Morning Meeting in Action!

Morning meeting is a fantastic time to target generalization in the special education classroom and to get students up and learning. We offer students multiple opportunities to take a turn, move or participate. We begin morning meeting by having students choose what they are working for during the group time.  

Most of my students are on a 5 token strip, so they earn pennies throughout the 27 minute group. If students aren't yet ready for a 5 token strip, then they cash in to an assistant in the middle of the group. Each strip, no matter how many tokens you are working for, has a spot for a picture of what you are working for at the end. These pictures serve as good visual reminders for the kiddos.

Once everyone has chosen his or her reinforcer, then we move on to the chore or job chart. 

This year, I changed from having names to having pictures of the students instead. Loved it! It made more of the students really focus in on who was who and students learned each other's names better. 

We start with the student of the day job first. That student comes up and spells his/her name to me while I write it in big letters on the board. Then, the student spells it again, one letter at a time, while the class echos back each letter. To finish, we clap each letter while spelling out his or her name. 

It is a great way to get in more letter, attending and name practice!

Next, we move on to the calendar. The calendar helper chooses a pointer and points to the numbers while the class counts. The calendar helper is also responsible for telling his/her friends that it is time to count by saying, "Count with me!" or "Everyone needs to count!" or some other variation. Once this becomes easy for students, challenge them to think of a different way to say it or get everyone's attention.

Once the class has gotten to the number for the day, the calendar helper adds the number to the calendar. S/he also needs to figure out the pattern and which shape or color the number for today will be. 

After the calendar is done, we move to filling out the date. We have made this a very language rich time. In the beginning of the school year, we model how to ask WH questions while students work on answering them. Once students are ready, we start picking a different student each day to pose a WH question and/or fill in to a peer based on the cards in the date. For example, "What day is it?" "The month is...?" "Two thousand fifteen is the ....? "Which number is it today?" Make sure you practice asking and answering a variety of questions. Depending on the level of your students, you can decide if you want to give a prompt to the question by showing or not showing the answer card to the student.  The cards on the bottom row that apply to the specific date are then handed out to the students that answered the questions and they are asked to put them up. They are color coded so all students can be successful. If students aren't able to read they can still put it in the correct spot by matching the color.

Next up is the weather helper. That student has to state, in a full sentence if possible, what the weather is and then find the correct card and put it up. 

If the student is able to, we have him/her find the weather card without any help in a messy array. We teach the students where we keep the materials for morning meeting. It is in a large bucket. This is what it looks like when students look in...

If the student isn't ready for this level, then we put the weather choices out in a neat array on the table. You can change the number of weather cards in the array to meet the needs of your student.

After the weather, we count how many days we have been in school. We have a big chart that add a bug picture to daily as we count. 

After we get to ten bugs we add a cap on the tube with a tens number on it. This helps us learn to count by tens and then add on ones as needed. Once we have passed the 100th day, we practice counting to 100 daily in a variety of ways. 

After practicing the pledge of allegiance we read a book that goes with our theme. Lastly, we cash in and students that earned all of their tokens get their reinforcer while we prepare for the next group. 

We would love to hear how you work in language and math skills during your morning meeting. Tell us about it in the comments!


  1. Love your ideas! I my morning circle looks a lot like yours. The biggest difference is how we count the days. I use a shape with each day's number that we add to the line on the wall. That way we can work on number recognition and reading numbers.BUT I really like your bug chart...

    1. We've done something like that before. I think I might switch it this year to tens frames. I'm also going to be adding a simple graphing component... details coming! :)

  2. VERY helpful to me! Because I have two visually impaired students, I switch out the story for a song. I was wondering about your hundreds chart. 1. No one in my K-1 moderate-severe ID class has a goal to count above 20. Do you suggest I still track and count school days to 100? 2. How did you make that hundreds chart or where did you purchase it? Thank you.

    1. Hi Stacy,
      Numbers to 120 is a first grade standard, so I would always recommended exposing students to higher level skills. I teach in a moderate/severe program and many of my most impaired students were able to join in on the group counting.
      We made our chart, but you can buy them on Amazon or teacher stores.
      Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.