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Morning Meeting

Morning Meeting Round-Up

Morning Meeting
Morning Meeting Blog Header with pictures of activity and message example

Morning Meeting has been a favorite part of my school day for the last 5 years. It is a wonderful way to ease students into the day, practice important life skills like a proper greeting and how to listen, and review content through games and activities.

I have written multiple blog posts on this topic over the years and wanted to share them with you in one spot so everything will be easy to find.

Morning Meeting Posts

  • Morning Meeting Introduction – This post introduces Morning Meeting and shares the positive benefits of using it in your classroom.
  • Greeting – While the greeting component is often the quickest part it still holds meaning. Greeting provides every child a chance of feeling welcomed into the classroom. Greetings can be more formal and can also be silly and fun. You’ll learn some of my favorites in this post.
  • Share – Share is one of my favorite parts of Morning Meeting. It is a great opportunity for building relationships and gives students a chance to practice listening and speaking skills. This post shares ways I use the share time in my classroom.
  • Activity – The activity is a great way to practice or review content through games and hands-on activities. This post shares a variety of activity ideas for different content areas.
  • Message – The message is a great way to activate prior knowledge and review past content. In this post I share tips and ideas for using the message component in your class.
  • Morning Meeting Remix – This post shares ideas about how I created a routine for Morning Meeting. I share how I set a theme to each day and then the components focused on that theme (phonics, math, vocabulary, etc).

Morning Meeting Planner

Picture of Morning Meeting Schedule

Being the planner that I am, I found that I was needing something to organize my Morning Meetings to make them easier to use and remember from year to year. I created this planning page to help me stay on track and plan out my weekly meetings. This is a FREEBIE that you can sign up for HERE. In addition the planner, you’ll also get a cheat sheet with a few ideas for each of the Morning Meeting components. Enjoy!

Morning Meeting long pin with picture of activity and message examples

End of the School Year – Tip #2

Morning Meeting

For the month of May, every Wednesday, I’m sharing quick End of the School Year tip…

For previous tips…

End of the School Year Tip #1

Today I’m sharing with you Tip #2.  Tip #2 is to allow the students to help plan things in your classroom. We do Morning Meeting in my classroom every day.  Normally I plan out the four components for every meeting. In May, I like to have the students work together in groups to share some of their ideas for Morning Meeting. It might be some of their favorite greetings, share, activities, or messages or they can create their own. Then, when I sit down to plan, I pull ideas from their ideas. So it’s kind of like they’re helping plan Morning Meeting! It’s always fun for them to see whose greeting or share we’re doing…

See their idea sheets below…

Do you like to have the kids help plan class events? If so, write what you do in the comments section below…

Five for Friday – May 5

Morning Meeting, Reading

The countdown is on.  Only 18.5 days left after today! I’m linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Here’s what we were up to the first week of May…

I started a little, end of the year blog series. Every Wednesday for the month of May, I’ll be sharing a quick end-of-the-school-year tip.  This week’s tip was about planning and To Do lists. Check it out – here

Morning Message Tip – I like to have students respond to our Morning Message on sticky notes. I know they could just write on the board, but the sticky notes give them time to work on it at their seats, come up with their “own” answers, and lessens the chance of just copying an answer already up there. This also gives students room to show work if needed. 

We started our last book study of the year this week – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The kids always love this book! Every day we read about 20 pages and every day they groan at the end because they want to read more!  I love that this book is entertaining and captures their attention. To check their comprehension of the book, they do Charlie Check-Ins the next day. These are a part of my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Book Study in my TPT Store. It’s a great way to quickly check comprehension throughout the book.

I love my room parents! They have come up with cute, unique things for my classroom all year long. The last theme they picked fits with Dr. Seuss’s book – Oh, The Places You’ll Go. It turned out so cute! I love the hanging hot air balloons!

I’m a huge country fan and we were able to go to David Nail’s country concert last weekend. I had seen him in AZ a few years ago so it was fun to see him play again.  
Hope everyone has a good weekend! The countdown is on…we can make it!

