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Monday, March 19, 2012

Morning Meeting

I'm still exhausted from another fabulous St. Patrick's Day weekend spent in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island. I hope everyone had a safe and happy time celebrating. Below is what greeted my kids on Friday morning. It was just a little something to celebrate. They were actually pretty excited about the bookmark.

The shamrock math boxes are a simple way to practice number sense and easily adaptable for each season and math concept. I did hearts for valentines day. This time I used them for measurement. In the center shamrock they put a unit of measurement. In the 4 surrounding boxes they write an equivalent unit of measurement. For example 1 Gallon = 4 qt = 8 pt. You get the picture. You can do this with a whole number and have them represent it in all different forms (i.e.- word form, expanded form, tally marks, addition problems etc.)

In other news, it's no secret most teachers feel that a majority of what they learned about teaching was acquired during their practicum rather than graduate school. Student teaching is where you learn classroom management. It's when you actually learn how to plan (not those horrid 9 page lessons plan you are forced to produce during grad. school) It's where you learn the craft. With that being said, one of the most useful things I did learn about while in graduate school was the Morning Meeting book. 
This book has a very specific format for morning meeting: greeting, sharing, group activity and news and announcements. It covers all grades from preschool through high school. I think it is so important to take time each morning to promote a safe and comfortable learning environment. Morning meeting is how I make this happen. It has detailed explanations of each part of morning meeting, and even tells you what time of year each activity is best for. 

Step 1 is taking the time for each student to be greeted, every morning. The book has tons and tons of fun greetings to choose from. I found them  printed up online, cut them and put them in a box on my desk. Each morning a new student gets to pick the greeting. 
We usually stand in a big circle for greeting. 

Next is sharing. I type up a calendar to hang in the room for students to sign up for sharing. This is your basic show and tell. Students are taught to ask non yes or no questions about what the person shared. At first, it is difficult for the kids to figure out deeper questions that can't be answered with yes or no. I learn so much about my students from sharing time. It is great for the kids to see what they have in common with each other. 

Next is my favorite part, group activity. The book has many great activities and games. You can also make up your own. It is a time for a little fun and team building. One of our personal favorites is "Who am I? We tape a name on someone's back and they have to ask yes or no questions to figure out who they are. Here is one we did last week. 

I usually pick something related to school or current events. This one was chosen by the kids. Sometimes its good to just have fun, right? They think this game is hilarious. 

Last is news and announcements. This is when you go over the schedule and share any news you need to with the kids. 

It takes to to explain morning meeting. It takes time to train the kids. It takes time to get the materials ready. It is time well spent. It is their favorite part of the day. It is a time for the kids to talk to friends they wouldn't normally interact with. It promotes good manners and social skills. It allows them to start their day with a little fun. Isn't that what school is about? 

1 comment:

  1. Another fine job! Morning meetings must create a comforting setting, too. What a great way to start the day! Sounds like a fabulous way for a child to regroup, no matter how their morning was to that point, it's an opportunity to regroup and begin the rest of their day on the right foot.