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Morning Routines

Compiled By: Editor

Morning routines for the intermediate grades

Morning Meeting
Posted by: ogteacher

For 17 years I have started every school day with Morning Meeting for my class of combined 4th - 6th grades. We pass a Speaking Stick (special carved stick) around the circle. The child with the Speaking Stick has the floor - everyone else is a listener, although they can respond to what the speaker has said when the speaker is finished. The stick gets passed aroung until every child has had the opprotunity to share. Children can pass without speaking.

Often the children talk about what they did the evening before, but all kinds of things can come out of Morning Meeting once children are comfortable with it. Topics such as illness in the family, concern over something in the news, a plan to raise money for disaster relief, an idea for a great project, come up out of this forum. Children build a sense of trust and community.

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Morning Activity
Posted by: Jessica

Each morning, my 5th Graders know the routine! They come in the room and look at the board. The first activity of the day is: THE QUESTION OF THE DAY. I write the question on the board. They are to copy the question down in their folder, date it, and then answer it. A few of our questions have been: What is a desparado? How many Providences does Canada have? Name them. When did Labor Day start? What is an arcitect? and so on. They can find the information in encycolapedia and on the Internet (I bring up a page with the info on it for them to read through, so I don't have them wandering into strage sites.) Then I write under that what I want them to get started on next. Usually it's hand in their homework, and then work on their monthly activity packet until everyone is finished. Works great.

Morning Stations....LONG!
Posted by: Leslie

Hi! I will try to explain this the best way I can! Let me know if you need any clarification!

I do "Morning Stations" with my fourth graders Tuesday-Friday (Monday mornings are reserved for morning meeting and teaching of the new spelling skill) . There are four stations in my classroom that remain the same each week, and students are placed into preassigned groups.
The groups rotate Tues-Fri, so for example on Tuesday a Group A will go to Station #1, Wednesday this same group will go to Station
#2, and so on. The activities remain the same for one week, then change. Here are samples for each station:

Station #1 : Reading Comprehension (they read various high interest articles or stories and answer questions, usually open-ended questions).

Station #2 : Math (Usually a brain teaser from, or similar word problems)

Station #3 : Language Arts (review of previously taughts skills, such as sentence building, parts of speech, punctuation, spelling, or cursive practice).

Staion #4 : Writing Prompt

This has been very effective in my classroom. These stations take about 15-20 minutes to complete, and students self-correct their
work. When they are done, they know what they can work on, which is usually "work in progress" or silent reading. If students do not finish their work at a station, I usually will not have them
finish it and just check what they have completed. If they haven't finished because they were fooling/talking/daydreaming, etc. then
they must finish at recess.

Other miscellaneous info about morning stations that you may find helpful:

I have a bin in the front of the classroom labeled "Morning Stations". In this bin I have 3 folders labeled according to where the stations are, like "Carpet Station", "Octagon Table", and "Rectangle Table". I place all papers that the students will need for each station in these folders. There is not a folder for journal prompts b/c I type the prompts on the computer so the students can glue them into their journal notebook (this saves time so they're not copying the entire journal prompt themselves and can spend the time writing). I also have another folder labeled "Answer Keys" where the students can easily find the answers to whatever they're working on. They know that they can only view the answer keys after they have finished. In the morning, the first student to the station gets the correct folder. The group is responsible for putting the folders/papers back into the bin when morning stations are over.

I have a "Morning Station" sheet that I post on the chalkboard explaining each station. Also posted on the board are the groups. Here is a sample of the "Morning Station" sheet that's posted on the board:

Remember to date and title in your notebook.

1) Tease Your Brain!! Work at the octagon table to figure out who purchased lunch first. Be sure to explain in writing how you found each answer. Do the second brain teaser if you have time.

2) Dogs Giving a Hand!! Work at the carpet to read how dogs can help people and answer the questions in your notebook. If you finish early, read and answer questions about Mummies!

