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October 9, 2015 Morning Meeting for Upper Elementary Students By Lindsey Petlak
Grades 3–5

    While morning meeting and calendar time are hallmarks of early primary grades (kindergarten through second), I felt the relevancy fade a bit as I moved into teaching upper elementary students (third through fifth). This year, I’m reinstating and reinvigorating my morning meeting, and the whole class is loving it! See how you can kick up these activities a notch for big kids!

     

     

     

    CALENDAR:

    Calendar time and planning out schedules for the day are just as (if not more!) important in upper elementary as they are in lower grades. In my classroom we are currently focusing on executive functioning and independence, so helping students understand schedules and timeframes is essential. Some calendar elements can basically stay the same, others are made more challenging to align to grade level Common Core State Standards for math.

    • Post the daily schedule with both analog and digital clocks to show itinerary times. We have found on our team that students really struggle with reading a traditional clock, and this is a great, quick, effective way to work it into your jam-packed day.

    • Practice elapsed time and allotted time for daily tasks and events.

    • Have students update their calendars or check as you update the schedule on a whiteboard or other projected view. We use Google Calendar for many different tasks in our class, and students can also view the shared calendar on their Chromebooks. See my previous blog post on how Google Calendar can enhance your class flow.

    • Use the number of attendance days for different calculations. For instance, if we have been in school for 38 days, students would (as directed by the teacher) determine 1 more/less, 10 more/less, 50 more/less, expanded form (30 + 8), etc. The options are endless.


     


     

    CURRENT EVENTS:

    Thanks to my teammate, Alayna, for sharing with me how she incorporates current events into her daily routine! I’m loving working this into our morning meeting time and the benefits are too numerous to count.

    Having students share their findings keeps things fresh and fun. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    • Have students think, pair, and share their reports with a partner.

    • Let partners switch reports with one another and share what their partner researched.

    • Draw names for a few students to share their report aloud with the class.

    • List categories of news (sports, politics, culture, etc.) and have students split up into groups based on categories. Have students share their stories within groups of similar news reports.

    • In this "News Clues" activity, have each student write three to five facts (the clues) from their article on a sheet of paper. Bring four students up at a time to read their clues and let the class vote on which set of clues intrigues them most to hear the entire article. Continue this until all students have rotated through the process. Though only a quarter of the class will actually present their full reports (thus saving time!), everyone will have shared at least a few facts from their articles.

     


     

    WEATHER:

    Weather is fascinating to students and a great way for you to integrate science, geography, and math in a real-world way. We use a weather website to access weather information for our location daily. You’ll love all of the ways weather can be a part of your daily routine:

    • Find the mean, range, and mode for the hourly or five-day forecast.

    • Compare temperatures and weather between different geographical locations.

    • Discuss cardinal directions using the wind reports

    • Graph the different data you gather.

    • Figure percentages for temperature ranges, precipitation, and more.


     


     

    SUBJECT INTEGRATION:

    • Scholastic Daily Starters: Nothing beats a quick daily review, but DO NOT REINVENT THE WHEEL! Scholastic’s Daily Starters have everything you need to review language, math, fun facts, and teachable moments in a snap.

    • Vocabulary: Plug a “word of the day” or “morphology of the day” into your meeting! In less than five minutes a day, you can build up a robust vocabulary within your students.

    • Character: Don’t forget character education. This often falls to the wayside due to our ever-growing list of daily to-dos, but it is extremely important to the development of our children. Choose a character trait to focus on each week. Daily you can quickly discuss one or two ways to demonstrate that trait in daily life. (For anti-bullying character education tips, check out my "Stand Up to Bullying" post!)

    • Postcard geography:  This is the PERFECT time to squeeze in quick geography and map skills tidbits! In addition to using geography to examine weather patterns by location, sign up for a paper or digital postcard geography. Our class uses GoNoodle Air Time and we LOVE it!

     


    Do you incorporate morning meeting into your upper elementary daily routine? If so, please share what elements are your favorites! I’d love to enhance my current morning meeting by trying your ideas. Thanks for reading, and see you soon!

