Do you want to implement a morning meeting into your schedule? Are you already using morning meeting but looking for ways to polish the structure and get more benefits out of the that time? Morning meeting is like breakfast–most important part of the day. But, you need to get a balanced meal. Eating plain toast every morning for 180 days would be boring. Doing the same activities over and over again can hamper the benefits. Make the most of your morning meeting minutes engaging students, setting your classroom up for success for the day while building on classroom community.
Morning Meeting includes 4 components: greeting, message, conversation, activity. It can be a real challenges to fit in all 4 components each day. And while one might argue the importance of all four every day, we know it’s just not possible at times. Implementing a structure and making changes to fit what works best for you and your students is key. Many times, mid year is a great time to switch up how you are doing things in order to freshen up your classroom vibe.
At this point, you know what works well. Create a new structure. Keep what is going right and drop what is going wrong. Are your students always yawning when the 10 person is sharing about their weekend? Is your morning message read in more monotone voice than Ben Stein? Do you even know who Ben Stein is? 😅 #imold
I started this at the end of my first year of teaching. It may have stemmed from one student who had a really tough time with anything that felt even the slightest bit difficult. But, it was absolutely impactful and a positive influence on all of my students. Each Monday, we focused on why and how we should have a growth mindset. Here’s some tools I used to facilitate our discussion:
- Class Dojo videos: Even though I don’t use Class Dojo for classroom management, their “Big Ideas” video series on Growth Mindset is great! They are short and to the point. It leads to some great discussion.
- Quotes & Real life examples: Check out my Pinterest board for ideas
- Growth Mindset Read Alouds
Talk about it Tuesday
Here’s where you turn it over to your students to allow them to talk it up about a question or topic. I used Erin Water’s Morning Meeting Slides to guide my morning meeting. They have a question for every day for 40 weeks! Another idea would be to create a question jar. Students can write questions or topics they’d like to discuss throughout the week. Pick one out of the jar each Tuesday!
This is a freebie day to incorporate whatever you want to do that doesn’t fit in one of the other daily categories. You could use this day to set a class goal using an incentive tracker, read a book, do a partner activity or SKIP doing anything extra. Yep, that’s right. Give yourself a break and just skip it. That’s wild.
Think about it Thursday
Think about it Thursday is similar to Talk about it Tuesday except without the talking. Pose a question, share a picture or quote and have students sit with their thoughts for a minute or two. This exercise helps with executive functioning skill like self-regulating (not calling out/sharing thoughts aloud), focusing and sustaining attention. How long can your students think about one thing? Work on that mental stamina. You will see positive effects in other academic areas like brainstorming during writing.
If you know me, you might guess that Fun Friday is my favorite! I love games and I love fun! If you are looking for some fun virtual activities, I share 6 free activities in this blog post. But I really want to share with you the BEST new activity that all the teachers are raving about (I swear, I’m not making this up!) and all of the students are LOVING!! Even 5th graders!!
It’s called Digital Memory and it’s perfect for in person or online teaching. It’s quick and easy which makes it a great Fun Friday activity for your morning meeting. Check out how to play:
- Morning Meeting is an essential part of the school day.
- You don’t need to stress about doing all 4 components every single day.
- Reflect about what your students need the most and tailor your morning meetings to those needs.
- Don’t be afraid to switch up your structure and routine to keep it an engaging and motivating part of your day.
Stay safe and sassy,