If it rained lemonade and snowed sugar cookies I would:
What would you do if someone took your favorite toy?
Which animal would you like to be and why?
Which would you rather be? A firefighter a dancer or a chef and why?
What would happen if it never rained?
What would happen if:
Schools did not exist?

All televisions were destroyed?
You did not have a name?
There were no cows?
It were daylight for half a year and night time the other half?
All people looked the same?
You wiped your nose with sandpaper?
You ate chocolate cake for breakfast everyday?
There were no holidays?
Every day were a holiday?
The earth had two moons?
Horses sang country music?
Orange was only a color and not a fruit?
You mopped the kitchen floor with juice?
You never cleaned your bedroom?
You never took a bath?
There were no erasers?
Cats barked and dogs meowed?
The only two colors were black and white?
Popsicles were onlt vegetable flavored?
You turned the water on in the tub and forgot about it. It started running out the door.
You were making breakfast and the toast burned, making the smoke alarm go off?
You were given a bowl of pudding and all you had to eat it with was a fork?
You accidentally spilled paint on your pet?
You woke up on Saturday morning and ther were no more cartoons?
You went swimming and your hair turned green?
Your parents told you that your family is moving to another country?
Codes: Find or makeup a code for the alphabet and give a copy to each child(laminate if possible). Each day, write a message on the board using the code. Have the children translate the message on the board.

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