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Welcome back! Are you ready to put everything you learned about classroom management into action? We've talked about establishing your classroom management philosophy and what you need to do to start the year off right. Now a few weeks have gone by, the kids are settling in and things are going well. Then, it happens. A little bump in the road. That's ok. Tomorrow will be better. Later that week you start to feel like things are slowly moving in the wrong direction. Let's fix all that before it even happens!




Sound familiar? Yep... we went over this before, but it definitely needs repeating. MODEL EVERYTHING. Many teachers do a great job modeling routines and procedures at the beginning of the year. But they forget the importance of modeling every day! For example, let's say you have a math game students will play in partners. You sit together on the rug, you explain the game, maybe even write the directions on the board... but when you pair everyone up and send them off, no one knows what to do! Johnny and Susie are playing the game correctly, but Mara and Letesha are not following the rules. Colby and Peter are tossing the dice around, and two other groups are just sitting there not knowing how to get started... what happened?! You need to model! Before you send students off to do pretty much anything - especially at the beginning of the year, or if it's a new game or activity or worksheet - it always helps to model what you want done. Have two students play the game together in front of everyone, showing how to roll the dice, move the pieces, play the game. You'd be surprised how many students will suddenly have an a-ha moment and REALLY understand what to do! The same goes for activity pages and worksheets. Do one part or a couple examples together so students can see where to write the answer, what format, etc. Believe me, this extra time spent modeling can save you so much of a headache and save your kiddos from being frustrated!

I have observed and mentored many new teachers, student teachers, interns etc. This is the number one thing so many beginning teachers have trouble with. I watch teachers begin a very engaging and well-planned lesson. Everyone is paying attention and is on the ball. Then I notice Ryan. He is getting fidgety. He rocks in his chair. He rolls his pencil around. He starts talking to someone near him. Now there's a hum in the room. The teachers reminds everyone to pay attention, but does not stop. Now many students are not being respectful of the speaker. Lots of quiet chatter and movement. Finally, after about 10 minutes when I want to jump in and get things under control, the teacher - who is visibly frustrated - stops the lesson and addresses one of the students who is talking. The point of this story? Pay close attention to the small things WHEN THEY START and deal with them right away - otherwise you risk the activity spiraling out of control. You might have to stop 5 times in 10 minutes. That's ok. If you keep going when no one is paying attention, it's not going to get any better! Do you notice students constantly playing with materials while you explain something? Remember my little tip about being proactive? Next time before the lesson starts, clear the area. I really do think this comes with experience. As you teach more, you will notice students who you need to make eye contact with, call their name, etc. (I love teachers who can just throw a student's name into a sentence: "That's right! We need to regroup because the ones - Lindsey please stop - have more than 9 so we have to make a ten.") Sometimes that's all it takes! But you have to be aware of everything going on in order to make it work.

Yes, that's right. You are now a teacher. Not the fun babysitter, not a camp counselor, not their cousin. YOU ARE THEIR TEACHER. And that means your role has changed. Yes, you can definitely be caring and fun and supportive and funny, but you can't... no matter what anyone tells you, be their friend. I am the first to tell you to get to know your students, make connections, learn about them. That is incredibly important. But always remember that you have other responsibilities now, too. You need to follow through on the rules, make decisions that they may not like (No Mark, you may not partner with Brian. or I'm sorry, we can't play a word game today.) Your students are coming to you to learn. Your job is to teach them how to be a reader and a writer and a good friend and how to work with others, etc. You can be there for them, support them, encourage them and share experiences with them. But do it as their teacher, not as their friend.

Do you see yourself in any of these mistakes? Don't take it personally - EVERY beginning teacher needs support with classroom management. Good classroom management comes with experience. But if you think about these 3 areas, you can improve your classroom management skills now - and enjoy a great year of teaching later!

You can read more about classroom management ideas in my other posts in this series:
Classroom management - it all starts with you!
3 Things to do at the beginning of the year
Ideas for classroom management incentives
 



Welcome to part 2 of my blog series on classroom management. (You can read part 1, building a foundation for classroom management, HERE.) Today we'll focus on starting the year strong. What you do in your classroom at the beginning of the year will set the tone and the standards for how things go the rest of the year - and this is especially true for classroom management.

So what can you do right away at the beginning of the year to help? These are my top 3 tips for starting the year off right.