Morning Meeting Remix

Morning Meeting
I love using Morning Meeting in my classroom to start our day and have done a little remix to how I lay it out each week. Check out my Morning Meeting series for how to set it up here
I still follow all four parts of Morning Meeting – Greeting, Share, Activity, and Morning Message. The part I’ve changed or mixed up is the focus area for those four parts. For the first half of the school year, Morning Meeting was academic, but a bit all over. Some weeks I covered a lot of math topics during the message and activity and some weeks a lot of reading or writing.  I decided to set a routine in place to help make sure I cover all of the areas each week. I’m also now throwing in more content to try to maximize my time – since there is never enough time in the day.
Here’s my new schedule…
Monday – Math Monday
The activity and message fit around math topics. It could be review, it could be building background for new content. Either way – it’s all math!
Tuesday – Fluency and Phonics Fun
I’ve had a hard time fitting in fluency whole group, so now it is a part of activity on Tuesdays. We also discuss our phonics focus during the morning message and greeting.
Wednesday – More Math…
This day has been about fact fluency during the activity and review during the message.
Thursday – Vocabulary
Vocabulary is another area that I touch on, but haven’t given enough time.  Now that vocabulary is our focus on Thursdays, I tailor our greeting, activity, and message to it. For example, when students greet each other they have to also use one of their weekly vocab words in a sentence. I’ve also found a ton of fun vocabulary games for them to play during the activity.
Friday – Fix It Friday
Another skill we always need to review is grammar and editing. On Friday, our morning message sentence always needs to be fixed. This gives us a chance to review editing skills and continue to add in new grammar skills as we go.

Grab this planning FREEBIE to make Morning Meeting easy to use weekly in your classroom.  Includes a planning template and cheat sheet! Get it >>> HERE.

Morning Meeting – Part 5 – Morning Message

Morning Meeting

I’m back for Part 5 of my Morning Meeting series.  Click below if you missed any of my past blog posts in this series..

Morning Message is the last component of Morning Meeting.  Morning Message often is academic and provides all students a chance to respond to a written message.  Morning Message often is academic. At the beginning of the year, the messages are a little more community building and get to know you.  I use Morning Message as a way to review content already taught and also to preview new content and see what their background knowledge is.
We have rolling white boards and I choose to use that for the message.  Before the students come in each morning, I write the message for the day on the board. When school begins, once students have finished unpacking, they go over to the board and respond to the message. Often I have students respond by writing their answer with a white board marker.  I also have had students respond with a sticky note that I’ve left on their desk. I find the sticky note works better for longer answers and for solving longer math problems.  This way they have time to solve at their seat as opposed to solving on the board with a line of students behind them.
Once students have responded to the message and are sitting in the circle Morning Meeting begins. We go through the first three parts – greeting, share, activity – and discuss the message last.  I typically have a student read the message for the day and then call on students to share answers that either they wrote or that they see on the board.  Sometimes I will read through all the answers so everyone’s is heard.  It depends on the time we have each day.  I do not have students write their name by the answer so if a student is wrong their is no finger pointing. If an answer is incorrect, we will talk about it and work together as a class to fix it.  I also will extend Morning Message and ask further questions about the message.
Some teachers choose to write more of a letter to their students. I have especially seen this in the younger grades. I prefer a quick question that way everyone can respond and be heard.
Here are some ideas for Morning Message…
Beginning of the Year:
  • What do you want to learn in 2nd grade?
  • What is your favorite _____? (anything works here as a get to know you)
  • What was your favorite part of the first day?
  • What is bucketfilling?
  • What are kind words we can use in the classroom?
 Reading:
  • Who is your favorite book character?
  • Write a cause and effect.
  • I use a lot of questions that refer to our story for the week and the skill we are focusing on.
  • Which character would you be friends with?
Phonics:
  • Write a short vowel word.
  • Write a long vowel word.
  • Write a word with the /oa/ sound (or whatever sound you’re focusing on).
Math:
  • Pose an addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division problem.
  • Provide enough numbers for your whole class to have one to respond to and have them
    • Answer if it is less or greater than
    • Round the numbers
  • Write a 3 digit number.
  • Write a fraction.
  • Pose a story problem and have them solve it.
 Writing/Grammar:
  • Write a noun, verb, and adjective.
  • Fix the errors in a sentence.
  • Write a sentence that is a statement, question, or exclamation.
  • What is a small moment?
  • Why do we edit papers?

