I have students lead morning meeting after the first quarter and whoever leads gets to pick the greetings. After they've seen them modeled, they're pretty good at coming up with their own (although sometimes they're a little overly complex!).
My kids like: abc order by first or last name, backwards greeting (walk backwards to greet the person with a handshake), grown up greeting (use Mr. and Ms. instead of first names), ball toss, speedy greeting (go around saying good morning as fast as possible), and others I can't think of right now!
Morning Meeting is a responsive-classroom inspired daily event that provides a predictable friendly start to the day. Morning Meeting provides an opportunity for kids to get warmed up for the day, enjoy participating in a friendly greeting so everyone feels welcome at school, provides an opportunity to engage with written language, and informs the kids of the schedule and expectations each day. Everyone does Morning Meeting a bit differently, but core themes persist. It should be positive, child-centered, and interactive.
I have students lead morning meeting after the first quarter and whoever leads gets to pick the greetings. After they've seen them modeled, they're pretty good at coming up with their own (although sometimes they're a little overly complex!).
I write a morning message every morning that has deliberate mistakes in it. These mistakes might be word wall words spelled incorrectly, punctuation, format, capitalization, and/or grammar. I always put the number of mistakes at the top of the message so the kids know how many to be on the lookout for. Sometimes I'll leave out words that the children have to fill in that tie in with our curriculum. Sometimes I'll have an interactive morning message where they make tally marks to answer a question or have to find the answer to a math problem. They are expected to read the morning message independently when they first arrive.
During morning meeting, we do a greeting (great ideas for greetings are in the Morning Meeting book mentioned before, and the kids enjoy coming up with their own), read the message, and find the mistakes. I lead morning meeting for the first quarter to model how it should run, and then after that I have the kids take turns doing it. I pick a child to read the message aloud, they get to find one mistake, and then they call on another student of the opposite gender to find the next mistake. I have them hold up the number of fingers that indicates how many times they've already been up to keep it fair. If it will be their first time up, they hold up one finger, and so on. I have noticed that my kids have really grown in their understanding of punctuation, grammar, homophones, etc. through using a morning message. After the message, the meeting leader reads the schedule for the day and indicates if we're running on time, late, or early. If we're late or early, they have to figure out by how many minutes. They're allowed to "phone a friend" if they're stuck. After that, I share anything special/different that will be going on that day, remind them of due dates, and anything else that's relevant. I really like using the morning meeting format - it's a great way to start the day, gets the kids working together and respecting each other, and REALLY builds language skills as I mentioned before.
Morning Message has made a huge impact in my students' understanding of written conventions. I write the message each morning with deliberate mistakes. I put the number of mistakes at the top of the message so the kids know how many to be on the look out for. They read the message when they first come in and find some of the mistakes. They're usually eager to tell me what they found, but I tell them to "keep it in their head" until meeting. During meeting, we do a greeting, then I pick a name to read the message. They read it aloud, and are invited to fix one of the mistakes. They must tell what they're fixing and why. Then that person calls on a person to find the next mistake, etc. I usually have them alternate gender, and I have people who want to come up hold up fingers to show how many times they've already been up to keep it fair. once all the mistakes are found, I quickly review what was fixed. If the mistakes made a big difference in the meaning of flow of the message, I'll read it aloud again. Then we're done. hope this helps!View Thread
I write a morning message to my students every morning. It usually is in the form of a friendly letter and I include deliberate mistakes. I try to keep the mistakes tied in with things we've been talking about or doing on daily language reviews and I also use them as review. Mistakes include things involving indenting, margins, putting the date on, punctuation, spelling of word wall words, etc. I also make the mistakes multi-level so that everybody can find at least one. I always indicate the number of mistakes at the top of the message so they know how many to look for. The kids are expected to read the morning message when they first come in and find as many of the mistakes as they can. During meeting, we do a greeting and then I pick someone to read the morning message. They read it aloud and find one of the mistakes and correct it. They then call on a student of the opposite gender to find a mistake. If the original mistakes had led to the message being confusing (mistakes involving subject-verb agreement, for example) we'll read the message aloud again after all the mistakes have been fixed. Sometimes, instead of mistakes, I'll make the message interactive where the kids record their answers to a question or we'll find various parts of the speech in the message. After the message, either I or one of the kids will read the schedule for the day and then tell if we're running on time, late, or early. I've seen morning meeting being very beneficial to my students in social skills, reading other people's handwriting (especially cursive), reading and presenting to a group, and understanding of written language conventions. At the beginning of the year, I lead morning meeting to model how it works. After the first quarter, I let student volunteers lead it. I love using a morning meeting - I consider it a very important part of my language arts and character building curricula.[Log In To See Attachments]
Today's was (with 7 mistakes):
We will be going into the computer lab for testing at 1100. please put your homework in the white basket. If you have your permission slip for the rochester fair, please give it to Mrs. Prunier We're glad you're here! Ms. Young
I also attached a photo from last year so you could see a kid in action correcting a mistake.