This is without a doubt the most important thing you can do. Spend the time
now teaching routines and procedures or you'll have to be doing it all year long. Introduce it, model it, practice it, review it and model and practice again - for EVERYTHING. There are obvious procedures like how to start the day, how to ask to use the bathroom or get a drink, where to put papers, etc. Then there are the not-so-obvious things. These things become apparent right in the middle of the activity. How do we use a glue stick? How much glue goes on your paper? Where do scraps go after cutting? How do we come to the rug from our seats? Do NOT assume your kiddos know these things. And if they do know how to do them, they may not do them the way YOU want. For example, I have small buckets that get placed at each table/workspace for scraps when we cut. The scraps go into the buckets and then get emptied after we are all done and cleaning up. Who gets the buckets? Where do they go? Who empties them? When? Trust me. If you think about all this beforehand (remember my tip on being proactive from the last blog post?), you can teach all these things now and after in the year you won't even have to think about it.
The big question that always comes up is, "How long do I spend on this stuff?" My answer - figure out a time and double it! :-) Teachers who spend the first 2,4, even 6 weeks focusing on routines and procedures and creating the environment they want are the ones who have a class running smoothly in January. I know you can't actually spend the first six weeks not doing academics. And that's ok. But you need to spend as much time as possible on every routine and procedure. The time you put into this now will come back to you ten-fold later in the year.

This is right up there with everything I said above. MODEL, MODEL, MODEL! SHOW kids how things should be done, don't just tell them. Let students practice. Do it the right way, model it incorrectly and then model it correctly again. This is where your routines and procedures come to life. Have some fun with it! I usually talk about the routine first - why do we need a routine for this? what is going to be important to do? I will often write ideas on the whiteboard or smartboard, or we make an anchor chart if I want to save them. Then we practice. I ask one or to students to show me the right way to do something. We talk as a class and point out what that students did well (refer to the chart or notes we took). Then comes the fun part! I ask someone to show me the wrong way to do something. You might want to choose a student who you know has trouble with this routine. They will usually LOVE to come up and fool around and make a complete mess of what they need to do. Again, talk about it! Here's the important part - now ask the SAME student to demonstrate the CORRECT way of doing it. This serves two purposes. You are ending with a model of how to do things correctly, and the student who previously showed everything wrong, now shows it correctly - proving he or she CAN follow the rules!

The beginning of the year is a crucial time for establishing an environment in which kids feel safe enough to take risks and WANT to do well. This comes from feeling invested in the classroom. Allow students to be part of everything you can. Let them help establish rules, routines and procedures. Get their opinion on how things should be done. When we make our anchor charts for rules and routines early in the year, I always ask students for their input. What is important about how we do this? Why? What are the steps we need to take to do this successfully? Seeing their words and ideas on our chart makes them feel like they played a big part in establishing how things work. By asking for ideas and input, students may come up with things you haven't even thought about!

I promise - if you take the time now, even if other teachers are moving into more academic content - to work on routines, procedures and building community, the rest of the year will go much more smoothly! As I said at the beginning, do it now, or do it all year long!
You can read more about classroom management ideas in my other posts in this series:
Classroom management - it all starts with you!
3 classroom management mistakes beginning teachers make
Ideas for classroom management incentives




Classroom management. New teacher or veteran teacher, we have all struggled with how to deal with behavior, keep students focused and engaged and give students a community in which they feel invested. Classroom management can make or break your teaching. So what's a teacher to do? This is part 1 in a series of blog posts about classroom management. We'll cover basic ideas (that's this post!), the most important things to do at the beginning of the year, the top 3 mistakes new teachers make in classroom management, and ideas for incentives. Let's get started!

Earlier this year, a student teacher from another classroom came to spend some time in my room. "Your kids are so well-behaved. What kind of behavior program do you use?" she asked me. Quite honestly, I was taken aback. I didn't have an answer. "I don't use a behavior plan," I replied. "So how do you get the kids to behave?" she asked.

I really had to stop and think about this. I've been teaching for many years now. Classroom management has always been a strength for me. But why exactly is that? What do I do - what do other teachers do - in order to have great management skills? (And can I tell you - I really don't like those words. I don't "manage" my classroom or my students. There needs to be another term for this area.) And I'm going to be honest - Right now, I don't teach in a school where major behavior problems exist. But I have. My district... my classroom... my students... may be different than yours. You have to do what is right for YOUR students. But this is what works for me. And it has worked pretty much every year for over 20 years now.

The big key to success? Here it is:

Start with a PHILOSOPHY before you put in a system. Marble jars, clip charts, lottery ticket, brag tags... these ideas come and go. Some years I've used none of these. And some years I've used them all at some time or another. But my philosophy, the "why" behind everything I do, stays the same year after year. So whether you're a new teacher looking for help after feeing like you've been herding cats all day... or you're a veteran teacher who has seen it all :-), here are my top 5 tips for good classroom management.


Connect with your students inside and outside of school. If you can go to sporting events and dance recitals and music performances, then go. If not, that's ok. ASK about these things. Find out what's coming up in each and every child's life. Talk with them about how their day is going, what they had for breakfast, where they're going after school. Share with them things you like to do and encourage them to share the same. You can do this by standing in the hall and greeting everyone as they come in. Use five minutes at morning meeting to share. Listen as they're having snack. Pay attention to conversations on the playground and during indoor recess. Make it a point to get to know your students. This connection is invaluable. It breeds respect. It makes students WANT to do well. Do the same thing with each other. Make sure students connect with their classmates. Celebrate everything, no matter how small. I guarantee you this one action of making connections will have a monumental effect on the behavior of your students.


