Each Tuesday for the next several weeks I will be blogging about the classroom routines that I can’t survive without. My class is very routine. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t spontaneous or fun, we are. There are days where a class discussion takes on a life of it’s own and the lesson plan is thrown out the window. But, for the most part, we have lots of structure and routine. It’s one of the things that helps my class run smoothly. My students always know what to be doing and I often joke that I could not show up for school and they wouldn’t even notice, the day would proceed as normal because they know exactly what to do!
This week’s post is all about Morning Meeting. It’s how we start our morning every day. I’ve been doing Morning Meeting in my room for 4 years now and I can’t imagine starting my day without it.
I think that Morning Meeting is a worthwhile routine for three reasons.
- Students problem solve and work together to find solutions to classroom issues during the “Status of the Class,” portion of the meeting.
- Students have the opportunity to share important news…good or bad. This is such an important part of the meeting. Students in the past have shared that dad is away on an extended business trip, that both mom and dad are out of town and grandma is staying with them, that mom left for the hospital late last night to have the new baby, or that grandpa passed away and they will be leaving town for the funeral. This is so helpful for me to know as their teacher. When parents are out of town, often folders won’t be signed, routines are off at home, and homework may not be getting finished in a timely manner. When I know these things I can plan ahead, adjust and help the student. Sometimes the news is great and exciting news. This is helpful because I know why a student might have some extra energy or might be having a difficult time staying focused. It also helps students have empathy for one another and be more understanding if someone is having a hard day. I never require students to share, sharing news is strictly optional.
- Morning Meetings are student led. In my classroom we work through a rotating schedule for Morning Meeting leaders. Students can pass on their turn if they don’t feel comfortable yet, but I always encourage them to try.
- During “Status of the Class,” the students determine the topic of conversation.
- “Goals and Reflection Time,” students are held accountable and they encourage each other as they work toward goals.
- Last year I had a student who was 10 points away from making the end of the year pizza party for A.R. He shared at Morning Meeting that his goal was to earn 10 points that week to make the cut off. His plan was to find as many picture books and small chapter books in his level to quiz on and read during all of free time and every night at home. The class really rallied behind him…even the kids that where far from making the party. They helped find him books and cheered for him each time he passed a quiz! It was an amazing thing to witness!
- Effective communication skills are vital in our classroom. My classroom can be a noisy place….mostly good noise I promise! I love for my students to talk and discuss and Morning Meeting is a great place to learn and practice those skills. Those skills then transfer over to academic conversations in the classroom.
- Speaking and listening skills are throughout the grades as part of the Common Core. Each grade level has standards that can be addressed during Morning Meeting.
Here is a picture of my class practicing how to properly shake a hand as our greeting and using gestures to review some of our classroom expectations.
I encourage you to give Morning Meeting a try. Tweak it to fit your classroom and your needs, there really is no right or wrong. Your kiddos will love being able to share and feeling loved and listened to!
Hop on over and grab my Morning Meeting pack on sale today only for 50% off!