I do a very simple morning meeting. It consists of:
Going over the daily schedule on the board
Reminders of upcoming happenings
Student announces lunch menu
Students ask questions they might have (about school happenings, or due dates, etc.)
I choose 2 students to share "good news"- something happy going on in their lives.
You could do a brief word wall or lang. arts activity during this time as well.
I love this part of the morning--it only takes 10 min. and it keeps us all very connected and communicated. (:
I also use the Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting routine.
Morning Message - I write a morning message on the board that the students read when they enter the room and begin unpacking. In my message they might have to answer questions, find mistakes, write spelling words, etc. After attendance and lunch has been taken care of, we all circle up. I have a new group leader every day. (I am the group leader for the first two weeks, until they are more comfortable taking over). We greet each other (shake hands, say hello in a different language, or somehow say hello to each other. The important thing is that we always use our friends names. For example, I would begin and look to my right, shake hands with my neighbor and say "Aloha, Mary." They would then look at me and say "Aloha, Mrs. M." They would then pass the greeting on. After the greeting, my leader will call on someone to read the morning message and we will respond to the message (answer questions, edit mistakes, etc.). We will then choral read the message.
Sharing Time - . Three students can share per day. I have a sign in sheet so that everyone gets a chance to share during the week. After each person shares, my leader will ask if anyone has any questions or comments for the sharer. The sharer can then pick up to three people to ask questions or comment on their news. If there are more questions, the students know that they can then go to the sharer at recess for more information. I have some rules for sharing. You must use complete sentences in your answers. This gives them practice responding in complete sentences to questions. They also have to stick to the main idea. They cannot go off on a tangent.
The morning meeting can never end without some type of review game, singing of a song, or reciting of a favorite poem. We then say our school pledge and start our day.
At the end of the year, when I ask my students about their favorite part of third grade, they always tell me they love morning meeting. I have been observed during morning meeting and my principal loves how so much curriculum content is included and reviewed. It allows the children to get a chance to orally speak in front on the class in a comfortable setting. Even my shiest child will eventually open up!
I write a morning message every day. Here is how I do it.
I start out w/ the date in the upper right hand corner. And then I return sweep, and make the greeting. I typically start w/ Dear. Sometimes I will immediately begin with "Good morning!" or "Hello Second Graders!"
I then return sweep, indent, and start the letter, which we call the body. I talk about what day it is (you can leave this blank and have kids fill it in each day for practice), I say something interesting ("Today I saw a family of ducks waddle across the street and into the small pond. It was exciting to see!"), I tell the kids what they have for specials, and I tell one thing we will do together in class that day. I end with something postive, like "I hope you have a fantastic day!" and then I close. Since there are many closings that can be used (from, love, your friend, sincerely) I have them on laminated index cards so the kids can choose what one we will use, and I have my name.
I often will ask for word detectives, where I say something like "Who can find the word we'll?" and someone comes up and underlines it. They love this! It helps w/ word recognition. I also ask for identification of different parts of a letter ("Who can find the date?"). I will leave words or letters out and kids need to fill them in. I start sentences w/ lowercase, I misspell words, I leave out punctuation, the kids need to fill these in.
It takes about 10 minutes. I think it's really valuable and our day actually feels off if we skip message. We rarely do though.
I tear off the message at the end of the day and give it to a student to take home. The kids love when it is their turn.
I hope this helps you. How great that you are starting morning message in your class, I really think you'll be so happy that you did.
It's a great way to start! I've done it all three years I've taught. I try to keep it pretty structured so that the kids can almost run it themselves, like the above poster mentioned.
This is what works for me:
1. Put on a certain song that signals everyone to come to the carpet.
2. Kids form a circle and they or I chose a greeting (there are a TON of fun ones in the MM book). I sometimes have kids be the Greeting Leader but not until about Dec. It takes them all this time to learn how to give a friendly, sincere greeting.
3. When the last person is greeted, everyone automatically stands for the pledge
4. Instead of sitting in the cirlce they go straight to their spot on the rug (in a group) and we do the morning message
5. I only sometimes hide mistakes-- I use the message for a variety of mini-lessons, review, sight words, phonics, etc... I keep it short-- 5-7 minutes. Sometimes our class puppet leads this part, and they LOVE that.
6. We usually start into our day from here, but sometimes (and especially at the beg. of the school year), we do a very short community building game.
This is how I did my morning meeting when I taught first grade. The first few weeks you really have to model/guide them, but after that, they completely take over.
I started the morning by sitting in the chair in the meeting area. The kids would stay at their seats until I started singing, kids would stand up, push in chairs, and come to carpet, bringing with them their weather graphs and their "very special weather marker".
