Sunday, October 21, 2012

Classroom Morning Routines...

Starting our school day off on the right foot is important to us. It sets the tone for the entire day. Or, so it feels...

But, we really cannot predict what the transition from home to school has in store for us until each and every last foot has crossed through our classroom door, all chairs are down, kids accounted for, and the teachers can commence breathing...

We find having a morning routine is incredibly important to our sanity in class. It helps set each day off right and gives our kiddos a sense of success each morning. They know what to expect. It's predictable. Like coffee...It will happen each and every morning. Without fail...
We have a Person of the Day in our class. We print each student's name on a sentence strip to model appropriate printing of their names. This person is our line leader, paper passer outer, and Teacher's Pet Helper for the day. They love it and look forward to their turn!
 It is also a great lesson in patience. They have to wait another 20 plus days for their next turn. :)
Depending upon the number of students and school days, each person gets about one turn each month. To keep track of each person's turn, we tally on the back. We've only had to do this as we've gotten older. 

Each morning, we ask our friends to read the name and whisper to the person next to them who it might be. We then ask the Person of the Day to please stand up. This is a great time to see who is listening and paying attention. Once revealed, we read their name, chant their name, snap and clap their name, sky write their name...do anything and everything to share and learn their name, especially at the beginning of the school year! 

After a few regular rounds of our "POTD" routine, we like to switch it up on them...
We print their names on the back of the same sentence strip, but with mixed up letters and no capitals. 
Tricky-but they LOVE this!! 
The kids put their heads together to figure out who it could be. Again, we have them whisper to their neighbor if they know who the mystery friend is. Once revealed, they whisper cheer...Imagine a lot of arms flailing through the air, mouths wide open in pantomime screaming, no sound coming out. ;)

We have also discovered a new trick. The POTD from the day before ends up being our "back of the line leader." Not sure about your class, but our friends are constantly fighting, pulling hair, jocking for position on who gets to be at the back of the line. Yes, the BACK of the line...Apparently this is a HUGE deal in the Land of the Littles, which sort of makes it a HUGE problem for us teachers...Sooo...The POTD from the day before our End of the Line Leader. Problem solved.

Circle UP! 
It's time for our Morning Meeting...
We use stuffed animals to teach them who is speaking and who is listening in large group discussions. It's hard for them to focus on one person and not want to turn to their neighbor and chat about the hot game of kickball that awaits in T-Minus 56 minutes! We get it.
We're always changing up our stuffed animals, but these are some of our regulars...Ya know, goes with our class ocean theme and all...
But, in October we pass around a lil' pumpkin and in January a snowman...Really whatever we've got and our own kids won't notice what Mommy has swiped from their toy boxes at home. Kidding...Sort of...

It definitely keeps it fresh, new and fun for them. We like to keep them guessing...
Here's the Deal...
1. We announce a Question of the Day which will be our speaking topic for the Morning Meeting. 
2. We say "Good Morning Room 1." and the kids say back, "Good Morning." back. It's a bit robotic, but it models good communication when someone is being polite to you. 
3. Tallest person shares first...That's us! Again, cutting in line modeling. :)
Then, most kids are dying to share, so we start the fuzzy friend around the circle. We encourage them all to share, but we do offer a "pass" option for any who are not quite ready to share. We do ask  they at least say, "Good Morning" though. Most usually come around after a few passes. Some just like to see if they can get away with saying "pass", then the novelty wears off and they all share. We are glad.
We teach them how to pass the stuffed animal. Yes, they need to be taught how to pass the stuffed animal. We know, tricky!
 But, manners are part of our Morning Meeting too. AND, we have been known to have a few "throwers" over the years...it happens.
When we're done with our Morning Meeting, our Question of the Day becomes our journal writing topic. We are constantly telling them, "If you can say it, you can write it.", "Writing is just a way of speaking with your pencil.", "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE WRITE!!!" ...Okay, we added that last one...

After a week of topic writing, we all look forward to "Free Choice Friday!" where we share and write about anything we want. They actually cheered last week...It was weird...

Our Person of the Day routine and Morning Meeting time help us start our mornings off on the right foot!
How do you start your mornings off right?



11 comments:

  1. I love that change up what you pass for morning meeting. Great, and adorable, idea. Probably gonna steal that one... thanks. ;)

    "Teach them how to pass"... this is the kind of stuff upper grade teachers need to be aware of. Yep, we actually have to TEACH this stuff. When those upper grade teachers feel our day is filled with fun and cuteness, they need to be reminded that every minuscule detail must be taught. It's exhausting! :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree....morning routine sets the stage for your day.
    We have booed you, come on over and link up with us!
    http://teachinglittlemiracles.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like so much fun!!! I love how you start off your mornings!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds like you have awesome morning meetings! :) I told my students just last week to "let your pencils do the talking"! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a special helper of the day, too. I love your idea of having the "old" one be the person at the back of the line. And I also love "if you can say it, you can write"! Must remember that!

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really enjoyed reading about your morning routine. We do a "morning meeting" which so far only consists of greeting. I have been wanting to move toward a journal and response and this has inspired me to do it. When you say sharing, do the students share their answer to the question of the day or is it free sharing? Also could you give a few examples of the questions you use? Thanks so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love that you give children the option to "pass" if they are not ready to share. Some kiddos just need that extra time to get comfortable.

    I'm your newest follower. Hope you will stop by sometime.

    Cindy
    Granny Goes to School

    ReplyDelete
  8. What an ADORABLE idea to scramble their name. So cute!! (and perfect for firsties!!)

    Kate
    Second Grade Sparkle

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love your morning routine! I like the idea of passing around the stuffed animal to keep their attention. I may need to try this with my Kinders :)
    Kirsten
    Pure Joy

    ReplyDelete
  10. I LOVE your "modified morning meeting". I read the Morning Meeting book and it was not feasible in my room - so time consuming. By shortening it like you have I can fit in the important class building parts without feeling like I'm losing time for other important parts of my day.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love your morning meeting !! But how do you deal when all the pupils want to speak ? is this not too long?
    Céline from France

    ReplyDelete

Leave Some Love...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...