Friday, August 3, 2012

Creating a Caring Classroom: Using Morning Meetings

School is starting and as part of  Laura Candler's Creating a Caring Classroom Link Up I wanted to write a blog post about one of the ways that I try to create a harmonious classroom.  When I first started teaching I randomly came across a book called The First Six Weeks of School, by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete.  I highly recommend this book to both new and veteran teachers.  It gives clear examples of how a caring classroom should be run.  There is also a partner book called The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete which gives excellent examples of how morning meetings can influence a class

In my class I start our morning meeting with a greeting.  At first it's just a wave as the kids are usually shy the first few days.  They learn how to make eye contact and turn to their neighbor.  Then we add on to that.  They wave to each other and say, "Good morning ___________."  And their neighbor responds.  After we go around the circle I read the morning message to the students.  Sometimes we read it chorally, sometimes I'll read, or sometimes a student will read.  This is my normal morning message:

Greetings ________________________,
Good morning!  Today is Friday, August 3rd, 2012.  Our shortcut is ___/___/___.  It is our third day of learning together.  Today we will have (insert special) at 1:05pm.  I am positive that we will have a fantastic Friday together.
Ms. M

I put the morning message on our Smartboard, this way I can save a copy on the computer and I don't have to write it out everyday on the easel.  I also try to incorporate some kind of quick math review problem from the day before to refresh their memories.

Morning meetings are a great way to let students know what to expect during the day and to do a quick review!

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