Everybody have a seat, have a seat, have a seat,
Everybody come and have a seat on the floor.
Not on the ceiling, not on the door,
Everybody come and have a seat on the floor.
By the time we were done singing, children were in a circle on the floor. I would have moved to the floor with them. We would do a greeting to one another, using different ways every day. Then we usually did some kind of song, excercise as a group standing up. At the beginning of the year, this is a great place to sing days of the week or the months of the year (Macarana) song.
Next, the student of the week would stand and go to the white board. He would read the message of the day (with help from myself and others if needed) and answer the question, or tally up the marks children had put when they walked in. Then he would go to the calendar. He would call on students who were quiet, respectful, etc. to tell him the day of the week, the month, the number date, and the year. I would then hand him the number to put on the calendar. He would ask a student what the weather was, they'd vote on it (cloudy verses partly cloudy needs a vote) and he would fill in the large weather graph on the bulletin board. Student of the week's buddy (that was a job in my class) would fill in his weather graph. Student of the week would count the straws we had in the pockets for the days of school, add one, and write the number of the day of school on the white board. He'd sit down, and I would ask them to count by 2's, 5's, 10's whatever (again, something you need to teach at the beginning of the year, I had my hundreds chart in our morning meeting area, as well).
Next I would read a picture book to them with a mini lesson leading into reader's workshop, or do an interactive writing activity to lead into writer's workshop, depending on what order I was doing them in that day.
This usually took me about 15-20 minutes, sometimes longer depending on my choice of book or writing for the day. Also, towards the middle of the year, I started adding Daily Oral Language, too.
My 4th graders come in and complete their "morning routine:"
move lunch clip, unpack, sharpen 2 pencils, fill out & turn in "attitude check" (a quarter sheet of paper I created that lets me know how my students are feeling 1st thing and if they have anything going on at home or school), and copy assignments from assignment board into their notebooks. (This takes all of 5-10 min.)
Then students find a seat on the floor to get ready for our morning meeting. Our school announcements start (morning routine should be finished by this time & students should be seated on the floor to listen to announcements over the p.a. system).
Morning meeting: (15 min.)
We always start w/ a greeting (simple handshake, pinkie shake, knuckle tap, high five, etc.) and pass it around the circle.
Then, I give directions for our quick meeting activity (share about our weekend, discuss/problem solving of class/school situations, quick team building game, etc.) and we complete the activity. Takes about 10 min. Finally, I close the meeting w/ announcements for our day/week. (Entire meeting lasts 15 min., but if you wait to have it at the end of the day something always comes up or the kids are just too out of focus.)
Morning work: 15 min. - 20 min.
Students complete some sort of math warm up (my district uses Target math), language warm up (daily paragraph editing or d.l.r.), geography warm up, and a journal topic. Really this only takes students 15-20 minutes once they're used to the routine.
Then we begin our day! (We do all of the above from 8:00-8:45am, and then begin reading lanuage arts instruction.)
My morning meeting often varies, we always read a story, sing the days of the week song, I hand out cards with the days of the week on them and they hold them up as we sing that day, then we talk about what day it is today, and ask which child has that day, and how we know (Sarah has Monday because I know it starts with M and her card starts with M. Then we do the calendar talk about the date, anything special that happens and the weather. We have a Morning Message, that I write (most people use a new one every day, I use the same one all week and we do different things with it each day), we read it, I have a child point to the words. then we cirlce letters, blends, vowels, sight words, fill in missing words or letters, fill in punctuation etc.
I do my math in the afternoon meeting, we do a count to day 100, so each day the we figure out what number it is, then they helper comes up and I have gingerbread men precut from construction paper, they form the number while we help them by reciting hte number poem, then they give it a face and autograph it, I will put it up on the wall after school. Then we go to the 100 chart and count the days so far, on what we call zero the hero days we count by 10's, on days that end with 5 we count by 5's, on even numbered days we count by 2's and on odd unmbered days we count by 1's up to the number of the day, then we put a unit into our one's bag, or if it's a zero the hero day we kick out the units and put a rod in the 10's bag and count them.
Morning meeting (separate from a calendar time) is the most positive and rewarding thing you can do with your class. Everyone gets a friendly greeting,sharing is purposeful, as opposed to 'show and tell',you can incorporate LA or math skills and have time for a fun activity like a game or a song. It reinforces (or teaches) social skills too. All in 20 -30 minutes of your time.Check out the website. This is not a program but rather an approach or a philosophy. Community building,personal and group responsibility and respect are the basic tenets. I have taken several trainings,especially when I know I have a 'tough group' coming in. I can't tell you how positive an impact using some of thier ideas can have. Morning meeting is something very important in my second grade classroom. I have seen calendar time used to start a math lesson,like Jane suggests.