     

    While morning meeting and calendar time are hallmarks of early primary grades (kindergarten through second), I felt the relevancy fade a bit as I moved into teaching upper elementary students (third through fifth). This year, I’m reinstating and reinvigorating my morning meeting, and the whole class is loving it! See how you can kick up these activities a notch for big kids!

     

     

     

    CALENDAR:

    Calendar time and planning out schedules for the day are just as (if not more!) important in upper elementary as they are in lower grades. In my classroom we are currently focusing on executive functioning and independence, so helping students understand schedules and timeframes is essential. Some calendar elements can basically stay the same, others are made more challenging to align to grade level Common Core State Standards for math.

    • Post the daily schedule with both analog and digital clocks to show itinerary times. We have found on our team that students really struggle with reading a traditional clock, and this is a great, quick, effective way to work it into your jam-packed day.

    • Practice elapsed time and allotted time for daily tasks and events.

    • Have students update their calendars or check as you update the schedule on a whiteboard or other projected view. We use Google Calendar for many different tasks in our class, and students can also view the shared calendar on their Chromebooks. See my previous blog post on how Google Calendar can enhance your class flow.

    • Use the number of attendance days for different calculations. For instance, if we have been in school for 38 days, students would (as directed by the teacher) determine 1 more/less, 10 more/less, 50 more/less, expanded form (30 + 8), etc. The options are endless.


     


     

    CURRENT EVENTS:

    Thanks to my teammate, Alayna, for sharing with me how she incorporates current events into her daily routine! I’m loving working this into our morning meeting time and the benefits are too numerous to count.

    Having students share their findings keeps things fresh and fun. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    • Have students think, pair, and share their reports with a partner.

    • Let partners switch reports with one another and share what their partner researched.

    • Draw names for a few students to share their report aloud with the class.

    • List categories of news (sports, politics, culture, etc.) and have students split up into groups based on categories. Have students share their stories within groups of similar news reports.

    • In this "News Clues" activity, have each student write three to five facts (the clues) from their article on a sheet of paper. Bring four students up at a time to read their clues and let the class vote on which set of clues intrigues them most to hear the entire article. Continue this until all students have rotated through the process. Though only a quarter of the class will actually present their full reports (thus saving time!), everyone will have shared at least a few facts from their articles.

     


     

    WEATHER:

    Weather is fascinating to students and a great way for you to integrate science, geography, and math in a real-world way. We use a weather website to access weather information for our location daily. You’ll love all of the ways weather can be a part of your daily routine:

    • Find the mean, range, and mode for the hourly or five-day forecast.

    • Compare temperatures and weather between different geographical locations.

    • Discuss cardinal directions using the wind reports

    • Graph the different data you gather.

    • Figure percentages for temperature ranges, precipitation, and more.


     


     

    SUBJECT INTEGRATION:

    • Scholastic Daily Starters: Nothing beats a quick daily review, but DO NOT REINVENT THE WHEEL! Scholastic’s Daily Starters have everything you need to review language, math, fun facts, and teachable moments in a snap.

    • Vocabulary: Plug a “word of the day” or “morphology of the day” into your meeting! In less than five minutes a day, you can build up a robust vocabulary within your students.

    • Character: Don’t forget character education. This often falls to the wayside due to our ever-growing list of daily to-dos, but it is extremely important to the development of our children. Choose a character trait to focus on each week. Daily you can quickly discuss one or two ways to demonstrate that trait in daily life. (For anti-bullying character education tips, check out my "Stand Up to Bullying" post!)

    • Postcard geography:  This is the PERFECT time to squeeze in quick geography and map skills tidbits! In addition to using geography to examine weather patterns by location, sign up for a paper or digital postcard geography. Our class uses GoNoodle Air Time and we LOVE it!

     


    Do you incorporate morning meeting into your upper elementary daily routine? If so, please share what elements are your favorites! I’d love to enhance my current morning meeting by trying your ideas. Thanks for reading, and see you soon!

     

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