First of all, hi everyone! I'm new and just happened across this site. I think I'm hooked. I have been on sabbatical for a year and trying to get back in the swing of things early. I want to try to have an organized meeting time each morning. What kind of things do you do during this time and how long do you spend? Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks!!
When I taught 1st grade, I did morning message, calendar, daily count with ones, tens, and hundreds, daily count with money, and weather. For the moment, that is all I can think of. If you need anything explained in more detail, let me know.
For most of the year I adapted some activities from a Morning Meeting book that revolved around the responsive classroom approach. It involved a morning greeting activity, and a group activity that everyone participated in. I don't think I will be using these activites next year, in fact I even stopped using them about a month ago so that my morning meetings weren't too long. Now my schedule is as follows. At the rug, we do calendar, #days of school(counting straws, place value, money equivelant, odd/even numbers), weather, share, and book logs (my students fill out book logs when they finish a book and we share them at this time... not all students complete logs, only those who want to). There are usually some songs we go over also at the end of meeting (ie. days of the week, months of the year, and vowel song) Hope this was helpful. Although I liked the responsive classroom approach, I felt like my students got too antsy by the end of the full meeting with those added activities. Hope this helps
I also use the responsive classroom (The Morning Meeting book), but like another poster said, it can get long. I've learned to cut it down a little. Somedays I only do certain parts of it, but everyday we read the message and greet each other. If you don't have that book, I really really recommend it. It has a whole appendix of different cool ways to greet each other and an appendix of community building games.
Also, I should mention that even though I teach first grade, I do not do calendar, day counting, etc. etc. etc. I reevaluated myself recently and decided that I was not meeting the educational goals that I had for my students through that routine. They are important, and we do hit them in math some days. Also, a child changes the job each day, as well as the calendar day, but I just personally don't feel that it's worth 5-10 minutes of my time. I'd rather use it to do shared reading or community building (but that's just me!)
Some ideas I came across recently: a 'special' everyday
Monday: a word is hidden in a envelope and kids have to guess it. Answers are only yes-no
Tuesday: Play the parrot: start a sentence and kids take turns repeating the sentence and adding to it
Wednesday: Memory game: Put 10 objects in a bag in front of the kids. Slowly take them out one by one, except the last one which the kids have to guess. Add more objects as they get better.
Thursday: Bingo with letters or numbers
Friday: no special, 'classroom meeting' when kids discuss general issues
I still did 'show and tell' regularly ( every two weeks) but kids had to prepare clues and read them one by one to let the others guess what their 'treasure' was ( picture clues at the beginning of the year).
It takes quite a lot of time so I have to rethink my planning and give turns to make it shorter.
Hope this helps
We also begin the morning meeting with a few songs on cd ... we do a good morning song and everyone greets one another.. we also do a patriotic song. Then I write a message on the chart about the happenings of the day that explains what we will be doing for the day so the kids know what to expect... like "good morning! today is Friday, june 16 2006. We will have art today. We have pizza for lunch. It is john's birthday today! Let's make it a great day!" .... In the beginning of the year I call on students to circle words they know in the message.. then by the end of the year we all read it together then talk about maybe diagraphs or blends we see, or things like that.... you have to change things up so the kids stay interested. It is a fun time of the day!
During morning meeting, the morning of their spelling test we play
S-P-A-R-K-L-E. Have students stand up in a circle and tell them one of their vocabulary words. Students go around the circle saying one letter until the word is spelled. The next student says "sparkle", and the person after them sits down (they are out). You continue to give students words until their is one student left (the winner). If a student does not say the correct letter then they must sit down also.
Example: The word is "excited"
student 1: E
student 2: X
student 3: C
student 4: I
student 5: T
student 6: E
student 7: D
student 8: SPARKLE
student 9 sits down.