I have been away on a short trip to visit family. I like going away on trips but boy do I love to come home. Anyways, lets talk about morning meetings. I tried the Responsive Classroom approach last year for the first time and LOVED it. It was the best year I have had in my 8 year career. I was genuinely sad to see them leave and that has never happened. I'm usually so ready to say goodbye to them. A big component of the responsive approach that made a world of difference in my classroom environment, was holding morning meetings. Prior to last year, I thought that holding the meetings was not the best use of our time. But carving out that 10 or 15 minutes everyday in the morning set up our class to have a more productive learning environment so it was so worth it. Here's a rundown of what our meetings look like:
1 or 2 minutes- Greeting ( We got alot of our ideas for greetings from the awesome Christina Bainbridge. Here's a link to her website: Welcome to Mrs. Bainbridge's Class and her blog: Mrs. Bainbridge's Class.
2 minutes- Review of Morning Work
5-8 minutes- Share Time: My students are assigned numbers for the year and so I would write 2 numbers everyday on the board under the heading Share. Those students knew it was their day to share if they liked or they could just say pass. Students did well with knowing when their day was coming because I wrote the numbers in order so they would be prepared if they wanted to share an object from home. Sometimes they just wanted to share a story. After each child shares they call on 2 students to ask a question or comment.
Morning meetings really set the tone for the rest of the day. Students loved being able to share parts of their lives which enhanced the community feeling in the room. If there was an overall class issue, we'd use morning meetings to discuss it and problem solve. I will definitely be doing it again this year!
I used The Morning Meeting book to help me launch it last year. It has more components like morning messages, news and announcements but I decided to shorten it to better fit our schedule.