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With older students is have them lead the majority of the meeting. Usually it's an incentive for good behavior. Students who demonstrate a high level of responsibility get to lead the meeting. I have no idea how this teacher set this up because one day I just visited and saw it in action but it was awesome.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
owl98 09-07-2019 03:07 PM

Hi Miss Agnes,
I get your frustration with morning meeting . To answer your question, I am going to be the third one (maybe 4th?) to recommend the book Tribes by Jeanne Gibbs. I found a used copy on Amazon at a very reasonable price last year. I just looked and saw they are going for an arm and a leg right now and the lowest price is around 24.00 and some copies are going for 125.00! WTH?
Here are a couple of websites that can explain a few of the strategies:

I really recommend the book if you can get your hands on it. It goes beyond the strategies I just linked and explains the whole tribes process.

Lakeside 09-07-2019 02:32 PM

What are some more authentic activities I can do during morning meeting?
I love Eliza's ideas to tie open-ended questions to curriculum when you can!

I also like solving a puzzle together:

If your internet is not restricted, a question jar is great as well. So many times in today's fast-paced classrooms, we don't have time to go off on tangents created by students' questions. Have them write these questions on slips of paper and put them in a jar. Draw one out and research it together during morning meeting.

Also, ask the kids what they'd like to include! - They might have some surprisingly good suggestions. (I might do this in survey form, so it's private.)
okteach 09-07-2019 02:01 PM

Some things I've done: greetings, flat salute, choose three to share, leader reads the objectives/agenda for the day, do some Brain Quest questions, say the class pledge. I've also known a teacher who includes a joke each day.

tgbwc 09-06-2019 04:44 PM

We have it built into our daily schedule. 20 minutes, every day. Greeting, message, share, activity. 180 days of it gets old.

happygal 09-06-2019 02:29 AM

Give each student a piece of blank paper. Fold into quarters. Use one square each day.

Write on the board the daily prompt.

Give one minute to read and respond in writing or a drawing. This becomes a talking point.

Put kids into groups of 5. Then give 5 minutes for each group to share within the group.

Then come to whole group. Choose a student to lead this. That student then Calls on each group to see how people responded to the prompt. You must observe this part directly. Anyone messing around you jot down name on your paper folded into quarters...

This will cover 8 days of school

For the other 2 days

Have kids write a rap one day
Perform on the 10th day.

Hope it gets better for you. Thanks for the post. Interesting responses.

Lady Teacher 09-06-2019 02:14 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one! I also teach 4th grade and it just doesn't feel like me! I keep mine short and I teach the kids how to do it.

  • They greet each other with a fist bump and say good morning
  • They share one thing, your favorite desert, game at recess, etc.
  • We play who remembers? This is based on what the kids shared and they have to remember who shared what.
  • We do a quick activity, their favorite is heads or tails. We chant: "heads or tails, heads or tails, head or tails everybody lock it in, lock it in now!" The kids either put their hands on their head or hips while we chant. When they lock it in, I flip the coin. If their hands are on their heads but I flip tails they have to sit and vice versa. The last one standing is the winner. We do three rounds and it's quick.
  • I read a quick morning letter that says what we are doing, and I base it on one things I'm teaching that day such as today we are learning about parallel lines, don't forget to turn in your permission slip etc.

My morning meeting is usually about 15 minutes but it feels more like me and it checks the box for the Principal. I agree about the old Tribes with Community Circle. When I first started teaching that was the newest greatest thing. That went away and this morning meeting thing will too!
Gromit 09-05-2019 07:03 PM

Check out #classroombookaday by Jillian Fine Heisse If you just have to meet for 20 minutes rather than follow Morning Meeting routines, this might be a way to build community without feeling inauthentic.

I start the day with a picture book and ask "What was the book about? What was it really about?" That gets a quick summary and theme practice in, and then since you will likely have more time left in your 20 minutes, you can talk about the book.

We read "What Do You Do With a Problem?" today, and it sparked all kinds of growth mindset comments. The important thing is that 1) you do not tie any assignments to the book and 2) you let conversation develop naturally. Sometimes it gets deep, and other times it veers toward silly stories about pets.

