In my last post, I said I’m trying to open source my classroom. Today’s entry is my first attempt to seek your input on my classroom structures: Morning Meeting.
Before Morning Meeting we have breakfast in the classroom every day. It’s not how I’d like to open the day, but I think I’ve got it well managed. The kids come in before school to set up the breakfast on the tables and then a student collects the extra food mid-way during breakfast time. Finally, a student collects the garbage by carrying the can around the desks. I’m not sure how that could be improved, but if you have ideas, please share.
Morning Meeting is a four-part routine every morning after breakfast. Fifteen minutes after the school day starts, the computer plays the Morning Meeting song (Good Morning, Good Morning by The Beatles) and students are excused group by group to the rug, forming a circle.
1. Greeting: I sit down around the circle with the kids and the greeter begins to start the greeting by saying “Good morning, (kid’s name to the left)” and then “Good morning, (kid’s name to the right)”. Then the kid to the right follows the same pattern. I try to emphasize speaking so the other person can hear you, eye contact, and listening to others. After the greeting is over, all students find a square on the rug (on of those Lakeshore rugs with squares in five different colored rows) and face the calendar.
2. Today’s Date: First, I say the date and ask what day of the week it is (my second graders last year couldn’t tell the number of days in the week nor the names) and pick a student whose hand is raised. That student gets to put the day in the calendar, following the pattern that’s already on the calendar. Next, I say what day of the school year is, and I have a student come up, add a coin to the Days of School Money Chart (not its real name), lead the class in counting the coins, and see if any exchanges can be made. Then, we go through the current temperature, current weather, and number of students present, with a student assigned to each sharing and me recording it on our number line and weather chart. Complicated without the graphics, I know, so I’ll try to put that up once I get onto a laptop.
3. Song of the Month: I pick a student to lead us in the song by rolling the pointer along with the words while the computer plays the song softly. I keep a tally of how many times a students has led the class in order to be fair over the year.
4. Morning Message: I pick another student (same method) to track and read the first three sentences of the morning message, which is basically follows the format:
Good Morning, Magic Mathematicians!
Today is Monday, August 2, 2010.
Juan is first in line and Joanna is our greeting leader.
Then I lead the rest of the morning message, follow the same routine… I read the sentence while tracking with the pointer and then the class reads it the second time.
Finally, we go over the agenda for the day and answer any questions they have before the day starts.
I know, a lot of explanation of what we do in the first 35 minutes of the day, but it’s the routine we follow every day. Any tips, comments, or suggestions as to changes I can make?
Robert – the detail is great and nessesary – Any way you can connect the class to the “world at large” in the morning? I’m thinking of anything from moon phase – traditional holidays from around the world – kid friendly current news. The challenge will be efficiency but it could be as simple as a bullet point type message. I always liked to remember as a student that I am connected to my community and beyond.
Wow. That is something that I’ve always tried to do in another part of the day but would definitely work well somehow built into the structure of Morning Meeting. I’m leaning toward the kid-friendly news, perhaps moving toward the kids finding and writing it later in the year. Have you done this before and have any ideas how?