The amount of work that goes into starting a new school year is quite hectic. There are parts of a teachers’ schedule that is an absolute must. You have to have the right number of minutes for each subject, recess time, and of course, lunchtime. How do you start your day with your kids, though? I always start mine off with morning meetings.
Why Morning Meetings?
Morning meetings are, I feel, absolutely important. It sets the stage for the whole day. If there was a day I didn’t hold my morning meeting (which was VERY rare), my kids were just off for the entire day. Morning meetings don’t have to be formal, however, there needs to be a little planning involved. Your morning meeting should be planned based on the time of the school year. Here are some ways to make your morning meetings effective at the beginning of the year:
- Morning Meetings are a great time to teach classroom expectations. This is a great way to act out great behavior and not so great behavior.
- Meeting at this time everyday also helps students feel welcomed. Many students are afraid to speak out at the beginning of the year. This is a great way to involve everyone in informal conversations. I always liked for my students to find a partner and share a favorite part of their week.
- Getting together ever day helps increase class participation. The first few weeks are scary and overwhelming for some! Let them know that morning meeting time is a safe place to share.
Morning Meetings with Academics
A lot of times, you will hear morning meetings being referred to as circle time. No matter what you call it, it serves a purpose. And it’s a good one! After rules and expectations are established during our morning meetings, I like to throw in some academics into our meetings. This is when I will add calendar time along with literacy charts.
My calendar packs are full of quick reviews or introductions for letter and number recognition, counting, and sight words. A lot of times, I would use my morning meeting time as a part of my whole group lesson!
My literacy charts are some of my favorite activities to use in my morning meetings.
We begin with letter recognition. Remember I said that morning meetings help increase participation? Well, this is a time for them to show off! I first model how to use the literacy chart, but after that, my class is responsible for working together to complete it. What’s the Letter works on initial sounds, upper case, lower case and writing the letters. The hands soar up when asked for a volunteer to write the letters!
Next, we move to rhyming. Rhyming might not seem an important skill, but it really is. It helps students understand how words work and the repetitive sounds within the words. It makes sounding out those CVC words a lot easier when rhyming words are taught!
Oh, syllables! We head to that next. Some of you ask why syllables are taught. A lot of the time students don’t chunk words right and the count is off. But why do we teach syllables? It’s the beginning steps of reading words! Syllables help students with the beginning skills of decoding words. And they get so excited when they start reading those words.
A big part of a kindergarten class is learning those first sight words. In order for little ones to memorize sight words, there must be a fun and catchy way to do it. Each sight word poster includes sight word cards, letters to spell the sight word and sight word songs.
Last, we move to sentences. Beginning readers absolutely love sentences. I had a student tell me once that they felt like a really big kid after we read sentences. It’s a big deal for them. So of course, they would get so excited when we got to our morning meeting! Read the Sentence reviews counting words, reading the sentence, and visualizing the sentence. Visualization is not an easy task and starting early will only help them in the long run.
Guys, I’m so excited about this. You know why? Because I’m providing you an opportunity to try out all FIVE of my literacy charts. And the best part? You can try them for free! To get your literacy charts ready, all you do is print and laminate! I like to add my favorite velcro dots to the back of the cards so they stick nice and tight! Put magnet tape on the back of the charts and you’re ready to go! Grab all five of my literacy charts with sample cards by clicking that download box on the bottom!