July 24, 2016

The FIRST Day: Morning Meeting Ideas

The first day of school is right around the corner for a great many of us teachers. If you're like me, you have been making plans (or at least thinking about making plans) for these first days. The first Morning Meeting of the year sets the tone for the rest of the day. It's worth taking a few minutes to really plan it out, even if you usually don't make detailed plans for the meeting.

I want to share my top 2 things that MUST be accomplished during your first Morning Meeting of the year. Then I'll share a new idea that I'm looking forward to implementing in my first Morning Meeting of the year.

Practice-This is my first MUST. Consider this your first routine to teach-how to come to the carpet for your meeting. Take the opportunity to do the modeling yourself, since it's the first day-show the right way to do it, and have your kids point out what they notice. Then be a little silly to show the wrong way to do it. This can show your kids that while you have high expectations for them, you also have a sense of humor and don't mind being a little silly when you need to be.
Make Introductions-Here is the second MUST. Introduce each student to the class. When you do the introductions, you can avoid putting individuals on the spot. Nerves are high, and even something as simple as sharing names or other personal information can be uncomfortable for a lot of students. Yes, it can feel a little strange, but that's ok. Here are two procedure ideas for this:

Introduction 1:
T: Everyone, this is my friend/our crew member/3rd grader Amelia.
S: Good morning, Amelia!

Introduction 2:
T: Everyone, this is my friend/our crew member/3rd grader Amelia.
<Student gives high fives to their circle neighbors>
Mindfulness Activity-I have recently been doing my own personal research on using mindfulness in my own life. Mindfulness is simply about being present in the moment. Mindfulness activities are also things that anyone can do and be easily successful at. There are no right answers or right way to do things, and they are usually very simple. And for a lot of us, they just make us feel good!

Now, I am no expert, but I found this great post with ideas: 7 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids Mindfulness. I plan to use a Raisin Activity on the first day. In addition, if you use GoNoodle, you may select an Empower video which will guide your students through mindfulness exercises.

Here's to a great FIRST Day!

P.S. You can check out my other "First Day" posts here:
The FIRST Day: Morning Work
The FIRST Day: Lunchtime

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