Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Twist of Fun!

This week my school had some fun with pumpkins! It is always a fun time in October because of pumpkins.  There are so many creative things you can do with them.  Carving pumpkins in to Jack-o-lanterns is always fun, but painting them can be fun too!

Our librarian had a great idea to have a pumpkin contest.  The students and teachers had a chance to decorate pumpkins like cartoon and story book characters and boy, did they do a great job!  It was great to see how many people let their creative juices flow!  Check out some of the pumpkins they did below. 

 Maybe your school can try something like this too.  It’s not too late to have a little fun!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Morning Meeting Madness!

I hope your school year is off to a great start!

I have been so busy that I have found it hard to post.  I have been working with some teachers on some classroom strategies and the one I like best so far is morning meetings! So, today, I will be blogging about morning meetings and their value and how I implemented them into my classroom. 

A Morning Meeting can also be called community meetings.  They are usually done in the morning and can incorporate lots of different things such as social skills, grammar and math.

I have found that the most important part of our meeting is sharing expectations.  We have morning meeting expectations that we review quickly every day.  It lets me know that the students are aware of how they should behave, and they know what they are expected to do during our meetings.
Most morning meetings consist of four main components; a greeting, sharing, group activity, and morning message. 

1. Greeting: The students greet each other and are happy to see one another.  We usually sit in a circle and go around shaking the hand of the person next to us.  At the end I always say "good morning, class" and the kids respond with an awesome "good morning!” This is an easy way to incorporate listening and speaking skills and encourages students to really notice each other.

2. Sharing- This can be random sharing or focused.  I tend to go with the focused response and I ask something related to our story of the week.  I pose the question and then I use popsicle sticks to call on a random selection of students.  I call on about 5 students to share a quick sentence about the topic. The sharing helps student learn important skills such as learning a sense of community and encourages caring amongst the class.

3. Group Activity- This is the part of the meeting that the students absolutely LOVE! I try to use fun activities that will keep them engaged and get the excited about the day! I will share some activities with you that you can incorporate in your meeting. This encourages cooperation and allows students to work together.

4. Morning Message- This is the message that they read every morning.  It usually talks about how I am happy to have them at school, what skills we will talk about for the day, and sometimes I squeeze an error or two into the message to see if they can catch them. The students appreciate this because they learn about what their day will be like and what they can expect. 

There are tons of morning meeting books that will help you go in depth with this topic. Check your school's book room or have your school order some.  This is a great way to build community in your schools.

So now that you know a little about morning meetings, here are some expectations and a fun activity to get your class started with morning meeting!
                                           Thanks for stopping by!