Thursday, August 15, 2013

Morning Meeting - Where (I hope) Some of the Magic Happens

Morning Meeting. This is new for me. I originally thought, Morning Meeting for fifth grade?? If you are over the age of 6, what do you need morning meetings for?? I only considered this a place to analyze the calendar, days of the week, weather, and perhaps a cute note with some grammatical or spelling errors. I never thought of other possibilities.

Then that all changed. This summer, I read Teaching Children to Care, by Ruth Charney. It is all about what Responsive Classroom is, and how to implement it SUCCESSFULLY into your classroom. I am not obsessed with the book, but I do like it. There are some really great insights on what I want to do - create a community of learners and lovers (as I call them :)) As I've mentioned before, I want my kids to not only know how to learn, but also treat each other with care and kindness. If not 100% of the time (I know I am dreaming, but every dream needs a dreamer as Harriet Tubman once said, I think) then at the very least 90% of the time. This book helped me see how I can do that, with structure and intention.

I decided that in 5th grade this year, Morning Meetings will be all about reflecting. At the beginning of the year, I will guide that reflection by sharing a quote or interesting fact or just a phrase that catches my heart. This will be the first thing they see and do each morning. It will look like this:

1. Each desk already has their Personal Journal ready and waiting for a thoughtful reflection the moment they walk in.

2.  The easel will be pulled to the front of the room with a statement written. Something like:
No one can make a brand new start. Anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.
(This is what I am using as their first reflection, on the second day of school)

3. Students will begin writing their thoughts, feelings, etc after reading the statement.

4. We will all gather on the carpet in a circle (on their way, they will drop their journals off in a basket at the front of the room.

5. Everyone will pass around the Native American Talking Stick and share.

The journal writing before we discuss is to help the students to get their wheels turning so that they are ready to share when we get to the carpet. They are allowed to "pass" and not share once around the circle. However, by the time the Talking Stick makes its way around to him/her again, a thought(s) must be shared. The statements I choose will be something that pertains to what we are learning, something I think is totally awesome and must share with them, or something that I think they need to talk about for whatever reason.

Hope you can use this idea, or some version of it in your classroom! If you already do something like this, I would love to hear what it is!



  1. I love your classroom...especially the carpet. Where did you find that fabulous thing?
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. Thanks, Alison! I don't know where the carpet came from. I inherited it from another teacher - just so happen to match perfectly with my colors :)


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