Do you have a favorite part of your school day?
Maybe I should say that my favorite part is teaching reading, writing, or math, but I wouldn't be telling the complete truth. Not that I don't love it, but it still doesn't beat my favorite part of the day...our Morning Meeting!
I have always done "calendar" time where we do our calendar, count money, practice on our number grid, read aloud from a chapter book, etc. However, this year I wanted to revamp and really use this time as a Morning Meeting.
We start out in song. I use the songs from my A Year of Songs packet to call my students over to the carpet.
Some mornings we sit with our partners, which we pick using my Partner Pairings. (You can read more about it here.) Other mornings, we sit in a circle or facing forward.
I start off by asking if anyone has anything to share today. Honestly, I rarely spent much time doing this before because it can be time consuming, but my goodness, you learn SO much about your kiddos!!! I know which days dance practices and softball games are on. I know what movies, T.V. shows, and songs my students like. I know their favorite foods. I cannot even express how important this time is in my classroom. It not only allows me to connect with my students, but they learn so much about each other. It allows them to see that everyone has similarities and differences.
Next, we have our calendar time.
I have a calendar person for the week. This student changes the date, adds a coin to the money count, leads the class in number patterns on the number grid, and calls on students to come up with ways to get to our number.
The next part of our Morning Meeting is our Question of the Day. These are from my Deep Thinking for Little Minds packet. I printed and laminated these cards to keep on my easel.
To say I love these would be an understatement. I absolutely love listening to my student's answers for some of these questions. Just to see how their imaginations and thought processes work is amazing! I find myself grabbing a notebook all the time and writing down their funny or unique responses. It also makes me realize how different children and adults are. For the dream vacation question, I definitely would not be picking Laser Tag, Holiday World, French Lick Water Park, or Kings Island for a dream vacation. Not that those aren't great places, but I'm pretty sure I would be heading to Fiji or something ;)
Next, I write a message to my students.
I usually blame my mistakes on lack of coffee or sleep, and I have my students come up to fix the message.
You will be amazed at how much learning can take place during this time. We discuss capitals, proper nouns, ending marks, sight words, letter formation, sentence structure, and so much more.
I also love to use our message to work on vocabulary development, when we replace "boring" words with exciting words.
The last part of our Morning Meeting is our read aloud time. In years past, I used this time to read from a chapter book, but I moved that to right after recess. Now, I use this time to bring in a read aloud with a purpose. I started the year with "Character Education" type picture books. (The Invisible Boy, My Mouth is a Volcano, The Pout-Pout Fish, Mean Jean the Recess Queen, A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue, ...) We have also focused on particular authors during this time. (Kevin Henkes, Robert Munsch, Laura Numeroff, ...) For the month of October, we will be reading Halloween/Fall books.
I truly look forward to this time every day. When I sit down with my students and my cup of coffee, and we can just get to know each other.
What is your favorite part of your school day?