There is a wonderful new addition to your child’s school day! It is called Morning Meeting. Most mornings, our class will gather together. Children will form a circle on the rug so everyone can see and hear each other.
To start Morning Meeting, children greet each other by name. Sometimes the “Good Morning” is passed right around the circle. Sometimes children get up and greet each other across the circle with a handshake. During the meeting, your child hears his or her name called or sung by a classmate in a friendly and cheerful manner.
Next, children have the chance to share some news of interest to the class. Sharing might be about a visit to a grandparent, or about a visit to a library or a store. It might be sharing a special rock from a rock collection, or a special happening with a friend or sibling. It might be sharing school work of which the student is especially proud. Most sharing topics will be assigned by me and from time to time, the students can choose their sharing topic. Sometime there will be “Free Share” whereby your child may decide what s/he would like to share. After the student shares, s/he asks the circle, “Are there any questions or comments?” In the conversation that follows, children learn much about each other, especially respect for someone else’s ideas!
After Sharing, there is an activity for the whole class. Some days it might be singing or learning a poem. Some days it might be a math or language game. The activity helps the class feel their strength as a whole group. They find out they can cooperate and solve problems. They can have fun and learn a lot together.
The last part of Morning Meeting is called News and Announcements. During this time, students think about the days ahead. They may be challenged with interesting written messages. There will be math reviews and may be additional reviews of a reading or spelling or punctuation skill. Our “Daily Math Problem” is discussed. These activities serve as reinforcements for upcoming events.
Morning Meeting lasts between 15 – 20 minutes. It is great for learning and reviewing content, cooperation, self worth, responsibility for a job, and a sense of community. When children greet each other, they learn courtesy, how to respond politely when someone speaks to them, and how to care for their classmates. When children are greeted, they hear their name and feel proud and important. Likewise, when children share, they feel that their ideas are valued and that their classmates are interested in them. They learn how to ask good questions and to make respectful comments. More importantly, they learn how to be good listeners. All of our listening and speaking standards in language arts are addressed during our Morning Meeting time.
In Morning Meeting children learn to value themselves and their class. They increase their self-confidence and respect for others. They learn how to make good use of information. They learn how to solve problems and heal hurt feelings. Morning Meeting lets children know every day that school is a safe place where everyone’s feelings and ideas are important.
To learn more about Morning Meeting, feel free to visit our classroom. You’ll see for yourself why everyone is so excited about this activity in our school day!