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I’ll bet that you have a special routine every morning after you wake up. If something disrupts that routine, you may even feel completely thrown off for the rest of the day. We thrive on routines, and so do our students. Routines make us feel safe and in control. This is why what you do in the first 15 minutes of the school day can really set the tone for the day ahead.
When I was in the classroom, my students would enter our room in the morning and have a small series of actions to take. They would put away their belongings and get started on their morning work, which was usually some sort of writing exercise (morning work jokes were always a crowd favorite). Then, I would give them a sparkly stamp for completing their work. While this was all going on, I always made a point to make a quick one on one connection with each of my students, even if it was just making eye contact and saying good morning.
After receiving their special stamp, my students got to choose their seat in our reading corner. Oh my goodness friends, this is where all the magic happened. This is the space where we held our morning meetings. I always loved this special time because it was a way to start our day calmly and peacefully. Together, we would do things like discuss the calendar and the weather, review our sight words for the week, and go over our schedule for the day. I knew that taking a few minutes to do this made my students feel prepared for the day ahead.
Two other very important components that I always loved incorporating into morning meetings were sharing time and storytelling time. It gave my students a chance to share any special news going on in their life, and it gave me an opportunity to tell quick personal stories with hidden lessons of overcoming obstacles and working hard to make your dreams a reality. This routine played a key role in building our classroom community day after day.
Establishing and planning for a morning meeting in your classroom really will make such a difference for you in terms of starting the day in a positive and peaceful way throughout the school year. If you commit to teaching your students how you'd like this done, it will be a successful experience for everyone. If you aren’t already holding morning meetings, that’s okay! It’s never too late in the school year to start them. This episode will give you an overview of how to fit a morning meeting into your day and my most helpful tips for making this a time that is impactful for your entire class. I invite you to share your favorite parts of morning meeting in our Beginning Teacher Talk Private Facebook Group!
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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