We have a very structured morning meeting time. My students thrive on and crave routine, so we build movement and peer interaction into it. The thought is that making it part of the routine will give students enough practice that it becomes easier and easier to do without help. Here are 5 things my students say to each other every day.
GreetingsAfter we go through to see what everyone's job is for the day, the student who is the greeter turns to the student next to him and initiatives a greeting. The student responds to the greeting and then turns to the student on the opposite side of him and greet that student. We also work on changing the greetings up, so that it sounds more natural. For example, hi, hello, good morning, hey, etc. What ever the greeter begins with is the greeting that everyone has to use. This means that students have to attend to the greeter, imitate the greeting, initiate greetings and respond to greetings. That's a lot of skills just with this one morning meeting task!
RepeatingAnother job during morning meeting is to be "Student of the day." For that job, the student has to put his name together on the board:
Once the student is done putting his name together, he has to look at the rest of the class and tell them, "Repeat after me." He then points to the first letter of his name while labeling it and then points to the rest of the class. The rest of the students have to repeat what he said. Not only are my students paying attention to each other, but they are also generalizing letter skills.
Asking and Answering Questions
After we count the days on the calendar, we put the date together. To build in movement, we break the different parts of the dates into 4 parts. We then have the calendar helper pick a student and then ask a student a question about that part of the date. For example, "Joey, what month is it?" After the student answers, the calendar helper gives him the card to put up. Here is what the date looks like at the end;
Following Student DirectionsWe also have the students give directions to the other students for certain morning meeting jobs. The rest of the class has to follow the student's directions. For example, the flag leader asks the other students to, "Please stand up." and then leads the class in saying the pledge. Afterwards, everyone stays standing until the flag leader tells the class to, "Please sit down."
Another great way to have students interact and talk to each other is to pick students to "help" you. I have my students take turns taking the reinforcer choice board around to each student and ask what they want to work for. Throughout morning meeting, we have students take turns handing out pennies students earn with out classroom behavior program. While students are handing out the pennies, we encourage them to think of something nice to say and/or to use the student's name. For example, "Good counting Ben." or "Great work!" This also builds in the opportunity for the student to say thanks and the helper to respond. So many great ways to add in language to morning meeting!!