Morning Meeting: Rationale, Purpose, and The Four Components

RATIONALE: MORNING MEETING IS A GREAT WAY TO MELD SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL, AND ACADEMIC LEARNING AND START OFF THE DAY ON A POSITIVE NOTE WITH YOUR CHILDREN.

IT TEACHES STUDENTS TO HAVE EMPATHY AND BUILDS COMMUNITY IN THE CLASSROOM WHILE GIVING STUDENTS OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.

PURPOSE OF MORNING MEETING:

1. TO SET A TONE FOR RESPECTFUL AND ENGAGED LEARNING IN A CLIMATE OF TRUST.

2.  TO CREATE THE POSITIVE POWER OF COMMUNITY BY FULFILLING STUDENTS’ NEED TO BELONG TO FEEL SIGNIFICANT, AND HAVE FUN.

3. TO MODEL AND PRACTICE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS

4. TO MERGE SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL, AND ACADEMIC LEARNING

(FROM THE RESPONSIVE CLASSROOM COURSE BOOK)
 

THE FOUR COMPONENTS OF MORNING MEETING

1. GREETING- Students greet each other by name. This is usually incorporates a hand-gesture and/or style of greeting

2. SHARE- Students share something about themselves. This could be a few students at a time or the whole class responding to a topic/prompt.

3. GROUP ACTIVITY- The whole class does a short inclusive activity in order to encourage community, active participation, and cooperation.

4. MORNING MESSAGE- Students practice academic skills and warm up for the day ahead by reading and discussing a daily note to the class posted by their teacher.

Table of Contents:

1. Greetings (examples from greetings from a sampling of grades/classes)

 

3rd Grade—In third grade, students learn about cultures around the world. In the beginning of the year, students share greetings from languages they are familiar with. As we learn new languages, we add it to our menu of greetings. Students sit in a circle and go around greeting each other. It’s important to model and practice this routine in the beginning of the year. Students should face each other, make eye contact, and give a gentle but firm handshake while greeting their friend. For example, Student 1: “Bonjour Sally”, Student 2: “Bonjour Mike”. Students go around the circle greeting each other and all adults in the room.

5th Grade—”1,2,3, Look.” This is a perfect greeting for when you are pressed for time.  The group forms a circle.  All students close their eyes and wait for the verbal direction of the leader.  The leader will say, “1,2,3, Look!”  On “Look,”  students will open their eyes and look at someone across from them in the circle.  If eye contact is made, the two students will walk towards each other and greet each other with a handshake.  

5th Grade – Alphabetical Order Greeting (by first names)

Students greet each other in alphabetical order as quickly as possible.

 

6th Grade- Compliment Greeting

Students in this greeting need to greet a classmate by name and by complimenting an internal character trait. This supports character work in reading/writing and fosters and sense of community in the classroom.

6th Grade – Secret Handshake Greeting

This student-favorite greeting involves pairs of students creating a secret handshake in order to greet one another. If time allows, students can also teach their handshake to another partnership.

2. Shares (examples of shares from a sampling of grades/classes)

 

3rd Grade- One way to incorporate shares into morning meeting is to decide upon a topic. Students suggest topics, and then the class comes to a consensus. Whatever the topic is, students have 1-2 minutes to respond, sharing their thoughts and feelings, then can open the discussion up for 2 questions or comments. Normally, 3-4 kids share per day. Students need to be taught expectations through modeling and practicing in the beginning of the year. Routines for active listening must be in place. Students should also use their “storytelling voice” or project their voices when sharing. Each student shares before deciding upon a new topic.

*It’s useful to record what students say and keep a record of shares in your file. This is helpful during writer’s workshop when students have “nothing to write about!”

Example of shares:

1.      Describe a moment when you felt very proud.

2.      If you could travel back in time, when would you travel to and why?

3.      If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

4.      What is one of your hobbies and why do you enjoy it?

5th Grade:  A little known fact about me is ____.   Students get a couple of minutes to consider one way they would complete this sentence.  We go around the class so that every student can share.  At the end, the leader

6th Grade- Five Word Share (about our weekend)

Students pick 5 words to describe their weekend. The strict word limit allows all children to share and makes students think critically about word choice and prioritization.

 

3. Activities (examples of activities from a sampling of grades/classes and for social/academic purposes).

3rd Grade- Sparkle. Students stand in a circle. The teacher stands in the center and gives the class a word to spell. This could be from a spelling list, a math vocabulary word, or any other word the students have seen. Students go around spelling the word. Each student says one letter of the word. When the last letter is said, the next student says SPARKLE. For example, the word “multiplication” can be used. Students spell “M-U-L-T-I-P-L-I-C-A-T-I-O-N-Sparkle.” That student who said “Sparkle” sits. The game continues until there is just 1 student left.

5th Grade – Prefix/Suffix Competition

  1. Students are divided into 4-5 groups.

  2. Teacher tells students either a prefix or suffix and gives an example of a word that would contain the prefix or suffix. For example, the prefix “mis” and the word “mistreat.”

  3. Students are given approximately 3 minutes to generate as many words as they can with the given prefix or suffix.

  4. After time is up, teacher asks students for some examples of words with that prefix or suffix, and writes them on the board. Then, teacher asks students what is the meaning of the prefix or suffix.

  5. Students then go back and recheck their words to make sure all words actually fit the “rule” of the prefix or suffix. For example, if a student wrote “misery” they would have to cross that word out.

  6. Students count up their total. Whichever group has the most words, wins!

5th Grade – 10 Questions (academic-related)

 

1.     Choose one student to stand in the middle of the morning meeting circle.

2.     Student (or teacher) selects an academic category and comes up with a vocabulary word around that topic. For example, Miles was given the word “Southwest” around our category of “United States regions.”

3.     Stick a post-it (with the word written on it) on the student’s back. Have him slowly rotate so every student in the circle can see the word.

4.     The student in the middle asks “yes” or “no” questions around the academic category to figure out what the word is. The students in the circle a give thumbs up or thumbs down as a response.

5.     After ten questions, the student in the middle is allowed to ask for a hint, and continue to ask questions until he/she figures the word out.

6th Grade Activity- Make ‘Em Laugh

Students take turns trying to make classmates laugh. This game allows students to be silly and com

 
 
 

4. Morning Message

5. Student-led Morning Meeting: A Case Study from A 6th Grade Class

Student Led Sign Up Sheet.

Students created this sign up sheet. Students make sure to have a plan for the morning meeting they have chosen to run. Students often create a powerpoint or a word document to help communicate their plan to the community.
 

The students run morning meeting and gather the attention of the group.  
 

 

The students reflect on this process:

Morning meeting is different when kids run it. We are taking more control over what we do in school.  We are responsible. - Frank

I like it a lot. Before it wasn’t our own. It is more comfortable and more fun. Kids make it more fun. I like planning it better. -Milah

Kids have an opportunity to feel how teachers do, like an adult. Some kids are rude, including me. Teachers are involved but not run it. - Darryl

Having kids run it is good because it helps them feel how teachers feel. It also feels so good to have the power. - Vincent

It is scary to be in front of people, I can fumble and go blank. - Sarah