It is hard to believe that it is time to go back to school! I want to help you make this your best school year yet, and the best way I discovered to have a successful day was to begin it with an effective morning meeting.
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Greetings for Morning Meeting That Will Guarantee Student Success
First, have all your students come to the carpet and sit in a circle. I think it’s important to sit in the circle with them so that you are on their eye level. Start with greetings for morning meeting. Tell your students that you are so happy that they are here at school and that you are going to have an awesome day. I love their big smiles when they see how happy I am to see them every day!
You can start your activities for morning meeting at the beginning of the school year with teaching the quality student song, then discuss what the words in the song mean and how you can be quality students. I taught my students meaningful vocabulary that they could picture and apply throughout their day.
I started with the word “quality” because that is what my students sang about. The letters in the song stand for character traits like quality, understanding, teamwork, learning and being quiet when they need to be. The song teaches them about being kind. This vocabulary has helped me integrate social emotional learning in a genuine way and setting our classroom culture right at the beginning of the year.
You want to use this vocabulary all week in your activities for morning meetings. Discuss how all the words relate to each other. You will see your students make some great connections! Students can turn to a neighbor, discuss the words, and give their own examples.
Active Learning Strategies That Will Kickstart Your Morning Meeting
Other activities on vocabulary include active learning strategies like acting out the words or playing a game using the words. My students have used these words in reading and writing, so they really learned these words from applying them daily. It was exciting to see when students discovered the words in other places!
Marzano’s 6 Steps for Teaching Vocabulary
Step one: The teacher explains a new word, going beyond reciting its definition (tap into prior knowledge of students, use imagery).
Step two: Students restate or explain the new word in their own words (verbally and/or in writing).
Step three: Ask students to create a non-linguistic representation of the word (a picture, or symbolic representation).
Step four: Students engage in activities to deepen their knowledge of the new word (compare words, classify terms, write their own analogies and metaphors).
Step five: Students discuss the new word (pair-share, elbow partners).
Step six: Students periodically play games to review new vocabulary (Pyramid, Jeopardy, Telephone).
Marzano’s six steps do something revolutionary to vocabulary learning: They make it fun. Students think about, talk about, apply, and play with new words.
Content-Based Instruction That Will Give Back Your Time
At this point, you might be thinking that there just isn’t enough time for all this pre-reading word analysis, direct instruction of vocabulary, and game playing. (You have content to teach!)
Well, that is the beauty of introducing content-based instruction with meaningful vocabulary in your morning meeting and integrating it throughout the day, especially when all the words are related and kids can make great connections. You are actually teaching content as students learn the words.
Let’s end with these quotes for you to reflect on.
Vocabulary is the best single indicator of intellectual ability and an accurate predictor of success at school. — W.B. Elley
Because each new word has to be studied and learned on its own, the larger your vocabulary becomes, the easier it will be to connect a new word with words you already know, and thus remember its meaning. So your learning speed, or pace, should increase as your vocabulary grows. — Johnson O’Connor
We think with words, therefore to improve thinking, teach vocabulary. — A. Draper and G. Moeller
I hope you have an amazing year with morning meeting!