Thursday, January 23, 2014

Morning Meeting - A Responsive Classroom Approach

Morning meeting is an intricate part of our day!

Morning meetings help develop classroom community by fulfilling each student's need to belong, to feel significant, and to have fun.  They teach the skills of friendliness and social interest through participation, sharing, and listening.  Morning meetings merge social, emotional, and intellectual learning while we model skills such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.

Each morning we follow the same format for morning meeting:

1.  Greeting - Each morning students begin by greeting each other by name.  I select greetings that are structured and include aspects such as shaking hands, clapping, singing, and other various activities.

2.  Sharing - After our greeting I select a few students to share.  We follow a weekly rotation so that students know when their share time will be.  They are welcome to share any appropriate news of interest.  Afterwards, they select 2-3 students to respond to what they've shared with a thoughtful question.

3.  Group Activity - The third component of our morning meeting is a group activity.  I select fun activities that integrate other subject areas and build class cohesion through active participation.

4.  Morning Message - Each morning we end our meeting by reading our morning message and going over our class schedule for the day. You can read more about Interactive Morning Messages here.

Here are some tips to help your morning meeting run smoothly:

Post rules and procedures within or near the meeting area.  Refer to them often.

Require that students come to the circle empty-handed.  I do not allow students to bring in objects to share.  They only share information.  However, I do make an exception on days that we bring our morning work to the carpet to use as part of our activity.  The work stays behind students, out of sight, out of mind, until we are ready to use it.

Organize students in a circle.  Encourage them to sit next to someone new, rather than next to the same friends.

Join your students by sitting in the circle with them and participating in all components.

Keep your morning meeting short and sweet.  I try to keep it between 15-20 minutes.

Use a classroom management signal, such as a chime or raised hand, to quiet students and gain their attention.  Practice this signal often so that your morning meeting will run quickly and smoothly.

Check out the Responsive Classroom website for more information about morning meeting and examples of greetings and activities that you can use to spice it up!

How many of you have a daily morning meeting?


Julia said...

I do morning meeting! Students come to the circle in silence to reflect on a question or just to reflect. Then students share their thoughts. I keep it very short and sweet bc our mornings together end at 10:30 and I don't teach them again until 12:45.

Deb Maxwell said...

I have been doing a morning meeting since I began teaching. One of my favorite greetings is the prop greeting. Students pass an object around as they say good morning to each other, they add: Here's the _____. I believe it really helps them to develop language and vocabulary. I really like how you do the morning message component. I'm your newest follower. :)

Not very fancy

Beth said...

I enjoyed reading this post!!