Morning Meeting in 5 Minutes

One of the most meaningful parts of our day is Morning Meeting. It has been for nearly ten years and no matter what, it is always the first thing my students do when the 8:00 bell rings. In fact, if I'm ever out, I rarely have to put much into my sub notes about it, it's become such a student-led and fundamental part of our day.

Before reading, I encourage you to check out my previous posts on Morning Meeting HERE and my E-book and resources on TpT HERE.

One of the challenges I face this year is squeezing this important time into just five minutes. This is a huge adjustment from the previous 10-15 minutes we used to have. We begin transitioning to math class (which requires some shuffling of students across multiple classrooms) at 8:05. That leaves us with such a short amount of time to participate in this important activity, so I wanted to share how we were able to do this, in case you were also feeling the time crunch!


Seating

The most efficient way to begin our meeting is in assigned spots. I have to take attendance as soon as possible, so I have them sit in number order (by last name) in a circle around the rug. They are in these spots all year, unless they are Meeting Leader, in which case they sit at the meeting chair. While this may seem boring, it alleviates any debate over who sits where and helps to get us off on a familiar foot each day.


The Bell

Everyone is required to be sitting in their spots when the bell rings. If a chair or two goes unstacked, or if there is still something to be put away, no big deal... that can all be done after Morning Meeting. I try to impress the importance of this meeting from Day 1 of third grade, so kids know that the bell means we get straight to business. The Meeting Leader also knows that the bell is the time to start, so it helps to remove me from being the "time police", which is always a good thing!


Greeting

Eye contact and Level 3 Voice (Normal Talk) are important when students give each other the "Good Morning" greeting. They also say each other's names and reply with a "Good Morning, ___" to that person. Even my most quiet and reserved students participate in this, and I think the predictability of seating choices helps them the most. Making everyone feel welcome by speaking each child's name aloud twice in the first five minutes of school is cause for celebration in and of itself! They are passing a talking stick around at this time and when it gets back to the Meeting Leader (a job that rotates each week), we move onto the next part.


Community Building

This is where the fun stuff happens, all in about three minutes. Most days, our Meeting Leader will pull a question from a jar (available HERE). Students will then need to answer the question in a complete sentence, using that question for their sentence stem. Not only does this help with their speaking and listening, it's an easy segue into writing and PQA: Putting the Question in the Answer. I have found this predictability has also been so helpful for students who have trouble speaking aloud or are second-language learners.

The talking stick is also passed around during this time and when it gets back to the Meeting Leader, I will give my announcements, if any, and dismiss them straight to math.

I know it may seem rushed or impossible to complete in five minutes, but I promise, there are days we finish with time to spare! With kids in charge as Meeting Leaders throughout the year, and knowing the familiar structure, it is very possible to carve just five minutes out of your day for this important, engaging, and meaningful community-building exercise.

Morning Meeting Resource Pack

Find more information, as well as loads of ideas if you have ten to twenty minutes to dedicate to meetings, HERE. There you will find tons of quick questions to start any length of meeting, a comprehensive e-book explaining the why and how-to for launching Morning Meeting in your classroom, editable agenda posters to help keep longer meetings on track, and more.

Enjoy this packet and I hope you and your students enjoy each morning with with the addition of this memorable and engaging routine!




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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

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