 

These are just a few ideas.  If you use Morning Meeting, share some of your messages or questions in the comments…
Planning Morning Meeting is super easy with this planning FREEBIE! Grab the planning FREEBIE and cheat sheet – HERE!

Morning Meeting – Part 4 – Activity

Morning Meeting

Welcome back for Part 4 of my Morning Meeting Blog Series. Today I’ll be explaining about how I use activity in my classroom during Morning Meeting. If you missed the Intro – Part 1, click here. If you missed Greeting – Part 2, click here. If you  missed Share – Part 3, click here.

The students and I both enjoy the activity part of Morning Meeting because it ramps things back up.  Greeting is a great way to say hi and get settled.  Share is a way to calm down and work on those listening skills.  Activity is a way to have some fun and practice educational skills.  Activity is the third part of Morning Meeting and as I explained in the first few posts the order is important and you want to keep this third part.

Activity can be many different things. It can be a game, it can be a review, a partner activity, individual activity, whole group, small group, etc.  There are so many options out there.  One important thing about the activity is to focus it on academics. This is a time to start getting ready to get into the school day and focusing on what is ahead for the day.

Bringing in the academics can look a few different ways. Sometimes I use activity to review a skill taught the day or week before. Sometimes I use it to pre-teach a skill and get kids excited for something we’ll be going into. I have had activities that focus on get to know you kinds of things and are perfect for the first few weeks of school. I’ve also included activities that cover every academic area – reading, writing, social studies, math, etc.  Activity is a short part. Normally it lasts 3-10 minutes depending on the day and the actual activity.

Here are some ideas I’ve used in my classroom:
Math
  • Around the World (addition, subtraction, multiplication facts depending on what we’re covering in math)
  • I’m Thinking of A Number – a student or teacher thinks of a number within certain parameters (0-100, 0-1,000, or whatever finds your class level).  Once they have it they tell the class “I’m thinking of a number between 0 and 100.”  Then, the other students have to guess.  Sometimes I have them make a number guess and then the person who’s leading the game has to tell them higher or lower.  This teaches strategy and also shows who is paying attention. I’ve also had them play where they have to ask questions. Does it have 3 digits?  Is it between 400 and 500? Is there an 8 in the hundreds spot?
  • Cards – I hand each student a different card from a deck of cards.  While the music is playing they are dancing around and switching cards with each other. When the music stops, they need to find a partner and add their two cards together.  Then, we share out whole group. This can be done a variety of ways – addition, subtraction, multiplication, making numbers, adding 3 numbers, etc.
Spelling
  • Sparkle (great spelling game – I love using this on Friday to help review for a spelling test)
Great for Beginning of the Year
  • I Spy
  • Simon Says
  • GoNoodle – Some mornings to get everyone pepped up – a GoNoodle Brain Break is a great activity
  • Going on a Trip – This is a great memory game. I also play this game with categories telling students it needs to be an animal, a food, or something we’re studying.  First person says, “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing a bear with me.”  The next person repeats and adds on – “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing a bear and a sea turtle.”
  • Telephone – This is an oldie, but a goodie. I like to start it and throw in academic content.  I like to have the sentence being passed around have something to do with what we’re studying.
  • Down By the Banks – fun game
  • Do You Like Your Neighbor – This is a game where you need chairs in a circle. You need enough chairs for everyone, but one person. That person is in the middle and says “I like my neighbors who like video games.” Everyone who likes video games has to swap seats and then there is a new person in the middle. This is a great get to know you game.
  • When I Say Go – This is a great listening and following directions game.  The teacher calls out, “In 5 seconds, when I say go, touch something red.  Go!”  Students have to wait until go before they touch the item. Could also play with letters – find something with the letter r.

Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary Match – I provide each table group with a few vocab words written on index cards and their definition on the other. The group has to work together to figure out what word goes with what definition. I used this one a lot with Social Studies when we were beginning a new unit so that the kids could become familiar with the ideas.
  • Vocabulary – Also with Social Studies, I would give each child a different word in our social studies chapter. They would take an index card, write the definition, use it in a sentence, and draw an image to go with it. Then, each child shares with the group.
Phonics/Reading
  • Word Sorts – I’ve done whole group tree maps where kids have a list of words and have to sort into long or short or different spellings.
  • Find the Word – Book Hunt – I have had kids look for prefixes or suffixes that we’ve talked about in their reading text. I timed them and they had to see how many they found in like 4 minutes.
Writing
  • Doodle drawing – Give kids a squiggle that they then have to finish on Day 1. On Day 2, they take that drawing and have to write a story about it.
  • Shared Story – Work together as a class to write a silly story.

Works with Any Academic Area

  • I Have, Who Has – Great game to play during activity with really any skill.
  • Going on a Trip – This is a great memory game. I also play this game with categories telling students it needs to be an animal, a food, or something we’re studying.  First person says, “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing a bear with me.”  The next person repeats and adds on – “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing a bear and a sea turtle.”
  • Telephone – This is an oldie, but a goodie. I like to start it and throw in academic content.  I like to have the sentence being passed around have something to do with what we’re studying.
These are just a few ideas that I’ve used for Morning Meeting Activity.  Feel free to share any you’ve used or seen in the comments. I’m always looking for new ones to add in to my routine!
Next week, we’ll talk about Morning Message – the final component of Morning Meeting.
Grab this FREEBIE to help you plan out your weekly Morning Meeting!  Also includes a cheat sheet with ideas for the four components. Grab it >>> HERE.

Morning Meeting – Part 3 – Share

Morning Meeting
I’m back for Part 3 of my introduction to Morning Meeting. If you missed my intro to Morning Meeting, click here. If you missed Part 2 about Morning Meeting Greeting, click here.
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.

Want to make planning Morning Meeting a breeze? Grab my FREE planning sheet HERE.

Morning Meeting – Part 2 – Greeting

Morning Meeting
I’m back for my 2nd part of my Morning Meeting series. If you missed the introduction to Morning Meeting you can find that here.
The first component of Morning Meeting is greeting.  Greeting is quick part, but a very important one – one you don’t want to skip.  Greeting gives all students a chance to greet each other and welcome each other as we start another day together. It also gives you a chance to greet students and see how each student is feeling and what mood they might be in to start the day.  It makes every student feel important and shows that you know they are there and they exist.  Some students don’t hear good morning or hello or their name until they’re at school. It’s important that we make kids feel important and a quick greeting, “Good morning, Susie,” is a great way to do that.
Greeting also teaches important social skills. I spent a lot of time at the beginning of the year practicing and modeling what a “good” greeting looked like.  We talked about how to shake hands firmly (not too firm lol).  We looked each other in the eye and we greeted students by name.  This is the most basic greeting, but one that will benefit students throughout life.
Here are some of my favorite greetings that we did this year:
Regular, Quick Greetings –
  • Handshake
  • Fist bump
  • High five
  • Wave
Foreign Language Greeting – Students greet each other using a foreign language. For example, Buenos dias Matt,  Bonjour Cindy, etc

Formal Greeting – Greet students with a handshake and use their last name. For example, Good morning, Mr. Ferry or Good morning, Miss Wagner.

Silent Greeting – Students have to figure out a way to silently greet each other.

GoNoodle Greetings – My students love doing some of the different handshakes from the KooKoo Kangaroo secret handshakes video.  They love the ice cream cone, squirrel, the lumberjack one.

Ball Toss Greeting – Stand in a circle and have one person start with the ball.  The person tosses the ball across the circle wishing good morning to who they passed it to.  This continues until all students have had a turn. To add a challenge, we’ve used two or three balls.  We start with one and add in more.  When adding more, kids have to pass to the same student each time.

Mirror Greeting – Student completes an action (dance move, silly pose,etc) and says “Hello, my name is Jordan.”  The other students mirror the action and say “Good morning Jordan.”

Snowball Greeting – Hand each student a paper and have them write their first name on the paper.  Then, once in the Morning Meeting circle have students crumple up their paper like a snowball.  Next, they throw their “snowball” in the middle of the circle. They all grab one and that is who they greet.  Can repeat a few times.

