Friday, October 3, 2014

Morning Meeting

This year my school is beginning to implement Responsive Classroom. I'm part of the team that was officially trained, and we're in charge of introducing some of the ideas to the rest of the staff.

We're beginning by implementing morning meeting, which I love.

It can be tempting at the beginning of the year to try to make the first day lots of fun with exciting, active games and ice breakers. While this might work well for a few kids, it's probably best to hold off on the super exciting activities. Kids need time to feel each other out. They need time to get to know their teacher. Playing silly games and sharing with class can be fun, but during the first days of school, take some time to establish trust.

Simple, low-risk greetings and activities to create community in a primary classroom. Perfect for the beginning of the year.

On the first day of school, we sit in a circle (or something like it) for our first morning meeting. I move around the group quietly asking each child their favorite color. Once the child has told me their favorite color, I look at the class and introduce the child by saying, "This is _____. Her favorite color is yellow. Let's all give her a nice rainbow wave." (The rainbow wave is just waving your arm so your hand arcs a little like a rainbow.)

The next day is also very simple. I remind the class of a student's name, we say good morning to each person chorally with a smile and a wave. The child can respond by saying good morning to the class.

After the first few days, meetings get a little more lively, but I still keep the level of risk in the activities very low.

I made a few greeting and activity cards to share with my colleagues, and I thought I'd share them with you as well.

You might also be interested in this post; it's a reflection on one of my first morning meeting experiences. There's another little freebie there. :)

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