Thursday, April 26, 2012

Morning Meeting *Freebie*

Happy Friday Eve!

Didn't it feel like Friday should have been three days ago?!?  Man, tuckered doesn't even BEGIN to explain how tired I am.  My forehead is numb.  Really. Does that ever happen to you? It's okay if you say no...but for real, I'm so tired the bridge of my nose and my forehead are numb.  Only happens when I'm tired. That, and my right eye sometimes twitches.  I've got issues.

I know Morning Meeting was "the thing" some years back. My teacher-friend we call "Barb" and I did a big inservice on it.  In front of LOTS of people. Hundreds.  Okay, felt like hundreds. It might have been 30 - give or take. Holy nervous.  As I remember {after the nightmares fizzled} it went very well. 

Fast forward 4 or 5 years - I still find such power in having a daily morning meeting {or whenever a person can squeeze one in}. You know that pendulum.  Seems that trends in education come and go faster than fashion trends {Gauchos anyone?}.  I love trying the latest and greatest but sometimes I have a hard time letting go of things.  Especially when I know those "things" are valuable! 

Morning Meeting is one of those "things" for me.  It's a great way to build community, set a positive tone, increase excitement about learning and improve and reinforce academic and social skills. This year I have a cutie with Down Syndrome; initiating meaningful contact was difficult for her at the beginning of the year, now she'll walk right up to a friend in our circle, greet them with a big smile on her face all while making great eye contact. So cool.

We pretty much follow the same routine:

Greeting
Sharing
Activity
Message

Greetings can be as long or short, formal or informal as you'd like.  I found a lot of fun greeting ideas from Christina Bainbridge's class website {here}. I printed, laminated, hole punched and put them on an "o" ring. I did the same with her activity cards.  Lots of great ideas in this book too...


My kids' favorite greeting has remained the same throughout the year...

You've gotta get a nice rhythmic chant going as you say it...
The activities change too. As part of our math program we have something called Number Corner {think: calendar}. We usually do these activities during the activity portion of Morning Meeting, but try to squeeze in a fun one here and there too.  You can find a whole bunch of good ones on Christina's website.  One of our favorites is "Pass the Koosh Ball".  I have more koosh balls than I know what to do with.  One year my kiddos deemed me a koosh ball collector and ever since that fateful day I've been given at least a dozen each year.  It's pure koosh madness.  The kids love them though.  When playing "Pass the Koosh" I'll name a category.  We'll be studying weather next week so I might call out weather.  The person who started with the koosh passes it to the right and has to name five things that fit in that category before the koosh makes its way back to its beginning.  Great way to review.

At the end of Meeting we read our message, fix any mistakes that are there, locate any word wall words, and answer the question of the day.

I love question of the day.  At the beginning of the year it starts off as a get to know you question, then evolves into either a take a stand type question "Should kids be able to chew gum in school" or an academic question "How much money is here" {I'll put a money flash card on by the question for them to count and answer}.  Sometimes they answer with a checkmark {on my whiteboard easel} in a designated area under the question or they'll take a small sticky note and put their initials on it and sick it in the appropriate spot. 

Sounds lengthy and at the beginning of the school year it is but as the year progresses I tweak and streamline it so it doesn't take quite so much time and some days we just can't get to it...

Do you do morning meeting?  If not, what do you do to help build classroom unity and community throughout the year?

Switching gears...

Can you believe I haven't finished Hunger Games?  I'm on the third book and have been nursing it since spring break.  I kid you not, I read a page or two, my eyes start to droop and I'm out for the count.  All I need is a Lazy Boy...yank out my dentures and call her a day.

Happy Friday Ya'll!  {I said ya'll - I had to look up where the apostrophe goes...that's up for debate apparently. Who knew?!}








15 comments:

  1. Hey Holly! You have to finish Hunger Games this weekend! I think I read all 3 in a week, could not put them down! My family was feeling so neglected! Love this post! Such great ideas! Thanks for sharing! :)
    Cheryl
    Crayons and Curls

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  2. Hooray! I'm glad you found my "Morning Meeting" stuff! Isn't it so fun to do them? My kiddos love them!

    :)
    Christina
    Mrs. Bainbridge's Blog

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  3. Our morning routine has changed a bit with the addition of kiddos and all the other craziness, but we've been able to keep a bit. I do think we are able to get a LOT covered during that short period of time.

    I'm concerned, curious about this numb forehead. :D
    ❤Traci❤
    Dragonflies in First

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    Replies
    1. Maybe numb is the wrong word...tingly might be better. Glad you've been able to hang tight onto morning meeting, it's always the team building stuff that gets shoved aside.

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  4. I love morning meeting. It is something we can all count on. After vacations and long weekends, we take some extra time to re-connect.

    Kimberley
    First in Maine


    PS My forehead and nose get numb and my eye twitches. Swear to God!

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  5. LOL! I read the trilogy in a week! I loved it! Hehe and I did morning meeting in the beginning of the year and then it slowly disappeared. I need to get that book!
    ❤ Sandra
    Sweet Times in First
    sweettimesinfirst@gmail.com

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  6. I do morning meeting. I love it. But I've gotten out of the handshake greeting habit. Your post has inspired me to try it again. Thanks!

    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

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  7. We love morning meeting as well. My kids really like giving pinky hugs for greeting, and seat swap. They greet a person, and then take their seat, then that person greets another person and takes their seat:-)

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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  8. We don't have morning meetings, but I am considering it for next year. I will have to get that book! Thanks for sharing

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  9. I'm going to incorporate a morning meeting next year (may start this year to try it out), so thank you for his post!

    If it makes you feel any better my whole left side of my face goes numb from the top of my head, down my neck and down to the tip of my middle finger (coincidence?)

    I've been told it's a pinched nerve.

    I'd better figure out who it was that got on that last nerve.

    Elizabeth


    Fun in Room 4B

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  10. I've been wanting to change up my morning meeting (we call it morning circle) and this post has inspired me to do it sooner rather than later. Love the different greeting ideas - thanks to you and to Christina! :)

    Kara
    Spedventures

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  11. I used to do Morning Meetings - in fact, I have (or used to have) that morning meeting book!! (I'll have to check out Christina's stuff too!)...but NOW we have a school wide intervention for 30 minutes (which is actually 40 minutes), so that really bites into my whole day - grrr....do you KNOW what I could get accomplished during that 30 minutes??

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  12. Love the idea of Morning Meeting, thanks for sharing on my FB page!
    Brian :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Brian! Glad to have you as a bloggy friend!!!!

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  13. I love your morning meeting ideas! Thanks for the freebie!
    Nicole
    Teaching With Style

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