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5 Ways To Encourage Peer Interactions During Morning Meeting

Getting my students to attend to and talk to peers can be very challenging. Sometimes it feels like no progress is being made and then suddenly a student interacts with a peer independently. MAKES IT ALL WORTH IT!!! Right?!?! Here are some ways we target peers talking and responding to peers during morning meeting.

Here are 5 easy ways to encourage peers to interact with each other during morning meeting. These ideas are perfect for self-contained classrooms, students with autism, speech therapists and life skills programs.



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.

Greetings

After 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!


Repeating

Another 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:

Here are 5 easy ways to encourage peers to interact with each other during morning meeting. These ideas are perfect for self-contained classrooms, students with autism, speech therapists and life skills programs.

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;

Here are 5 easy ways to encourage peers to interact with each other during morning meeting. These ideas are perfect for self-contained classrooms, students with autism, speech therapists and life skills programs.


Following Student Directions

We 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."


Teacher Helper

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!!

Here are 5 easy ways to encourage peers to interact with each other during morning meeting. These ideas are perfect for self-contained classrooms, students with autism, speech therapists and life skills programs.



10 ways to practice number identification

It can get challenging to think of new ways to practice the same skill over and over! It is especially challenging for special education teachers. We often have the same students for multiple years and our students don't make progress as quickly as students without disabilities. That's why we NEED multiple ways to teach the same skill! Here are 10 different ways to practice number identification with your students. 


Students need a high level of practice in order to master number identification skills. Here are 10 different ways to practice numbers with your class.

Direct Instruction

During direct instruction, staff teach students about numbers. Most of my students need a one to one setting in order to learn new skills. We do an hour of direct instruction work centers in my classroom every day. During this time, I break skills down into small segments and teach that small unit of info until mastery. Once students have mastered that small unit, we add in another small segment of the skill. This helps students feel successful and naturally builds in review of mastered skills When teaching about numbers, we use a variety of number concepts materials

Students need a high level of practice in order to master number identification skills. Here are 10 different ways to practice numbers with your class.


Learn more about our direct instruction work centers: Direct Instruction Work Centers Blog Post

Sensory Bin

We use the materials pictured above, in the sensory bin as well. To practice numbers, we hide the number cards in the sensory bin and have students find them. Once they find the cards, students take turns identifying the numbers. To reinforce number concepts, you can have students clap or do another gross motor task that many times. Other options include putting the numbers in sequential order, counting to that number, counting on from that number, etc. 

Here, we did a different spin on a sensory bin. Using the ice bucket from our multi-sensory polar animals unit, we fished out the number concepts cards



Memory

An easy and low prep way to practice number identification is by playing a memory game. Have students label each number they turn over, so they get lots of opportunities to practice labeling numbers. 


Puzzles

Number puzzles are great for working on number identification skills! We have students complete the puzzles during work centers, when they finish other work before the rest of the class, etc. 





Shaving Cream

My students love to play in shaving cream so much, they don't even notice that we are working on number identification at the same time!




Work Task Boxes

Task boxes are AH-MAZING! You can target just about any skill and teach your students to be independent. Here are some of the number identification tasks during work task box time:





Interactive Books

Interactive books are one of my most favorite ways to teach anything!! My students LOVE them, so they naturally attend and participate. This is a page from the Transportation Interactive Books set. Students have to identify the number at the top of the page and then attach that many pictures. 




Count The Room

This is another popular activity in my room. Anything that gets my students up and moving is always a hit! We do count and write the room activities for every theme unit. This photo is from our Body Parts and Five Senses Unit




Roll and Cover

These are perfect for practicing number identification. Here's a FREEBIE to help your students practice. All students need to do it roll a die, identify the number and then color the matching number on their sheet. Tip: save money by buying dice at the dollar store. They even have over-sized ones for students with visual and fine motor issues. 


Number Of The Day

We use this poster to practice number identification and number concepts. It offers lots of opportunities to practice numbers!

Students need a high level of practice in order to master number identification skills. Here are 10 different ways to practice numbers with your class.

We follow up with these All About Number sheets:




Do you have a different way you practice number identification? Share it in the comments so we can all learn!!

Students need a high level of practice in order to master number identification skills. Here are 10 different ways to practice numbers with your class.



How To Incorporate Money Concepts In Morning Meeting

My students need all of the review and practice with coins as they can get! Yours, too?? Here is a super simple way to practice counting, coin identification and adding coins into your morning meeting....


Morning meeting is a great time to practice counting and identifying coins! Check out this easy idea that can be quickly implemented into your classroom!


For the first 100 days of school we use this poster (below) to count to 100. I loved that the students practiced counting on and counting by tens every day!


Morning meeting is a great time to practice counting and identifying coins! Check out this easy idea that can be quickly implemented into your classroom!


 As we approached the 100th day we started thinking about how to continue counting and how we could make it more functional. One of my fabulous classroom assistants suggested using pennies and nickels to count. Brilliant! Better yet... she even made me the poster! I am seriously blessed!!

Morning meeting is a great time to practice counting and identifying coins! Check out this easy idea that can be quickly implemented into your classroom!

During morning meeting, we put a penny on the green strip. When we get to 5 pennies in a row, we put a nickel on the yellow square. When we count the days, we count the nickels on the yellow squares and then the single pennies. For example, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13.

We also put a dollar bill at the top of the chart so we could talk about how we already counted to 100 which is like counting up to a dollar.

Morning meeting is a great time to practice counting and identifying coins! Check out this easy idea that can be quickly implemented into your classroom!

See? Isn't that a super easy way to practice coins during morning meeting?! It only takes a minute, but it is great to have another way to practice it. 

Looking for more ways to practice coins? Check out our coin unit:



Want to read more about our morning meeting? Click the pictures below to read about the different ways we add movement, practice socials skills, calendar skills, etc. 





Morning meeting is a great time to practice counting and identifying coins! Check out this easy idea that can be quickly implemented into your classroom!

Higher Level Academics In Task Boxes

Do you want to try task boxes, but think your students are too high for them? They aren't! I find it easier to do higher level academics in task boxes than coming up with new ways to practice lower level skills such as "put in".




First, let's talk about why we should use task boxes. Our students tend to be very adult focused and prompt dependent. It happens naturally because our students have a lot of needs and require prompting and supervision most of their school day. Sadly, the result of giving students all of the supports they need (monitoring, prompting, cues, visual supports, aides, etc.) leads to students who become very reliant on the support and high level of feedback. It is our job as their teachers to find ways to peel back all of the supports and to teach students to be independent. One of the ways we target independence in my program is by using task boxes. 


Here are some examples of how we practice addition, ordinal position, following multi-step directions, etc.

With these telling time cards, students draw the hands of the clock. I use these for whole and half hours. Depending on the student, I might put 5 to 15 cards. You could mix in whole and half hour cards if your student can handle it. 



We just wrapped up a science unit on animal habitats, so some of my students had this science sorting task in their task box this week:




For students who are working on reading and comprehension, we include context clip cards. Students have to read and choose the word that makes the most sense. My stronger readers get clip cards with all text while my early readers get the cards with pictures. 







Once prepped, these higher level academic work tasks take very little effort to use. All you really need are dry erase markers and clothes pins and you are ready to go. 

Don't forget, you can take a stack of clip cards or task cards and split them among 2 or 3 students if they are going to be doing task boxes at the same time. 

Looking for more posts on task boxes? Click the pictures below to read more:









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