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    Morning Meeting
    By nuhusker98

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    The first year I used morning meeting was 2001. I had 5th graders that year, and for the first 3 weeks the meeting was used as a getting to know you type meeting. We had a squishy eyeball that we used as the "talking stick". You had to be holding the eyeball to speak. The eyeball was passed in a circle as the topic of the day was shared. Three weeks into the school year the morning of 9/11 unfolded. Thank heavens I had started the morning meeting, because it had already created a sense of family and safety in the classroom. Because of the morning meeting, my kids felt safe to share their feelings and lean on others for support. Because of the success of the meetings in that year, I continued to have them.

    I liked to spend the first 15 minutes of the day in morning meeting. It was a chance to get the day started on the right foot, greet the kids, get the creative juices flowing. One of my favorite activities in morning meetings is appreciations. The child who has the ball turns to the person on his/her right and says, "_________ I appreciate you because __________." It can be anything from their holding the door open for them to helping on a math problem, to the sound of their laugh. The appreciation circle takes a little longer sometimes, but it is well worth it. In the past couple of years, our building has taken to doing reading building wide first thing in the morning, so morning meeting has had to move to after lunch. I don't like it quite as well as first thing, but it accomplishes the same thing. I've also included a topic can in the back of the room for Friday's meeting. If something has happened in the classroom, or there is a concern that an individual doesn't want to personally share, they can write it down and put it in the can. I read the slips during the meeting on Friday and we discuss solutions. I truly enjoy these meetings because they do give you a better picture of the kids as people, not just students.

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