Monday, September 24, 2012

Changes/An Ode to Morning Meeting

I've been slacking! I'm sorry it's been almost two weeks since my last post, but things have been crazy lately! To start with, I have some news: Thursday was my last day with my mentor teacher at my previous school. From the beginning of the semester, it was clear that we had very different styles, but I met with my UF supervisor and had her come to the classroom and observe. We talked about it and it was decided that (with such different styles), I would benefit from being in a different classroom, possibly in a higher grade. This was a difficult decision to make, especially since I'm only 5 weeks into the school year. Right now, I'm still waiting to hear where I'll be next. I'm hoping St. Johns county will have another placement for me, but you never know. As soon as I know where I'll be, I'll share it here!

Onto more fun things! Before I left, I got to try doing a morning meeting with my students two days in a row. For those unfamiliar with morning meeting, it's basically composed of 4 things: a greeting, share time, a game, and news/announcements. They're done every morning (hence the name morning meeting) and usually last 20-30 minutes. It's such a great way to build classroom community and teach vital social skills!

In our classroom meeting, we started with a simple greeting. Everyone stood in a circle and the first person walked up to someone else and said "Good morning, [name]", then the person responded "Good morning, [name]", then they high fived and switched places and the first person sat down. The second person then approached someone else and repeated the process. They kept going until everyone was sitting and everyone had been greeted. We focused on eye contact, appropriate distance from someone, and speaking at the right volume. Some things have to be taught!

We did a quick-share next, with each student getting 10 seconds to share something. On Monday, they shared what they did over the weekend and on Tuesday, they said what their favorite place to go was and why. I counted down 10 seconds on my fingers and when I got to 0, that person was done! Even my quiet kids had something to say and the kids had a chance to share with me, which is hard to find time for during a busy day.

Then, I went through the daily schedule and what we were doing in each subject, as well as which special they were going to (art, music, etc.) and any other updates they needed to know.

Finally, we did a fun activity: a listening activity with a coloring worksheet. I only said the instructions 3 times and they were things like "Color three leaves green and two brown". The activity can be education or just plain fun. Ours was a mix. This wrapped up the morning meeting and we got on with our day!

Overall, I noticed my kids had such great attitudes. They loved getting to share with me and each other, and they loved greeting each other. I heard less questions throughout the day about the schedule and they kept asking if they could do this every morning. I would definitely try to fit a morning meeting into your schedule if possible!! What do you think? Do you do a morning meeting?

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