Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Morning meetings making a BIG difference

Morning meetings take time, I will be the first to say it! Teachers have so much on their plate, and the work continues to trickle down from administration to grade chairs to the classroom. When I first learned about morning meetings, I have to admit, I wasn't sold. Teachers spending 15 minutes each morning with their students not doing true "academics"? I don't think so...

BUT then I sat in on a morning meeting and saw the difference it makes. Each morning the students gather in a circle on the floor and begin their day. While each classroom is a little different, they all share the same 4 components:

  1. Greeting Students and teachers greet one other by name and practice offering hospitality. They may use an object to pass around as they speak. Some teachers use funny accents, high fives, fist pumps, etc. 
  2. Sharing Students share information about important events in their lives. Listeners often offer empathetic comments or ask clarifying questions. They may also ask a question and have the whole class answer:  How do YOU show the character virtue of the month at recess?
  3. Group Activity Everyone participates in a brief, lively activity that fosters group cohesion and helps students practice social and academic skills: dancing, singing, or playing a game that reinforces social skills. 
  4. Morning Message Students read and interact with a short message written by their teacher. The message is crafted to help students focus on the work they'll do in school that day. They might go over the schedule or say what special class they have today. 

What was most shocking to me was how engaged the students were and how much they look forward to this every morning. It is the highlight of everyones day because it gives the students an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings. 

Even if your entire school does not do morning meetings I encourage you to share it with a few teachers and start seeing the results! 

Learning social skills every day, 
Your Floridian chick!