At my school we do the following:
1. Greeting - a fun activity that allows students to greet one another. A way to start the day off on a good note.
2. Share Time - 2 -3 students share with the rest of the class and they are allowed to choose 1-3 students to ask questions or make comments about was shared. I also use this time to talk about how to be a good friend, a good listener, a good writer and a good reader. I will also take this time to discuss problems that have occurred in the classroom.
3. Activity - Some kind of a movement activity or game. A chance for the kids to get their wiggles out. We dramatize poems, stories or songs.
4. Morning Message - A chance for all kids to feel success about reading and writing in a nonthreatening environment. We review skills and concepts previously taught and the students have a chance to complete the message. We always end with reading the entire message after it's completed. My school has really expanded Morning Message and some teachers have a great routine that make the kids really feel confident about being good readers and writers, even students who struggle love Morning Message.
99 Activities And Greetings:
Great For Morning Meeting... And Other Meetings, Too!
by Melissa Correa-Connelly
Morning Meeting Book
by Roxann Kriete and Lynn Bechtel
Morning Meeting Messages K-6:
180 Sample Charts from Three Classrooms
by Ros Fisher, Eric Henry, and Deborah Porter
Morning Meeting, Afternoon Wrap-up: How To Motivate Kids, Teach To Their Strengths, And Meet Your State's Standards
by Donna Whyte
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 home...weather, 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.
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.
There are several excellent books that helped me create a social curriculum especially in the beginning of the year. Go to ResponsiveClassroom.org. It is an excellent site and sign up for their newsletter. Through them I purchased several books, Morning Meeting and The First Six Weeks of School. The meeting itself is broken into several parts and I never have time to do all of them but I did do the greeting, sharing, announcement portion each day. I also closed the day with an ending meeting several times a week. This gave me excellent feedback on how they saw the day.
This speaking and listening to each other carried over to the playground and even in literature circle reading groups, etc. I also teach third grade. I have spoke of this so often in my school that the fourth grade teachers are doing it this year and the other third grade teachers!
I started having Morning Meeting last December and loved it. The parts of the meeting were : Greeting ( these varied from saying hello in different languages to Morniing dances, to Poems) Morning Message, Sharing TIme and a Community Building Game or song. The games were the kid's favorite. We played everykind of game from SPARKLE, hand games, to Doggy Doggy. We also sang every Monday and Friday. I introduced songs from musicals to oldies. Morning Meetings lasted about 15-20 minutes. They were really a chance for the class to grow and bond together.
There is a website you should look at called the Responisve Classroom.
Good luck with Morning Meeting. I think you will love it.
Morning meeting is a great opportunity for classroom "building". Rather than talk about national news, could you talk about the students' personal news. It is a great chance to learn about your students through sharing activities. Morning meeting can also be used as a forum to solve any class problems that come up, using an agenda format. Last year the kids were upset because they weren't allowed off the blacktop when it snowed. We channeled the anger and figured out how to address it in a calm and appropriate manner by listing problem and solution and then writing a letter.The children also solved a problem by making an appointment with the principal and sending "representatives".
I hope I don't sound like I am shooting down your original idea, incorporate the news and current event in too but it might be nice to sometimes have students lead through games or discussion!
This is how ours goes:
1. Come in and hand in our lunch orders, notes and home reading folders.
2. Sit in the floor in front of our whiteboard.
3. Say good morning and mark the role.
4. Go through our classroom rules- they are above the board as visuals.
5. Read our social stories eg. "When someone bothers me", "Doing the right thing", "Touching others".
6. Go through our schedule using the visual timetable.
7. Have news.
8. Secret sentence- modelled writing using our sight words for the week.
Then we move into phonics groups. I work in a team teaching kindergarten class. We do our morning meetings as seperate classes and then move into same ability groups for phonics.
Our district looks on the morning meeting as a time to greet everyone, teach and practice giving compliments and positive feedback, and as the year goes on, the teacher relinquishes some of the organizational control to the students (i.e. notes are recorded by a designated student and reviewed at the next meeting to make sure all old issues are addressed). Everyone is actively involved in a morning meeting, even if it's only to greet someone else; part of the theory is that it's especially beneficial for students who might go the whole day and not really be addressed as an individual. I don't have the book here at home, but it gives lots of examples and anyone can modify it to fit their own needs/goals. BTW we don't do morning meetings every day, but we do them as often as is feasible.
If you can manage it, it's probably better to start the day with a meeting that's more focused on interpersonal, oral communication and listening skills (answering a question of the day, shared reading of a poem or song). you can do admin stuff then, too, like attendance. it sets up the day on a good, friendly, positive shared note. and it also flows nicely into a literacy block.
