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    Morning Meetings - Love 'em!
    By teach4TX

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    Morning meetings encourage such a cooperative classroom, that I wouldn't teach without them. (I've been using MM for the past 4 years, and I started using them when I taught 6th grade. -- They certainly benefited from our meetings, possibly more than my 4th graders!)

    I would suggest trying to hold your MM's first thing in the morning (if you wait too late in the day, conflicts have often already evolved amongst some of the students or w/in their other classes). Also, don't overwhelm yourself by trying to have one everyday. I would aim for two to three times per week, especially at first. Allow at least 30 minutes, probably more, for your VERY FIRST meeting to discuss procedures and expectations (how to come to the floor for the meeting or any necessary re-arrangements of desks, must come & be seated quietly, etc.). Then after that, your meetings can be as short and simple as 15 minutes.

    EX:

    Mon. -- Intro. the greeting for the week (start w/ simple handshake making eye contact & saying "Good morning + student's name" and then after your students have that greeting down, change the greeting weekly. (i.e. greetings in other languages, pinky shake, knuckles, etc.) Students "pass" the greeting around the "circle" and once it's back to your or whoever you designated to start the greeting, then the meeting is underway. On Mon.'s we always shared what we did over the weekend (brief retelling). BTW, I use a "talking stick" (such as a small stuffed animal or bean bag) and only the person w/ the "talking stick" should be speaking, then they call on someone else and toss that person the "talking stick." Then I closed w/ announcements for the day/week.

    Wed. -- Select student to start the meeting w/ the weekly greeting and "pass" the greeting around the circle. (Be sure that you are a part of the circle.) I usually select a conflict/resolution activity or a team building activity for the middle of the week. Close w/ announcements (birthdays, changes in schedule, etc.).

    Fri. -- Start w/ greeting. I usually played some sort of game on Friday's. (The students always looked forward to Fri.'s meetings, and it helped those reluctant participants stay focused during other meetings because they didn't want to be banned from Fri.'s meeting.) Close w/ announcements or a quick share of what students are looking forward to for the weekend.

    Good luck! If you do have your students sit in a "circle", I recommend coming up w/ creative ideas to "force" students into new seats to prevent pods of best friends sitting side-by-side and having side-bar conversations.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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