Today I’m going to share (pun intended) about the share component of Morning Meeting. Share is the second activity that happens each day. Sharing is a vital part of Morning Meeting for two reason:
1. Great way to build community in the classroom
2. Promotes listening and speaking skills
Share builds community because it provides students a chance to get to know each other better. Each day/week students are sharing things about their personal lives, thoughts, feelings, etc with each other and getting to know each other on a deeper level. I have seen many new friendships form out of share time. For example, this year I had a new student in January who struggled a bit with making friends. Her dramatic flair sometimes confused the other kids and being new in the middle of the year wasn’t easy. Through share we found out that she actually went to the same acting school as another student and they bonded over that. That is just one example, but the questions (which you’ll see below) allow students to continue to get to know each other over the whole school year, not just the first week or two.
Speaking and listening skills are super important in the classroom and important skills to be learning to join the workforce someday. During share, one student is sharing with the class. This students needs to make sure they are prepared to share, they are using a clear, loud speaking voice, making eye contact with their audience, and staying on topic. These are all important life skills. The audience needs to be a good listener, needs to be looking at the speaker, and needs to be thinking of questions they could ask when the speaker is finished. These skills aren’t skills kids just pick up and know how to do…they need to be explicitly taught these.
The first few weeks of school, I do share whole group and each student shares each day. On these days, we practice being a good listener, but we don’t add in the question component just yet. Topics range from: favorite lunch food, something you did over the summer, favorite book, favorite color, song, etc. These are quick topics, but are a great way to begin getting to know each other and also to practice sharing with the group.
After the first few weeks, I developed a schedule. Every Monday, everyone shared about their weekend. This is an important thing to do because even if you don’t allow share time…all students want to tell you what they did over their weekend, so you might as well build it in. Tuesday-Friday, I had 4-5 students share each day. This was their share day the whole year. For example, Brie knew that she always went on Tuesday. No matter what – Tuesday was her day.
So, every Friday I would email parents and tell the students what the share topic was for the following week. This way everyone had time to prepare and kids would be ready to go on their scheduled day. I found this worked very well for me and kids really took this seriously. Some kids even made posters and brought in different items to share with us (which was totally ok with me).
Here are some share topics I used throughout the year:
- Bring in your favorite book
- Share with us about your family
- Tell us about your pets or if you don’t have one what pet would you like to have
- Tell us about your favorite birthday celebration
- What do you like to do after school
- What is your biggest accomplishment
- Tell us how your family celebrates – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc
- What did you do over winter break
- Tell us about a special gift you have received
- Tell us how you have helped others in need
- Free Share (students could bring in or share anything they wanted as long as it was school appropriate)
The topic ideas are endless. If you Google share topics, you will find millions of them out there!
During the Tuesday-Friday scheduled share, each student had a few minutes to share about that week’s topic. They could just talk about the topic or they could also bring something in to show us about the topic. All things had to be school appropriate (yes I had to mention this, as I had a student bring in a bow and arrow – a real one, which was locked in my teacher closet the rest of the day lol). After the student shares, I had two students (audience members) ask a question to the presenter about something they presented. Before we started this, we had to go over what a “good” question was. This takes some practice, but is an important lifelong skill that is good to start working on early. Then, after the student answered the question, we would clap and then move on to the next student on the schedule.
Share is one of my favorite parts of Morning Meeting. It gives me a chance to learn more about each student. I always have them fill out those questionnaires as we go back to school, but it’s nice to continue to get to know them throughout the year. I love hearing about what their involved in outside of school. I can ask Aksel and Jordan how their basketball game was on Saturday. I can tell Jenny good luck in her play this weekend. It really helps you build a connection with students and as we know, the better connection you have, the more you will get from them in the classroom.
Thanks for checking out my thoughts on Sharing with Morning Meeting. Next week, I will have Part 4 about the Activity part of Morning Meeting.
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