Then you can save calendar for a lead in to your math block. the way i've seen it, it makes for an excellent post-recess wind-down. here you do things like reciting the date, counting the days of the school year (by 2s, 5s, 10s, whatever you're studying), counting the date with popsicle sticks to practice place value, reporting the weather and graphing the results, playing an estimation game or mental math. "Beyond Morning Message (Grades K-2)" is a good resource for other ideas.
i've seen this set up in my student teaching placements and it works really well -- smooth transitions.
The best resource I have found is The Responsive Classroom by Charney, Clayton and Wood. The guide is pretty specific, but in a nutshell our meeting runs through the following components every morning:
3. Group activity
4. News and Announcements.
The fifteen-twenty minutes I spend each day with my class in the morning is the most wonderful part of the day and it does give me a lot of insight into their lives. We do go over the calander/weather, DOL and DOM, but the best part is Hopper a stuffed frog. Hopper hops each day from child to child. The rule is only the person holding Hopper can speak. I start the topic of discussion...it can be anything from a favorite color, food, sport,etc., to tell about a time that you were frightened.
It only takes Hopper five minutes or so to go around the class since only the child with Hopper can speak and the children do not comment on what others say. (This rule also helps the children feel safe to say what they want with out the fear of being ridiculed by others.) When a child says something that causes concern to me I can take that child aside later to discuss it some more privately. Hopper loves to be held during these private moments too.
On Friday Hopper goes home with a child for the weekend and takes his Diary with him. With the help of their parents the child writes in the diary on Sunday night what Hopper did over the weekend. In class on Monday we always have fun seeing what Hopper did. Hopper does have a friend Happy Frog who substitutes if Hopper is left at home by accident!
I hope this gives you an idea for a quick way to get to know your students a little better!
Here is what I do. First I have the kids complete their morning messages (they each recieve their own in an envelope with their name on it) then I choose a student to read the a.m side of schedule and another for the p.m and ask for questions about the day. Next I have someone tell me the month, day year and pattenr piece that comes next on the calender ( I do a different pattern each month). We count the days in school using a hundreds pocket chart and note if it is an odd or even day by circling in red or blue. I teach place value using 3 pockets (cut off from a shoe bag) and put diens blocks and tens rods in to show place (this takes a while for the kids to understand but it pays to start teaching this skill early). We record the out door temperature (I just listen to the radio and get kids in habit of asking parents what day will be like)on a graph and decide what kind of day it is (sunnny etc...)and if there is time they do a quick write in their daily journal. Hope this helps!
curlygirl2 and others,
I also like doing the Morning Message and have exhausted many of the ideas from The Morning Meeting book in teaching second grade. Next year I will have the same kids but will teach third grade. I liked how you incorporated the smartboard and was curious if anyone else had any ways they had used morning message, but more specifically for third grade. This is something that was very powerful and really helped develop a community feeling in my classroom. I would recommend Morning Meeting to all.
The first year I used morning meeting was 2001. I had 5th graders that year, and for the first 3 weeks the meeting was used as a getting to know you type meeting. We had a squishy eyeball that we used as the "talking stick". You had to be holding the eyeball to speak. The eyeball was passed in a circle as the topic of the day was shared. Three weeks into the school year the morning of 9/11 unfolded. Thank heavens I had started the morning meeting, because it had already created a sense of family and safety in the classroom. Because of the morning meeting, my kids felt safe to share their feelings and lean on others for support. Because of the success of the meetings in that year, I continued to have them.
I liked to spend the first 15 minutes of the day in morning meeting. It was a chance to get the day started on the right foot, greet the kids, get the creative juices flowing. One of my favorite activities in morning meetings is appreciations. The child who has the ball turns to the person on his/her right and says, "_________ I appreciate you because __________." It can be anything from their holding the door open for them to helping on a math problem, to the sound of their laugh. The appreciation circle takes a little longer sometimes, but it is well worth it. In the past couple of years, our building has taken to doing reading building wide first thing in the morning, so morning meeting has had to move to after lunch. I don't like it quite as well as first thing, but it accomplishes the same thing. I've also included a topic can in the back of the room for Friday's meeting. If something has happened in the classroom, or there is a concern that an individual doesn't want to personally share, they can write it down and put it in the can. I read the slips during the meeting on Friday and we discuss solutions. I truly enjoy these meetings because they do give you a better picture of the kids as people, not just students.
Hi there...boy, what you are going through sounds a lot like what I had last year. Because of scheduling, I only had one day a week where we could have a class meeting. I called it our Friday Forum. We had an agenda each week, where students could suggest meeting items. A topic had to be submitted before the meeting to be discussed at that week's meeting. I had a jar in the back of the room where students could write items for the meeting without having everyone know that it was their idea or problem to discuss. Usually, Friday morning, I would put all the meeting agenda items on a large chart paper, and if anyone wanted to add anything during the day on Friday, they could write it on the chart paper.