Those are just a few ideas. There are billions out there on Pinterest, in the Morning Meeting book, and the kids come up with great ones too.  Towards the end of the year, I had each student come up with their own greeting and write it on an index card. Then, each day I picked a different card and that student got to teach us their greeting. They were very creative!

Anyone else have any greeting ideas or class favorites?

Grab my Morning Meeting Planning FREEBIE and Cheat Sheet!  Makes planning Morning Meeting super easy! Grab it >>> HERE.

Morning Meeting – Intro – Part 1

Morning Meeting

I’ve decided to write a little blog series on Morning Meeting.  It’s an great way to start the day and has many other positives which you will read about below. The results of Morning Meeting are quite magical and I’m so grateful my school has this as one of their programs.

Part 1 will give an overview of the four components of Morning Meeting and also my opinion of the positives to conducting Morning Meeting every day.

Morning Meeting is a part of Responsive Classroom.  Morning Meeting is not necessarily a program, but a philosophy of how to start each and every school day. I had always wanted to do something like this, but could never find the time.  I’m lucky that at my current school they dedicate the first 25-30 minutes each day to Morning Meeting in every grade (preschool – 8th grade).

Here is a book with many Morning Meeting ideas…

In my classroom, Morning Meeting starts after students unpack and attendance is taken. School starts at 8:00 so I aim to start it around 8:05.  It lasts about 20-30 minutes depending on the day and our schedule.  Students and teacher sit in a circle either in chairs or on the floor. I prefer the kids sitting on the floor especially since I teach 2nd grade.

The four components of Morning Meeting are: greeting, share, activity, and morning message. It is important to complete all four parts as they go together and also important to complete them in the correct order. The greeting gives everyone a chance to say hi to each other and gets the students pumped up. The share brings things down a notch and focuses on listening and speaking skills. The activity gets kids moving again and then morning message slows things down and gets kids focused before we start into the rest of our day.

Here are some huge positives to Morning Meeting:

  • Morning Meeting is a positive way to start the day. Gets every student engaged and provides teachers a chance to take the temperature of the room. You can see whose a little tired, whose fired up, who might not be feeling well, etc.  Getting this vital info about your students each day right away can help you make choices to make the day successful for all.
  • Morning Meeting is empowering.  Greeting starts off with students greeting each other by name.  This gives kids a chance to feel welcomed to school and each student feels important.
  • Share gives students an opportunity to practice listening and speaking skills. These skills are a part of standards, but also important work skills for the future.
  • The activity focuses on curriculum but in a fun way – group activities, games, etc.
  • Morning message also focuses on the academics and again provides each student with a chance to respond to a message or question.
  • This eases everyone into the today and really gives a sense of classroom community.  It takes build-up at the beginning of the year, but by the end of the year your kids can run it.
  • It’s a great way for your kids to get to know each other and find common interests. Share has been an important part of that. Through share some of my students found that they have similar interests with kids that they didn’t think they had things in common with before.  This is great for building new friendships and helping classroom community.
  • Morning Meeting is a great way to address concerns and problems in the classroom.  This past year students had some difficulty at recess playing with some of the equipment we had out there.  I used Morning Meeting as an opportunity to share and discuss the issues and also work with the kids on how to come up with a good solution.

Those were just a few of my positive take-aways. I’m a huge believer in Morning Meeting and will be sharing ideas for the different components over the next few weeks.

Stay tuned…next up – Morning Meeting Greeting…

Thanks for stopping by!

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Dr. Seuss Quotes

Morning Meeting, Reading
So I’m aware it’s been forever again. Between teaching, wedding planning, and my fiancée’s basketball coaching schedule, blogging has taken a back seat. I’ll try to be better, but I can’t promise anything lol.
For reading week, I decided to tie Dr. Seuss into morning message and morning meeting. I’m a huge fan of his quotes and think people of all ages can relate to them. So I decided to use a Dr. Seuss quote for morning message during reading week. Students read the quote and on the post-it notes explain what the quote means to them. I’ve been very impressed with their answers. 
Here’s Day #1
Here’s Day #2-

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