Saturday, December 30, 2017

Interactive Morning Messages

Today I wanted to talk to you a little about Interactive Morning Messages.

Our district uses a responsive classroom approach.  Each morning we have a morning meeting which includes an interactive morning message.

When I first started teaching I would spend my precious morning minutes creating a fun morning message that would often be ignored by distracted students as they arrived.  How could I save my morning time and present a morning message in a way that would catch students attention immediately as they entered each morning?

I decided to make my morning messages interactive!

How do I do this?  By adding a section at the bottom of each message for students to respond.  I keep a little bin of post-it notes and markers nearby.  I post my morning message up front by our door so it's the first thing students see when they enter our classroom.  They stop, read the message, and immediately respond.  Then, we read and discuss our morning message as part of our morning meeting.

To save time I bring the pad of paper home over breaks or long weekends and write out a months worth of messages all at once.  I follow a simple schedule:

Monday - Weekend Happenings
Tuesday - Social Studies / Science
Wednesday - Math
Thursday - Language Arts
Friday - Riddles, Jokes, and Fun Stuff

This schedule helps me think of new and creative messages rather than falling into a pattern of the same boring posts.

Here are some examples:

This is the message that I plan to post on the first day back from February Break.  This will also be my first day teaching after my long maternity leave.

You can underline key words to make them pop.  Use color to make different parts of your message stand out.  Place a post-it note on the message as an example of your expectations for students.

Here is another example.  This morning message ties in our math content.  I am collecting data about students' favorite colors.  We will use the tally chart to make a bar graph during morning meeting.

Notice how I left the day and part of the year blank at the top of the message?  I do this so I can reuse the message next year.  I'll just cut off the bottom and put a new piece of paper underneath it.  You can use post-it notes to add the date to the top of your message or have students help you fill in the date during your morning meeting.

Here are some helpful tips to make your interactive morning messages amazing:

Do you use morning messages in your classroom?  What tips would you share?

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