How to Serve a Nutritious Morning Meeting

By Sharon Taylor on September 23, 2011
  • Grades: PreK–K

Starting the school day off with Morning Meeting will get your students ready to learn from the moment they walk into your classroom. It is a great way to build classroom community and teach a variety of academic and social skills. Read on as I share a recipe to help you serve a nutritious Morning Meeting of your own!

 

What Is Morning Meeting?

Morning meeting is a component of the responsive classroom approach to learning. It is an ongoing and evolving activity that helps students to feel comfortable, secure, and valued in the classroom. After most children have arrived and settled in at the start of every day, the teacher and students gather in a circle to practice and learn the social and academic skills needed to build a classroom of motivated learners. 

Serving: Classroom size 

Prep Time: 10–15 minutes

Engagement: 15–30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients: Morning Meeting is made up of four essential components:

  • Greeting
  • Sharing
  • Group activity
  • Morning message

Directions

Signal to Begin

I selected a song to let my students know when it is time to gather on the carpet for Morning Meeting. By the time the song ends, everyone should be standing on the carpet ready to begin.

Greeting 

DSC_0367Begin your Morning Meeting by having your students greet each other in a friendly and cheerful manner. To keep the motivation of my students high, I use various greeting games throughout the week.

Examples:

Day 1: Students say hello to their friends in a different language.

Day 2: Students do the ball toss. To do this, throw a ball to a student, saying his name. Have that student throw the ball to the second student, while saying his name, and so on until everyone has had a chance to catch the ball.

Day 3: Students sit in a circle and greet the student next to them with "Good morning, ______," and a high five.

Day 4: Students recite Hickety, Pickety, Bumblebee.

Day 5: Students recite Hello, Neighbor, chant.

For more greetings to use during Morning Meeting, visit Mrs. Bainbridge's class.

Sharing

DSC_0368 The morning greeting is immediately followed by share time. During share time, the children and the teacher can share news about what's going on in school, at home, and in the world.

Below are a few examples of how I implement various types of sharing during Morning Meeting in my classroom.

Sharing Circle: When my class does sharing circle, all students are given the opportunity to share a word or sentence about weekend activities, holidays, or topics of study.

Topic Share: Two students are given the opportunity to share about a topic that either they or I have chosen. For example, students might talk about their favorite television show. The student is encouraged to answer the question in a complete sentence. Next, the student is allowed to call on two students to ask a question about his response.

Show and Tell: Share time is a great time to incorporate Show and Tell. Students get to bring in something from home, such as a picture, toy, etc., and talk to the class about it.

Take a look at this list of share topics I found on Mrs. Gold's class site.

Group Activity

DSC_0363

During this segment of Morning Meeting, the whole class does a short activity together such as a song, chant, game, poem, etc. These activities should help build community and strengthen academics through active and engaged participation. For a list of morning meeting activities, visit Responsive Classroom. 

Message

The last phase of Morning Meeting is the the morning message.  I write the morning message to my students every morning. It is always in the form of a friendly letter. I use the morning message to give instructions, share daily news, and to teach reading, spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

                     Before                                                                                   After

Before                              After

Signal to Close

My students recite our classroom pledge to signal the close of Morning Meeting.

If you haven't implemented Morning Meeting, I highly recommend you try it. There are so many skills that can be taught during this fifteen-to-thirty-minute block of time each morning. Roxann Kriete, author of The Morning Meeting Book, explains that the sense of belonging, and the skills of attention, listening, expression, and cooperative interaction developed in Morning Meeting are a foundation for every lesson, every transition time, every lining-up, every upset and conflict, all day and all year long.

Take a look at these books to learn more about Morning Meeting:

Comments

Hi all,

I conduct what is called a morning meeting which last for about 45 minutes. It night sound too long but if you incorporate many activities, you won't feel it long and kids won't get restless. I start it with greeting, morning songs, sharing news( alot of them has something to say,this is a great way to get the kids to participate in discussion), daily routine( calendar, days of the week, counting the days of the school), then we move on to our morning message. Once the message is written on the board, we look at it in a different way. we look for letters ( vowels and consonants) sight words, concept of print ( punctuation) Kids like to come up to the baord and find the answeres( what we look for which is letters and sight words) We reveiw sight words and put them in sentence to find out their meaning. Once this is completed we move on to writing( kids write in their journal) this is tied to our theme.

I follow a similar Morning Meeting without the message which I think I will implement -- but we follow the greeting with calendar time (discuss & change calendar, days of week/months of year, weather, days of school) & it goes pretty long...any suggestions?

How about incorporating calendar into the math block? I have found it's too much time at the carpet to do all of this and I could also use a re-focusing activity when math starts. I'm going to try this tomorrow myself.

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