/> Morning Meeting - First Grade Findings

Morning Meeting

In my last post, I mentioned Morning Meeting and its benefits for building a relationship with your students. Morning Meeting is a time to greet your students and have them share about themselves all while doing fun activities to start off the day. It's a fun time both the students and I look forward to! If you are looking for something new to research and try next year, check out Morning Meeting. It will help create a strong classroom community which in turn knocks out many behavior issues.

MORNING TUBS
While Morning Tubs are not part of Morning Meeting, they are an essential part of our morning routine. We start our morning out with Morning Tubs (Brown Bag Teacher) which I will also make a post about soon! Is anyone interested in learning more?? I've linked to her original post. Get ready for some serious inspiration when you head over to her site! Check her out if you haven't already because she's got all the great ideas! Morning Tubs are a solid alternative for morning work. The kids come in and get started immediately on something engaging and fun. Morning work always seemed like busy work to me, and we don't have time or resources for that! Anyway, Morning Tubs give me time to get all the morning business taken care of and lasts about 15 minutes. Then it is on to Morning Meeting! Responsive Classroom outlines four components to Morning Meeting. It is up to you how many of the components you include in your routine. 

Component #1 GREETING
First, we start off we a greeting in our share circle. Whenever we come to the carpet to share, I call it a share circle. Calling it this gets kids thinking about share time! They love sharing!! Greetings can be anything you want them to be. Some of my favorites are: Mix and Mingle, Waves, Handshakes, Fist Bumps, and greetings in different languages. There is one called the "micro wave" which means the students wave their pinkies at each other. Hilarious! At first the teacher models how to greet someone by looking at them and greeting them with a strong voice, then the students take on that role! 

Component #2 SHARE
Next, it's official share time! Especially at the beginning of the year I use questions to get to know my students. At first the questions should be straightforward. For example, use a question like "what is your favorite color?" versus "what did you do this summer?" This allows students who may not be very confident to build their confidence by sharing one quick thing about themselves! The possibilities are endless for this one! Here are some of my favorite share topics to start with: What is your favorite food?, Do you have any pets?, What is your favorite cereal?, What is your favorite game?, etc. Then start using more open ended questions like What did you do this weekend?, What is your favorite part about school so far?, etc.  I do think it is important to give students the option to pass if they don't have an answer at the time. Either come back to them if you have time or they can just share next time. It shouldn't ever be a high pressure share situation! 

One of my favorite ways to greet and share at the same time is the mix and mingle. You can give your students opportunity to mix and mingle. They walk around on the carpet. Then when you say STOP they find the closest person around to greet and share with. You can tell them to use a certain greeting or have them pick their favorite after you have taught several different ones. 

Component #3 ACTIVITY
Then, if time, you can do an activity like an ice breaker. The activity time in my class is more so designated for the beginning of the year for icebreakers. Plus, my Morning Tub time offers the social experience just like an activity would. I don't always include activities due to time constraints. If you are a song singing kind of teacher, this would be a great time to teach a song to your class! 

Component #4 MESSAGE
Morning Message is a flexible option you have as a teacher to model writing and encourage purposeful reading in your classroom. At first, you may be the one reading it to your class depending on the grade you teach. Soon it should be your students' turn to read it! It can be informative and interactive. If you have a special event, remind them of it here and have them share how can we show awesome behavior at _____ (special event). Your students can answer a share question or complete a survey right on the message chart. Some teachers even do fill in the blanks to encourage shared writing. Toward the end of the year, your students could be the one writing the Morning Message for the next day! See some examples below:

         



If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Responsive Training PD, I highly recommend it! You can also peruse their website and blog. There is a plethora of resources out there including books. Here's a few I would recommend: (This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links which send some money my way if you purchase!)


 
This is my favorite book. It's SPIRAL BOUND, too! It's easy to navigate and has 20 ideas for each of the four components plus other quick tips. If you are looking for a quick start book, look no further! There is also a 3-6 version for any upper grade teachers. I haven't used that one, but I'm sure it's just as great! Click the picture for a link to Amazon.



This book is much more detailed and informative about how to start Morning Meeting. It is geared for K-8. I did not purchase this book mainly because it would require a good bit of reading! It is not spiral bound, which makes it less convenient! If you're interested, click the picture above for the Amazon Link.




I highly recommend this one! It has detailed schedules for each day of the first six weeks. It incorporates Morning Meeting ideas along with ideas for each day's academic work. It would be fabulous for a first year teacher or any teacher looking to revamp their classroom for a fresh start. I used this book along with the Morning Meeting K-2 book when I first began implementing Morning Meeting and Responsive Classroom. It gives a preview of other elements of Responsive Classroom as well. It is the simplest How To on creating a positive learning environment for your students. Check it out! Click the picture for the Amazon link. 


I'm going to revisit my resources over the summer to fine tune my plans to start next year. I slacked off of morning meeting after Christmas, and I wish I hadn't! While it's especially important at the beginning of the year, it's still beneficial throughout the entire year. 

Let me know your thoughts on Morning Meeting! If you have a question or something to share that you love about Morning Meeting, hit up the comments below! ;) 






3 comments

  1. Every year I say I'm going to get really good at morning meetings because they are so beneficial! Thank you for inspiring me to try it in the last 2 weeks of school! And obviously next year I'm going to get really good at morning meetings :)

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    1. oh Yay!! You can practice for these last two weeks and figure out what you like best. Then next year you will be a Morning Meeting rockstar!!!

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  2. Thanks so much for linking the morning meeting tubs! I HATE "warm ups" because it does feel like busy work and I don't always get best effort like I do on an exit ticket. I was using warm ups to see where my kiddos stood...but I think I might try these tubs next year.

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