Morning Meetings Start the Day

At 7:45 the first school bus arrives. A sleepy student descends the steps and is greeted by a staff member. For the next 15 minutes, students arrive by bus or by car, some students walk to school with the family dog trailing behind. Some students are wide awake and ready for the day and then there are the students  needing a little more time to process the start of the day. Whether you like mornings or not, we all have our days. 

By 8:15, students are in their classrooms and preparing for the start of the day. This time of the morning, if you pass by each classroom, you will notice that each day starts the same way no matter the age of the student. Morning Meetings. How each teacher conducts their morning meeting differs from class to class, but the overall concept is starting the day off with a check-in. As everyone meets on the carpet in a circle of sorts, it is an important time to greet one another, to set the learning expectations for the day and a time to share whatever wants or needs to be shared. 

Ms. Jody’s 4th/5th grade does all of this and more during their fun-filled themed Morning Meetings. Imagine the student slowly waking to the day, this is a nice calming morning routine to help ease into the day. An opportunity to express how you feel. There are even days where a particular student is responsible for the morning meetings topic. Ms. Jody uses a natural approach to build social emotional skills into her planning of Morning Meetings and throughout the day into her curriculum. 

What question can you never answer yes? This was the riddle that was shared by the Riddler of the week. One student is responsible for sharing a riddle during the Riddle Me Monday Morning Meeting. On Teach Us Tuesday, another student is the Fact Finder for the week. Their job is to research and teach the other students about something they learned. There seems to be a mutual interest of all things factual about nature and animals amongst this group. If you are a factual person, ask them to tell you a fact?

I happened to be in the classroom this Wednesday when the students were bent over their desks, flipping their heads looking at the board, then back to their desk, writing on a sticky note to place on the board. When I asked what they were doing they all responded, ‘Wordle Wednesday’. If you are not familiar with the game of Wordle, it is trying to figure out a 5 letter word in 6 tries. Students have a great time trying to solve the puzzle without realizing that they are strengthening their vocabulary, spelling, and cognitive skills. 

Three Things Thursday allows the students to get to know each other on a more personal level. Questions such as – Naming three things you are proud of this week, or three feelings you had this week – gives the students a moment to self-reflect.

Fireworks Friday finishes the week with a bang, allowing students once again to reflect on their week and share the thing that was their win for the week. Just imagine the meaningful conversations that have transpired day after day in the briefest of moments, engaging, connecting, uplifting, and reassuring that today is going to be another good day. 

As a teacher, Ms. Jody understands the importance of building social-emotional skills. Every Monday, Ms. Jody devotes time in the classroom schedule for a lesson that helps to build social and emotional skills. Discussions can center on topics like self awareness and setting boundaries, identifying and working through emotions, along with ways to communicate and navigate relationships.

Ms. Jody strives to provide an environment where students feel confident and comfortable in the classroom. Making time for both academics and social emotional learning is what Jody wants to express to her students in every way. Academics should never be intimidating. They can do this and they are capable.

Each classroom, and more specifically, each educator at KAS, incorporates social emotional learning within their classroom at every Morning Meeting, with every lesson, with every conversation, and with everything that they do. At KAS this is our mission.

What question can you never answer yes? 

Ask a 4th/5th grader.

To read more about Responsive Classroom, Morning Meetings, and Social Emotional Skills, click on the links below.


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