Once upon a time, it was known as Circle Time with Kindergarten and early elementary grades. These days it can be referred to as Morning Meeting, Daily Meeting, and many other things.
For the sake of this post, I’ll refer to it as Morning Meeting since that’s what I now call it with my current Grade One class.
This is a crucial part of my classes’ day. This is how we get things started and without this important part of our routine, the day can go south quickly.
So, what do I do during Morning Meeting? I do many things and each and every day, it doesn’t look entirely the same. I write a morning message, do phonics work, talk about wellness, do responsive classroom activities, play games, look at sight words, build vocabulary, discuss problem-solving and conflict resolution strategies, etc. My meetings vary and of course, this time looks very different in each teacher’s classroom.
One important element for my Morning Meeting each and every day is the morning message. This is a crucial literacy element and a great way to launch many discussions.
So, what are some elements in my messages?
- The date. I have already covered this prior to the meeting during calendar time (separate from the meeting in my class), but it’s always good to reinforce the spelling of months and it’s great to get other students talking.
- I always add elements of humor. This gets the students laughing and feeling more comfortable. If the students are more comfortable, maybe some of the quieter children will take risks and raise their hands. i.e. “Good morning silly Grade Ones!” – something that simple seems to slay my students! Has them in stitches.
- I write a sentence about the weather and a few sentences about what they will do throughout the course of the day. i.e. “Today you will have Art Class and after that Winter Concert practice.” I have already gone over the daily schedule, but this is great simply for reading practice as well as reinforcing that schedule.
- I love intentionally adding spelling errors to see if students can catch them. It always turns into a game.
- Adding some basic grammar errors also works to challenge some of the higher level students.
- I choose different students to read the sentences and I give them lots of praise afterward for their efforts and willingness to take risks. Since the majority of my students are EAL (English as an Additional Language) students, I like to have them repeat the sentences, in chunks after I read the chunks.
- There are also daily grammar and spelling goals in the message. I may be examining pronouns, punctuation, use of upper case letters, etc.
In my class, the Morning Meeting is a fun time to learn and build our class community. My Morning Message is a fun and engaging (at least I hope) way to encourage reading, problem-solving, social norms (sitting properly, raising their hand to speak, not shouting over others, etc.) and to learn more about our friends and the day ahead.
What does your Morning Meeting look like?
About the Writer:
Kevin O’Shea is a PYP/Nature/Outdoor educator currently based in Beijing, China. He is a father, husband, and avid conservationist. Kevin is an advocate for outdoor play and nature education. He is the host of the long-running Just Japan Podcast and is currently developing the Making Better Teachers Podcast!