Grace attended James Madison University has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school social studies in several states around the country.
In many classrooms around the world, teachers begin the day with a morning meeting. This is a time where the class comes together to talk about events for the upcoming day and reflect on the previous day. Morning meetings are a great way to build community in the classroom, encourage students to share what is going on in their life and provide a gentle transition from home to school. Morning meetings typically last 15-30 minutes and can include administrative things (taking the roll, assigning jobs for the week, etc) and educational activities. You will find three different activities to incorporate into morning meetings below. Feel free to implement the same activity for a week and see how students like it, or add these ideas to your already-established rotation. These activities are intended for elementary school students.
Sharing a Fun Fact
Whether it is the beginning of the year or once a classroom community is established, there are always opportunities to learn more about the students in your class. One way to do this is by having all students share the answer to a question. Below you will find a list of possible questions to ask all students, or feel free to create your own - the possibilities are endless. This activity can help you learn small details about what your students are interested in, things that could be going on at home, what friend groups exist in your class, evolving passions and even cultural beliefs.
- What is your favorite dessert?
- What did you do after school yesterday?
- What are you most looking forward to this week?
- What does a day look like for you during the summer?
- What do you like to do during long car rides?
For this activity, you will select one student to be the meteorologist. Depending on the grade of your students, you may want to first explain that a meteorologist is a scientist who works with weather. The meteorologist will help the class determine the weather for the day. Help the meteorologist poll students on the following questions (students will vote by raising their hands):
- What was the temperature like on the way to school (hot, warm, cold, chilly, etc.)
- What was the weather like on the way to school (raining, cloudy, sunny, etc.)
- What unusual things did you notice about the weather today (fog, hail, etc)
After students have voted on the weather, the meteorologist will record the answer. For younger students this could mean putting a velcro sticker with the word/picture of the weather onto the calendar, or for older students it could be actually writing out the word. This activity is not only a good way to start the day, but it also gets students thinking about math and science concepts.
For this morning meeting activity, students will have the opportunity to practice formal greetings. This can be incorporated at any point during the school year. First, pick one student to be the example. The teacher will formally greet the student, shake her hand and introduce herself. The student should respond in the same way. After showing students how to do this, allow students to get up and formally greet their classmates. Give them about five minutes to walk around the class doing this. Although this is a simple activity, it gives students the opportunity to practice manners, give eye contact, be social and move.
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