Every day I start my class off with a Morning Meeting. I work on my students’ social-emotional needs by doing team-building activities, sharing about ourselves, and learning about important social concepts.
My first challenge was creating a circle in my room. I have thirty-three fourth and fifth-grade students. At first, I had everyone stand in a circle around the room. That didn’t work at all. So we decided to create a circle where everyone sat down. In order to do this, my students have to push desks out of the way and when the meeting is over, they push them back. The truth is – it is very easy and the students can do it. Problem solved.
After reading The Morning Meeting Book by Carol Davis and Roxann Kriete, I learned the four components of a morning meeting.
The first part is having the students greet each other. We work on eye contact, speaking clearly, and using the other person’s name. Below is one way to do a greeting – shoe salad. Each person in the circle takes off one shoe and throws it into the center of the circle. Then everyone goes and picks up a shoe and looks for its owner. Once the person locates the student, each student is to say good morning.
There are lots of different ways to do sharing with students. Everyone can share their favorite dessert as you go around the circle or tell something kind someone has done in the class. With my students, they love to share photos or important objects from home. I guess it reminds them of their kindergarten days.
A short activity is used as a team-building exercise. Some of my students’ favorites are Cooper says (just like Simon says) and Zoom. In Zoom, we go around the circle and say zoom as fast as we can to each other. The students are timed and of course, they have to try to break the first time. My school has purchased MindYeti (mindfulness instruction for students) for the entire school. So some days I will put on a MindYeti activity. They are about 4 to 5 minutes long.
Finally, the message is what you want to remind, teach, or discuss with your class for the morning. It can discuss things you are noticing in the classroom that need to be changed or being kind to others. This is where you can have some real discussions with kids about behaviors, feelings, and life.
Below are a few of the slides that I use to project on the screen for our morning meetings. I have them is google slides. I can easily edit them daily. They also come in several colors.
If you are interested in these Google slides, you can find them here. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Morning-Meeting-Daily-Schedule-Editable-4839595
If you want to start morning meetings in your classroom, you should read the following books. There are numerous suggestions for each of the parts of a morning meeting. Also, you can create your own, like how I use MindYeti as part of the morning meeting.
I have been doing morning meetings for several years now, and it is just part of our day. Sometimes, we have an assembly or field trip and aren’t able to do one. My students are always a little disappointed, but I remind them we will continue tomorrow.
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