Morning Meeting might just be the most important component of our school day. Comprised of several parts, it is during this time that students are warmly welcomed into the classroom as their teacher sets the tone for the school day. In this classroom, we follow the Responsive Classroom model. Through this system, classroom community is a huge focus, as students seek to develop emotional intelligence and respect for their classmates. It is my belief that a strong classroom community leads to increased and improved classroom learning.
The Message Displayed as students enter the classroom, the morning message clues students in on what key events and learning activities that they can expect throughout the school day. Many times, this message will include grammatical errors that require students to proofread and edit it.
The Reflection During this time of introspection, students are encouraged to think back to areas of success and growth from the previous day, as well as their current mood. This information, shared by the students at will, gives the teacher a glimpse into how the day might shake out. Additionally, he can respond to any areas of concern on a student to student basis.
The Share Students are always excited to share what has happened since the previous school day in their personal lives, as well. During the share, students are able to reveal something new that they want their classmates to know about their lives. This serves as a time for classmates to get to know one another and learn more about each other's home lives. It is at this time that we will use tools like the Mood Meter and classroom surveys to tap into our emotions.
The Greeting Following the share, students form a circle around the rug and then greet each other in a new and creative way. Popular greetings include: the robot greeting, the shoe greeting, and the object greeting. Since new greetings are presented throughout the year, students begin to develop extended relationships and increased trust with their classmates.
The Activity After the greeting, students then play a game with each other in an effort to increase classroom community and team building. These games also act as a time for students to move around and get their "wiggles" out. The game changes each day, though there are always class favorites that continue to pop up throughout the year.
Song of the Week The meeting ends with students reciting, singing, and dissecting the "Song of the Week." This song is usually from the 70's, 80's or 90's, and students are often hearing it for the first time. As students become more comfortable with the song throughout the week, we begin to go deeper into our investigation of its main idea. This is accomplished through students looking at the text though various lenses such as: 1) the Discussion Director, 2) the Artful Artist, 3) the Capable Connector, 4) the Literary Luminary, and 5) the Word Wizard. In each of these unique roles, one student is tasked with leading the class in using various literary strategies in an effort to better understand what the song is really about. While many of the songs have already been selected, I am always open to songs that are personal favorites of our families, so please feel free to suggest YOUR favorite songs!