I acted as the mediator during the meeting, but the students actually ran the meeting. If they needed a gambit to reply I might suggest something, but I rarely added my opinions unless I was asked.
On days when we didn't have a ton of agenda items, we did appreciations, where one student would draw out the name of another student and tell him or her one reason they appreciated them in the classroom.
Our meetings really helped to build a stong sense of community in the classroom while also giving kids problem solving skills so they could handle problems on their own.
Good luck with your meetings! They do work wonders!
In my first grade classroom, I use morning meeting in an educational way. We all sit on the rug and begin with the Calendar. Students have to state the day of the week, the month and the date. On to weather. We keep track of the daily weather. I use a 100 chart for how many days we have been in school. I also do D.O.L. (Daily Oral Language). I write an incorrect sentence on the board...for example...the boy likes to ride his bike.....I call on students to tell me that the "T" on the needs to be uppercase and they have to tell me the reason...beginning of a sentence...then they get to come up and correct it. We also use morning meeting to go over the words of the week. I find this very effective in my classroom.
I teach 4th grade and yes, I do fit in a morning meeting everyday. However, many days they only last 10-15 minutes. We always do a greeting, go over the schedule of the day, and have 3-4 students briefly share. Sometimes they last a little longer if I have an issue to deal with, etc.
I'm not sure I could give up much more time for a morning meeting, but it is a great way to start the day and definitely helps to build community.
The routine that I had with my second grade class last year seemed to be very successful and I am going to try it with my first graders this year. When they students entered the room they went right to their desks. I had the desks arranged in groups of five and in each group there was a Monday person, a Tuesday person, etc. After our good mornings the on Monday the Monday students hung up their coats first, put lunch boxes in cubbies, etc., and returned the 100 Book Challenge books from the previous night and picked new ones for that night. Then they picked up the morning paper which we called the daily bite. In second grade the daily bite was like a daily language edit and a math section. They returned to their desks with these papers and got to work. As soon as the Monday students were back at their seats, the Tuesday kids went, and so on. Which ever day of the week it was, those students went first. While working on the daily bite they needed to work quietly and independently for five minutes. After that, they could ask anyone else at their table for help. When the time was up for working on the papers, we had what we called "red pen" time - we went over the answers to all the questions and they corrected their own papers with the red pen which had been given out by my "assistant" for the day. When all this was finished we assembled on the rug for our Morning Meeting as outlined in materials from The Responsive Classroom. The students really seemed to like the whole routine and became accustomed to it very quickly. They never seemed bored and looked forward to each component. I think the lack of boredom was probably because even though the routine was the same, what we did within the routine was always different. Hope this helps and you are able to use some of the ideas.
My Morning Meeting is right after the bell rings to start our day. We meet at the carpet. We do morning greetings, discuss our day's schedule and any other "news" of the day, and since it's at the beginning of our reading/literature block, I usually do a mini lesson on the strategy we're working on. Sometimes, we do wordwall work or discuss our weekly vocab, too.
On good days, it only takes about 15 minutes. Sometimes, though, it's longer, especially if I use a picture book for our mini lesson.
I think it's a great way to focus and begin our day.
everyday we have a morning meeting. I run it for the first week. The student of the week. Sits in the leader chair to tell about themselves. on the day we discuss "issues" I preview the issue book, students write down issues throughout the week. This is a variation but it worked with 4th grade. I run the morning meeting 3 days a week.View Thread
1. I shake hands and greet each child
2. They take their magnet off of the door frame and place it under their answer on the morning survey
3. Take lunch magnet and do lunch count
4. Put away coats/ bookbags/ turn in homework
5. Choose a stack of books for the day and READ... kids read around the room, with partners, or they just chat
Allowing my kids to talk during this time is the best thing I've done! They get it all out (for me, it's only about a 10 minute time), and as soon as the late bell rings, they are assembled in circle, ready for the morning meeting.
Even though I allow chatting, the noise in my classroom is almost always related to reading. They are talking about books or reading aloud. As adults, we don't want to walk straight to our classrooms and get down to work without any chatting at all, I don't think we should expect kids to, either.
