I love planning and teaching an effective and engaging morning meeting. Getting students excited for a day of learning and starting our mornings together is invigorating.
I follow the same format for all my morning meetings but change up the literacy skill that I am reinforcing that day. It changes throughout the year depending on the needs of my students. For example, at the beginning of the year, I focus on my students’ names (I like to use The Good Morning Train Song), and later on, I will review vowel sounds. I use my documentation and assessment to guide my planning and follow a scope and sequence.
Of course, the first thing I do to start the day – I greet them. I make sure I say good morning to each student to start the day. I want them to feel welcome and important in the classroom. If something important happened in their life, I try to remember to ask them about it (“How was your soccer practice yesterday?”).
Once all my students are ready for the day, we meet at our large group area. I ensure they can all see me and are comfortable and ready to start learning.
This is the part that never changes in my literacy routine. I always review all the letter sounds that we have learned so far. I mostly use my alphabet ring, but sometimes I just write letters on the whiteboard and have them say the sound.
Developing and reinforcing phonics skills is a hugely important part of students’ reading journey, and I want to ensure I am setting them up for success. This part doesn’t take long; I try to go as fast as possible to develop automaticity with letter sounds.
This is the part that changes throughout the year depending on the skill that I am teaching or reinforcing. I try to change it throughout the year by using different games, songs, activities, etc., so my students don’t get bored.
Some of the lessons I do with my students:
At the beginning of the school year, I introduce each letter of the alphabet (following a scope and sequence). I try to do 3 letters/per week and use my slideshow lesson to make sure I am staying consistent.
Once I have taught my students all the letters of the alphabet, we focus on vowels. My students will know the short and long sounds, but since the vowel sounds are so similar, an intensive focus on them for a few weeks helps them solidify their knowledge.
I use my vowel lessons to help me stay consistent and to practice reading CVC/CVCe words with my students.
After solidifying my students’ knowledge of single letters, we move on to digraphs. I’ve noticed that my students need these sounds to become more confident readers and writers. I also use a digraph lesson to teach these sounds to my students.
Throughout the year, I use different whiteboard games to help reinforce the skills that I am teaching my students. These are simple and easy to set up, but they have a huge impact on my students! They get to hear their peers reading, and it helps them in their own understanding.
Here are a few examples of whiteboard games I have done with my students:
I love projecting a decodable book for my students to read together. We go through each page together. I have a student read the words on the page and then read them together as a class.
Flyleaf Publishing has a great selection of free decodable books to choose from.
When students have a strong phonics foundation, I introduce high-frequency words. If they have not learned a certain sound, I use the heart word method to help them decode it.
End Our Morning Meeting
To end our morning meeting, I walk around our classroom and explain the different tabletop activities that are available for students to pick from. These centers reinforce the concepts or skills they are learning (rainbow letter writing to reinforce a letter formation and sound we just learned, mini sight word book, CVC words, etc.) Then, they are free to pick a center and start their morning.
What are your favourite morning meeting lessons? Let me know in the comments!