It's my favorite part of the day.

Izzy23 09-05-2019 07:00 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who despises morning meeting! I used to enjoy it, but I work in a new district where they are very strict about how the meeting is supposed to be run. It feels very stiff to me and I get impatient. Sometimes it can take half an hour, which I think is way too long!

We are required to play a daily game with the kids (in addition to a greeting and a share). I teach 4th too and very quickly run out of ideas. The kids have been doing the same games for 4 years and they're over it too.

I agree with the suggestions you've gotten so far. I sometimes let them make up their own games (they will plan the game a day or so ahead). They love that. We also go outside whenever the weather is nice, so I may just let them run for 10 minutes. We also switch it up and have other teachers in the building (our coaches, resource teachers, aides, etc.) who come in and take a turn leading the meeting, and that helps!

MissESL 09-05-2019 03:30 PM

At the fourth grade level, I know the kids can lead it if you get them started/trained, because o had second graders running. Great for student led sections on your evaluation, too!

Some things I did include:
-having a theme each day.
Monday - quote to discuss
Tuesday - silly sport / goofy game could even post a question to discuss, ask them to compliment a student on sticky notes, etc.

-saying the class pledge - it serves as a daily reminder for how to be good citizens. I got mine from a Kagan training, and I adapted it for my school...
“we are (mascots)
We will build each other up
Not knock each other down
With our words and actions”

-ending with a positive interaction (a Kagan structure, say hi to three people, say have a good day to your neighbor, etc.)

vttraveler 09-05-2019 02:12 PM

Can you do yoga, mindfulness, visualization, drama warm ups?

eliza4one 09-05-2019 11:47 AM

I love it too! So do the kids.

I tie ours to our curriculum as much as possible:

*would you rather live in pioneer times or today’s time?

*what character trait do you have that you are most proud of?

*why did your family settle in this area? (Previous night’s homework)

*what two adjectives best describe you?

I’m on the way home from a field trip so am exhausted so am drawing a blank...

Keltikmom 09-05-2019 11:45 AM

Try researching the old Tribes program. I’m sure you can get a used manual cheap on Amazon.

There’s a whole list of good questions for kids to answer, some quick activities to change it up, and directions on how to set up the meeting. They called it Community Circle.

Everyone sits in a circle. As you go around, every person must say “good morning, my name is”. And then they can choose to answer the question or pass.

Violet4 09-05-2019 09:34 AM

With older students is have them lead the majority of the meeting. Usually it's an incentive for good behavior. Students who demonstrate a high level of responsibility get to lead the meeting. I have no idea how this teacher set this up because one day I just visited and saw it in action but it was awesome.

Hawkeyegirl1 09-05-2019 09:30 AM

I have the kids go around the circle and answer a question ("What's your favorite restaurant? Is your room dirty or clean right now?), then we review how our day went yesterday (We usually have something we are working on and reflect how it went.), we preview our day (What's happening today.), and then we finish with 3 compliments.

On Mondays, instead of a question to answer, we share one thing from our weeknd. On Fridays, we share our "temperature" we are feeling and one reason why.

Easy. The kids know the routine. I love it because I feel like it builds our classroom community.

I should add that our principal expects us to do morning meetings at least 2 times a week, and we can decide how we want to run them. We do not have to follow a specific protocol or plan.

MissAgnes 09-05-2019 09:01 AM

We are required to spend the first 20 minutes of the day doing a morning meeting type activity. I absolutely despise this. I tried it a couple of years ago, and it was awful I greet each one of my kids personally when they come in, and speak to them briefly about their day. The whole "morning meeting" deal is not my style, and it feels very inauthentic when I do it.
That being said, I HAVE to do it, and I've already run out of ideas. I hate the cheesy activities that I'm finding online, and in the Morning Meeting book I bought several years ago. I teach 4th grade, and find most of these things to be silly and the kids hate them (yes, I'm sure they also pick up on my feelings about them.)
What are some more authentic activities I can do during morning meeting?

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