Hi! I have used MM for about 6 years now. I use the first 15 minutes of the day. Greeting, then sharing(no more than 3 people with three questions for each), then, if time permits, an activity that coincides with spelling for the week or math facts or ss or science review. Since I'm now in a private Christian school(last two years), I also have devotions and a prayer for the day between greeting and sharing. On some days when the early morning is otherwise scheduled, we meet briefly after lunch, but I prefer starting out the day with the greeting and time together. It really creates a family feeling. The sharing time also promotes listening and questioning skills.View Thread
We have a Team Meeting every Monday morning. Our year long theme is baseball. So everything is based around baseball, rewards, consequences, etc. So we meet as a team on Monday mornings. We talk about the week ahead, give compliments, talk about things that happened the week before, etc. It is a great way to start the week. I think I would have a hard time having a team meeting every morning...just because of time.View Thread
At the beginning of the year, we spend the first few weeks establishing the classroom. I have a couple of books called THE FIRST SIX WEEKS OF SCHOOL and THE MORNING MEETING put out by an organization ccalled the Responsive Classroom, they have a site. My methods stem from this approach, I think it's wonderful - and so positive. We have a morning meeting every morning, we greet each other around the circle (we sit in a circle on the floor - not a large classroom but an area for circle is a priority) and then we have two people a day share - not show and tell but sharing about something they like to do, have done, etc. One child brought in a 1960 newspaper to share in which there was an ad for the grand opening of the KFC House of Hay - the others were thrilled, another child brought in a ouija board and talked about the spirit world (on this day the district supervisors were out to see a morning meeting - I laughed and said it was in the curriculum, don't think they believed me LOL), another talked about what it was like last year when his father died, another showed her favourite book, etc. The student shares and then says "any questions?" - others put up hands and speaker chooses and answers a few questions - I cut it off by saying "one last question". We learn to wait our turn, ask appropriate questions and show respect for each other. If it is your turn to share, you must - you can even say "Hi my name is____, any questions?"This starts the kids off with getting to know others and all students involved - no wall flowers. I take time every morning to practice using equipment around the room, and talking about appropriate use of the room. We actually talk about how to walk to the science area without disturbing others, have a student demonstrate, and practice. We try having each group of children go to do a task around the classroom for a few minutes, then return to the circle to discuss how it went. Any problems. We set up rules for the classroom together and post them around the end of the first week, and then talk a little about consequesces at morning meeting over the next few days. We discover that if a student is giong to poke others with a pencil while moving across the classroom, then he should not be able to move across the room because we have the right to work without being poked with a pencil.What would make sense? the consequence has to make sense - if a student throws paint at others then he uses crayons while the others use paint until he has reached a maturity level to be trusted with paint.
We start the menu idea slowly with just a short daily menu with the notion that if you finish early you get free time - this means you can use things in the classroom , not your gameboy from home, like the pattern blocks and mirrors in the math area or the computer, the baskets of magnets and things or the human body puzzle in the science area, the paint or clay - but all with the understanding that you have to use them respectfully and without bothering others. We stop every once in a while to discuss the noise level and behaviour around us, "Are you able to concentrate? Can you still work on your menu when others have free time? If they are bothering you then they cannot have free time because you need to be able to get things done". After a few weeks of setting up the classroom, we are at the point of beginning to establish our workshop times - I don't rush things at the beginning, it's worth it - I take the assumption that I must teach behaviour as well as math.
We establish a list of responsible workers - those that we never have to be concerned about when it comes to moving around the room. We talk about this openly, and students tell me what they need to work on in order to be considered a responsible worker. eg. I need to not poke others with a pencil..ever. At this point hard core problem kids must work at their desks so that I can supervise them UNTIL THEY ARE READY TO SUPERVISE THEMSELVES - they let me know when they are ready. Now, the encouragement for positive behaviour is not only in being able to go the science area or computer at free time, but also in not having to ask the teacher to do something or go to the bathroom. Also if you are responsible, you can leave your desk during quiet reading and writing to work on the floor - big draw to the kids. You can also work with another friend during menu time, this time I allow students to work together with whoever they want, their chioce, SO LONG AS THEY ARE A RESPONSIBLE WORKER.The important thing is that others in the room have their right to work in peace protected. If a couple of students are carrying on I instruct them to go back to their desks. If there is a continual problem they are off the list. If you have a couple of goofballs that thrive on getting you going, you work with one to get him on that list and working at the center areas - the other is left in the dust (at their desk receiving minimum attention) and eventually decides to talk to you about what they need to do in order to be a responsible worker. I make sure to always assume that a student is almost ready and just needs to do this or that - that they are not bad, just learning to watch and control their own behaviour - and that they will be on the list very soon,I'm sure of that. It is usually not until about the sixth week when everything comes together - I talk myself into being patient - at that time many are on the list, most have the hang of doing the menu and workshops are established.Around the third week, I usually question "Why am I doing this menu?" and at six weeks "This menu is the greatest". I continue the morning meeting all year with the greeting and sharing, and usually include a minilesson that , for example, concludes last week's science activity and introduces this week's activity - this adds another fifteen min. or so to the meeting, but I like the circle on the floor thing, all are engaged in what is happening, noone is fiddling with things in the desk or daydreaming.
Back to the menu, you can choose whatever you want to work on first, but if there are already five at the science area - or the max number, you must find something else to do, if the maps are all in use, do something else and wait for a turn, or maybe you and that other person with a map would like to work together. Sometimes a student will ask "can I use that map when you are finished" .You have to sign up for one of the computers - when it is your turn, you tuck away what you were working on into your menu folder with your menu and do your computer work.On the menu ther are instructions on what to do, where to put it when it's done -like place in teacher's basket or glue onto coloured paper and hang in hallway with rolls of tape on the back - everything we have already practiced.