3) Amazing Adjectives!! Working at the rectangular table, find adjectives and adverbs in a story about the Davis family. Write the answers in your notebook. Complete the reverse side on adjectives when you’re done (in your notebook).

4) Vivacious Vacations!! W hat activities did you do during April vacation? Using at least 4 adjectives and 4 adverbs, clearly retell your
favorite activities during vacation. Underline the adjectives and circle the adverbs!! Work at your desk and write at least 16 lines.

Hope this helps, and let me know if you need further information. Maybe interested teachers can correspond via email to trade ideas for this...let me know if anyone's interested!
If you need more info, just let me know!


Morning Meeting
Posted by: jane

You start the day with a message written to your class. The idea is to give them a heads-up about what's on the agenda for that day and you try to build the class's enthusiasm and motivation. Finishing the morning message is an interactive question where each child makes a response. (can be a survey type question and should be related to your curriculum and current lessons. Example: What do you think was the most difficult challenge for pioneers? Leaving their, threat of Native Americans, sickness, other) This will be reviewed and discussed at the end of Morning Meeting.

Start with everyone sitting so they can see each other. A meeting circle is great but I have had large classes turn their chairs in a way where we form somewhat of a circle; some might call it a puddle. Begin with everyone greeting each other. Teach social skills: eye contact, smile, good handshake, and use the person's name.

Then have a sharing time. I have a schedule with about 3 kids a day. I will give a theme such as a photograph, a favorite book, talk about your future career, share a special family story, ...lots of options, sometimes just an open share or a whip share where you throw out a quick question and everyone responds. (What is your favorite animal?) Child only talks for a minute and then asks for comments or questions from the class. (Stress that a comment is not telling your own story! ) I allow 3 follow-ups for each share.

An enjoyable educational (academic or creative) activity would be the third part of the meeting. Play "Buzz", "Sparkle", guessing games, charades...something that gets the kids' brains warmed up for the day. Only play for a couple of minutes.

Finally, have a child read your morning message and discuss answers to your interactive question. I will also finish the meeting with behavioral issues if there is a current problem in class. We reinforce our class rules, talk about consequences of making wrong choices, and we might even role play better ways to handle difficult situations.

The point of Morning Meeting is to make a safe and positive transition to the school day. Everyone should be greeted and acknowledged and appreciated. It is a chance for everyone to get to know each other better as individuals.

Be sure to establish rules for the MM such as look at the speaker, keep your hands free, no side conversations, sit up straight with feet on the floor. Practice and reinforce these rules. If someone does not follow the rules, quietly ask the student to leave the circle because of the lack of self-control. In a couple of minutes ask the student if he/she is ready to follow the rules. If the problem is persistent you may need to exclude the child from an entire meeting and watch from the sidelines for a couple of days.

Responsive Classroom has a book just for Morning Meeting; [it's] a great resource and would be very helpful to you. Also I strongly recommend the book TEACHING CHILDREN TO CARE by Ruth Charney.

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morning message
Posted by: Lila

I really don't like the morning message. But I use it almost everyday. In the beginning of the year the messages are short. Today is Monday. We will have gym today. I hope you wore your sneakers. Later on it becomes longer and deals with topics/themes we are studying. I also add blanks for letters. The students need to fill them in. I may add some math stuff also. To_day is _onday October, __ __, 200_. 5, _10, __, 20
I discuss sentences, grammar, commas, speech bubbles, spelling words, special words, anything that we've been discussing in our L.A. portion. In fact, it's kinda a review. It is a great learning time for all.
Now, I don't like it because the time it takes to write every day. At times it is difficult to come up with exciting things to say. A few years ago I wrote down every message. That helped because now I just have to copy them with few changes. I did see a suggestion on this board that one person writes all her messages for the week before hand. Now why didn't i think of that? I think that's a great idea. I will try that this year. - I teach 1st by the way.