The Power of Morning Meeting
Jordan Henry and Emily Trauth
The Morning Meeting Book
Roxanne Kriete & Carol Davis
The Responsive Classroom Approach
- The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
- The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
- There is a set of social skills that children need to learn and practice in order to be successful. They form the acronym CARES – cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, self-control.
What is Morning Meeting?
Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting is an engaging way to start each day, build a strong sense of community, and set children up for success socially and academically. Each morning, students and teachers gather together in a circle for twenty to thirty minutes and interact with one another during four purposeful components: greeting, sharing, group activity, and news and announcements.
Purposes of Morning Meeting
- Morning Meeting sets the tone for respectful learning and establishes a climate of trust.
- Morning Meeting motivates children by addressing two human needs: the need to feel a sense of significance and belonging and the need to have fun.
- Morning meeting merges social, emotional, and intellectual.
- To make sure the space is adequate and appropriate for the component.
- To observe students’ skills – both social and academic.
- To make sure that all children are greeted and that a variety of children are responding to sharing and the tone is respectful.
- To make sure everyone in the classroom (paraprofessionals, visitors, parents, etc.) is included in the meeting.
- To participate fully – contributing actively, listening well, and responding appropriately.
- To interact with a variety of classmates in good spirit
4 Components to Morning Meeting
- Group Activity
- News and Announcements
Greeting: A Respectful and Friendly Salute
Purpose: To set a positive tone that provides a sense of recognition and belonging in the classroom.
Highlights of Greeting
- Provides practice in elements of greeting such as making eye contact and shaking hands.
- It requires students to extend the range of classmates they spontaneously notice and greet.
- It helps students reach across gender, clique, and friendship lines.
When children are greeting each other, they are learning to:
- Acknowledge the presence of themselves and others.
- Be courteous, considerate, and caring.
- Become more confident in a social situation.
- Gain a sense of community and belonging.
Sample Video of Greeting:
Sharing: The Art of Caring Conversation
Purpose: To help develop the skills of caring communication and involvement with others while extending the knowing and being known that is essential for the development of community and for individuals’ sense of significance.
Highlights of Sharing
- It provides an arena for students to share news.
- It helps students develop the ability to gauge the appropriateness of sharing various kinds of news with different audiences..
- It develops good oral communication skills – both presentation skills and listening skills.
- It allows students to learn information about each other.
- It gives practice in considering others’ perspectives, developing empathy, and social consciousness.
When children are sharing, they are learning to:
- Develop communication skills in expressive and receptive language.
- Develop leadership skills.
- Accept the values of others.
- Retell experiences in sequence.
- Respect the opinions, experiences, and cultures of others.
- Select appropriate thoughts to share.
- Become comfortable as the center of attention.
Sample Video of Sharing:
Group Activity: Building Whole-Class Identity
Purpose: To contribute to the sense of community culture by fostering active and engaged participation in a class repertoire of common materials – songs, games, chants, and poems.
Highlights of Group Activity
- Provides a way for all class members to value a sense of group identity.
- It demands cooperation and encourages inclusion.
- Allows students to see ach other’s differing strengths.
- Provides experience in having fun together as a group.
- Allows for the integration and practice of curriculum content.
- Gives an opportunity to reinforce and extend social and academic skills.
When students are participating in a group activity, they are learning to:
- Solve problems.
- Improve their gross motor skills.
- Increase self-confidence.
- Participate in a variety of games and activities, both new and familiar.
- Learn through movement.
- Participate in cooperative learning.
- Increase muscle control, hand-eye coordination, and balance.
- Participate actively in the group life of the class.
Sample Video of Group Activity:
News and Announcements: A Letter to the Class
Purpose: To ease the transition into the classroom day and make children feel excited about what they’ll be learning.
Highlights of News and Announcements
- Features a written message, which welcomes and greets students as they enter the room.
- Contributes to students’ sense of safety and being cared for by letting them know that the teacher has prepared for the day and is ready for instruction.
- Adds predictability and structure to entering the classroom.
- Conveys that reading is a valuable way to get information you need.
- Builds community through shared written information.
When students are participating in News and Announcements, they are learning to:
- Participate in group oral reading.
- Take responsibility for reading and writing.
- Distinguish picture clues and context.
- Follow directions and work independently.
- Determine predictable chart patterns, configuration, sentence structure, and letter formation.