Students usually take a few weeks to get the hang of watching their time to ensure they get everything done on their list, they sometimes have to go through spending all the week on art or talking and not getting their menu completed in order to start watching what they are doing and managing their time. If a student consistantly does not complete much of the work, he is off the list and working at desk so that I can supervise - I may also assign jobs from the menu for that person as having the choice is not working for him as he is not getting things done. I have students that will come to me and say I think I will be able to get my menu done on my own this week - or I think I am ready to work independently.If a student needs accomodations, the menu can be altered for that student. You can also put in a provision that a student must have activities signed off by the teacher before moving on to the next.
Accountability - there is always a record of activities; a report or description, a finished project, map, poem on the wall - I do have to check carefully at the beginning of the year for those who rush through and try to pass off little effort, I make clear guidelines - and say "this needs to be done again", which takes more time then doing it right the first time.
Morning meetings encourage such a cooperative classroom, that I wouldn't teach without them. (I've been using MM for the past 4 years, and I started using them when I taught 6th grade. -- They certainly benefited from our meetings, possibly more than my 4th graders!)
I would suggest trying to hold your MM's first thing in the morning (if you wait too late in the day, conflicts have often already evolved amongst some of the students or w/in their other classes). Also, don't overwhelm yourself by trying to have one everyday. I would aim for two to three times per week, especially at first. Allow at least 30 minutes, probably more, for your VERY FIRST meeting to discuss procedures and expectations (how to come to the floor for the meeting or any necessary re-arrangements of desks, must come & be seated quietly, etc.). Then after that, your meetings can be as short and simple as 15 minutes.
Mon. -- Intro. the greeting for the week (start w/ simple handshake making eye contact & saying "Good morning + student's name" and then after your students have that greeting down, change the greeting weekly. (i.e. greetings in other languages, pinky shake, knuckles, etc.) Students "pass" the greeting around the "circle" and once it's back to your or whoever you designated to start the greeting, then the meeting is underway. On Mon.'s we always shared what we did over the weekend (brief retelling). BTW, I use a "talking stick" (such as a small stuffed animal or bean bag) and only the person w/ the "talking stick" should be speaking, then they call on someone else and toss that person the "talking stick." Then I closed w/ announcements for the day/week.
Wed. -- Select student to start the meeting w/ the weekly greeting and "pass" the greeting around the circle. (Be sure that you are a part of the circle.) I usually select a conflict/resolution activity or a team building activity for the middle of the week. Close w/ announcements (birthdays, changes in schedule, etc.).
Fri. -- Start w/ greeting. I usually played some sort of game on Friday's. (The students always looked forward to Fri.'s meetings, and it helped those reluctant participants stay focused during other meetings because they didn't want to be banned from Fri.'s meeting.) Close w/ announcements or a quick share of what students are looking forward to for the weekend.
Good luck! If you do have your students sit in a "circle", I recommend coming up w/ creative ideas to "force" students into new seats to prevent pods of best friends sitting side-by-side and having side-bar conversations.
I started morning meetings this year and I love them! The kids do, too. Whenever we have a schedule change, they are very disappointed when meeting is shortened or canceled altogether.
I got "The Morning Meeting Book" this summer, and it was full of great ideas. I take about 10-15 minutes max each morning first thing. We do pledges in the meeting circle.
What I have seen affect the class most is the morning greeting. We went over greeting rules alot, especially making eye contact. If these kids have to actually address each other respectfully and interested, they actually become interested in the person and what they have to say.
Also, make sure that you seat them where you want them initially. I didn't do this at first, so it really defeated the outcome. They still sat by their "friends", and didn't get to know others.
Once I started placing them randomly, it got much smoother. Now I just tell them to sit beside someone they didn't sit by the day before, and they sort themselves!
I let 3 students share something each day - not an object, but something that happened to them or something that is going to happen. You don't want it to become show and tell. This lets the other kids know what is going on in their lives, and promotes an interest that wasn't there before. I just love it when I hear kids asking for follow-up about so and so's grandma or whatever the next day.
THe other bonus is that they are learning how to listen - something my kids have really benefitted from. After the child has shared, they ask for questions or comments. I limit this to 3 as well. It is amazing to hear what insightful questions they come up with!
The other benefit of sharing is that I don't have kids trying to tell me about their activities during learning time. I simply tell them to wait until their sharing time (or recess).
Give it a try! I am sure that you will find it makes your day smoother, and your class behave more like a community (BTW I recommend trying to do it in your first 12 minutes. It is a super way to start the day).
Sorry if this is so long....