In the last blog post, I described the power of a Morning Meeting and how creating a consistent Morning Meeting routine can make all the difference in your school day. If you missed the last post, check it out to grab all of the tips for a positive start to your school day! Now that you know WHY a Morning Meeting is so important, you may be thinking “what do I do now?” I have compiled everything you need to use the Responsive Classroom method for an effective Morning Meeting. As we discussed, consistency is KEY so that your students enter your classroom calm and confident they can conquer the tasks that are in front of them! A typical Morning Meeting lasts around 15 minutes, but I may argue it is the most important 15 minutes of our day, so let’s get started! I have included a Morning Meeting routine below.
In our daily greeting, students will greet the teacher and their classmates by name. At the beginning of the school year as we focus on learning names and getting acquainted with one another, we will simply go around the circle and say “Good morning _____” to each person. As the weeks go on, I will add different greetings that are a little more complex and fun!
Sharing is just as simple as it sounds! I set aside a few moments for students to share about their lives. Our days are packed with learning and the opportunities for uninterrupted share time are limited during our busy days. This time is so meaningful. Not only do students feel valued and heard during this time, they are also learning! When it is their turn to speak, students are learning how to communicate and practice public speaking skills. When it is NOT their turn to share, they are learning how to be an active listener. During this time, we also practice asking each other meaningful, relevant questions. Sometimes, I will prompt students with a question of the day and I will give them options to choose from as we go around the circle. For example: since this week was the first week of spring, I asked the question “What is your favorite thing about spring time?” Students shared their favorite thing one at a time. I love watching their faces light up as they get the spotlight for a moment. I know they feel seen and valued as they get to share their opinion freely.
TIP: Remind students this is a time to share their opinions, thoughts, feelings, and excitements. If this expectation is not in place, share time could easily transform into a “Show and Tell” time which is not the desired goal.
The Morning Meeting activity is a fun way to start the day! This can include a game, learning review, coordinating together, or a song to get students up and moving.
TIP: Fluency and Fitness is a great activity to start the day, because it combines many of the items listed above into one! Students are able to get moving, review a learning concept, or play a game! All of this in under 5 minutes makes Fluency and Fitness a perfect Morning Meeting option!
Every morning we read a message together. In this message we mention things we are learning about, upcoming events, and holidays. I usually include a learning review as well! The morning message does not have to be long or eloquently written. This can be as simple as a short, positive note. Again, this is a great way to consistently show up for your students and keep a routine they can expect and look forward to.
Now that we have discussed how to START the day on a positive note, why not END the day in the same way? The end of the day always seems to be a whirlwind! Between packing up backpacks, end of the day announcements, making it to dismissal on time…sometimes you leave and it feels like chaos! Any time we end the day on this note, I always feel frazzled myself, so I know my students must feel the same. Another great routine to implement is a Closing Circle at the end of the day. This can be as short as ten minutes just to come together for circle time. This is an opportunity to share or read a story before calmly heading out the door. Beginning your day positively sets the right tone, and ending the day positively ensures that students leave feeling happy, confident, and excited to come back the next day!