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.
• 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.
• 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.

## FREE Morning Meeting Planner

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!
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