How To Put The Spotlight On Content In Morning Meeting

How To Put The Spotlight On Content In Morning Meeting by A Word On Third

The end of the year is near, and we are SQUEEZING in all of the content we can possibly squeeze into each and every second of instruction, am I right?! Let me share some great ways to squeeze content into each component of Morning Meeting.

Greeting
Whether you have a little time or a lot of time for this component, academics can fit into this nicely.
  • Give students cards with math facts on them. Students must greet each other until they find their matching pair. For example, if you're practicing addition, give one kid an index card that says "25 + 25" and one student a card that says "50." Equivalent fractions? 1/2 and 4/8. The opportunities are limitless. This isn't just a math greeting. Kids can match a new vocabulary word you've learned in science or social studies to its definition.
  • Play baggage claim and have kids jot facts on their cards.
  • Try the secret handshake greeting. In this greeting, normally kids greet people while music plays. When it stops, they create a secret handshake with the person they are in the middle of greeting. Make sure students incorporate an academic skill into their handshake (like chanting a math fact or something they know about a topic of study).

Share
This is an easy one to do, but I figure you'd probably like some more creative ideas.
  • Kids go around the circle taking turns sharing a favorite fact.
  • Kids share a favorite fact or way to solve a problem with a partner.
  • Kids create a "headline" for something they learned and share it with the class. When we do this to build our community, it might sound like "Special Bowling Night on Saturday" so a kid can share about a weekend activity he/she is looking forward to, but in an academic setting, it might sound like, "Monarch Caterpillars Eat Skin After Shedding." It's also fun for kids to spice up a fact by making it sound like a newspaper headline.
  • Kids share in concentric circles about a fact they learned, something they are wondering about a topic of study, etc. To make this even spunkier, have them share what they heard from the person before them too.

Activity
There are TONS of academic activities you can find online, but these are some of my favorites:
  • Play a game of I Have Who Has. Bonus points if your kids made the game!!
  • Play a game of "Silent Match Up." Use the matching pair cards from the greeting. See if kids can find their match in a certain amount of time without talking. This will involve cooperation! You can exchange cards and repeat as many times as you can fit.
  • Play interruptions. Read a familiar poem or text (which may or may not be on the message) and have kids do certain things during certain parts. For example, clap during all the punctuation marks, whisper during the long vowels, stretch out words with 3 or more syllables, etc. Get creative!
  • Name 5- Have kids work in small groups to name 5 things they've learned about a topic, 5 things they still wonder about a topic, etc. The number can be adjusted according to age. Then share out at the end!

Message
There are TON of ways to make Morning Messages sensational. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Include a mini-inquiry. What do kids notice about something? It can be science-related ("What changes do you see in the tadpole tank today?"), social studies-related ("What do you think is happening in this picture?" with a picture of immigrants at Ellis Island), etc. Here's one I did this morning with my kids since we're studying poetry!
    How To Put The Spotlight On Content In Morning Meeting by A Word On Third
    (Poseidon, Eureka, and Neptune are our pet hermit crabs, by the way!)
  • Include a math question, but discuss multiple solutions.
  • Have kids edit your message or identify parts of speech. SHARE THE PEN.
  • Find word wall words in the morning message.
  • Read the message in different ways--this can help improve reading fluency and also fits in more shared reading!
I hope these ideas help you!! By the way, are you a THM member?? THM stands for "Teach Happy Membership." You can sign up to be a member here. My friend Sheila is the goddess of preventing teacher burn-out. She is interviewing me on June 15th at 6 PM PST (or 9 PM EST if you're on the East coast like me!). I'll be talking about the tricks I've learned throughout my teaching career that help me to be a happy teacher. Make sure to tune in if you're a member, and if you're not... you should seriously consider becoming a member! I AM SO MUCH HAPPIER because of Sheila's amazing membership! It's insanely reasonable price-wise, and I get so much out of the membership: PD options, a teacher tribe I can connect with, incredible ideas to put the spark in my classroom... it's amazing!! #THMPRIDE

How do you like to cram academics into your Morning Meeting? Share your ideas below!

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