I love those words. I read them in a book one of my principal's gave me about the differences between a good teacher and a great teacher. Great teachers think about things beforehand, rather than reacting to what occurs. Think about it this way. Is it better to plan beforehand and think about how certain students will react to something (choosing partners, using manipulatives, etc.) and plan accordingly, or to react in the moment when someone complains because of who they are working with or fools around with manipulatives, etc.? This idea goes a long way. Planning an activity that requires students to get up and get materials? Visualize what can happen - then plan for it! Move things to a different spot, have everything ready... think about it BEFORE it happens and the behavior issues will be so much less!



Celebrate, shout out and point out the positives every, single. day. High five, do cheers, and smile with your kids! Did Lucy just write a complete sentence? Has Harry been working quietly for five minutes? NOTICE these things. You can point them out in a way that involves everyone, or just quietly with that student. If you focus on the positive, your students will soon discover that if they want attention, doing it the right ay is the way to go!


 Fair does not always mean equal. We've all had discussions about what is "fair." Fair means that everyone gets the same playing field. It does not mean everyone gets the same thing. And for young students, this is a tough one to understand. I address it right away. "It is my job as the teacher to make sure that everyone gets what they need to be successful. That might mean different things for different people. And sometimes it may not seem fair to you. But trust me, it is fair to them." Then we talk about what if Mia came in with a broken arm and couldn't write so I had a friend do the writing for her. No one else gets to do that. Is that fair? Of course! What is important is that YOU know it is fair.


This is a big one for me. Is someone still fooling around with the math cubes after being asked to stop? Then that student cannot use the cubes. (It might be for a short time or the whole time - remember to be fair!) Is Martha having a hard time working with her friends nearby? She needs to choose a different spot. Did Ryan just tell Mark he didn't want to be partners with him because he cheats all the time?  Ok... choose a different partner. The idea here is for the consequences to come naturally out of the actions. Having to move to a different seat for talking with friends - natural consequence. Losing 5 minutes of recess because of it? - Not a natural consequence. Sometimes natural consequences present themselves immediately, and sometimes (remember Ryan and Mark?) they might come later. But they are always there.

Knowing your classroom management philosophy is an important part of being a successful teacher. But it takes time. When you have a clear understanding of WHY you do things, the HOW will be so much clearer!
You can read more about classroom management ideas in my other posts in this series:
3 Things to do at the beginning of the year
3 classroom management mistakes beginning teachers make
Ideas for classroom management incentives




Do you do a morning meeting with your students? Whether you're looking to get started with a morning meeting for the first time, or trying to find ways to liven up what you already do, I've got some ideas that can help!
Morning meeting is a great way to start the day off on the right foot, make connections and have fun together. I have done morning meeting in some form or another for more than fifteen years - and I would never give it up! But I have learned a thing or two about how to make the most of this time. My two biggest tips? Keep it structured and change it up! I know those two things sound completely opposite of each other, but they're really not.


Keeping it structured means having the same general format to the meeting every day so students know what to expect. It doesn't matter what the components are - greeting, sharing, read aloud, calendar, activity, etc. What's important is that each morning meeting follows the same format. At the beginning of the year I post a "morning meeting agenda" that we review as soon as we come together on the rug. That way everyone knows what we'll be doing and when. I have four parts to my morning meeting: greeting, calendar, sharing and activity. You can find out more about each these parts and how they work in this post. (Click the image)

http://2gradestories.blogspot.com/2015/09/morning-meeting-teacher-talk-tuesday.html

Now that we've got the structure set, we can change it up! That means add in new greetings, different activities and fun new ways to share. Things can get old fast and the last thing you want are students who are not engaged in the meeting time.  Here are the links to my posts about each part of my morning meeting. You'll find tips for making it successful and ideas you can use in your classroom right away!

http://2gradestories.blogspot.com/2015/09/morning-meeting-greeting.html

http://2gradestories.blogspot.com/2016/02/morning-meeting-part-3-group-activity.html

http://2gradestories.blogspot.com/2016/06/morning-meeting-sharing-time.html
I also do my calendar time during morning meeting. It's not the same old boring calendar activities, though! We do our calendar activities on the Smartboard and this gives me a chance to change things up throughout the year, as well as differentiate for my students. You can see how I do this in this post.
http://2gradestories.blogspot.com/2015/09/morning-meeting-calendar-time.html

Morning meeting doesn't have to be hard to do - and it definitely doesn't have to be boring! Work with your students to come up with new greetings, fun activities and different ideas. Pretty soon morning meeting will be your favorite part of the day!




Merry Christmas, teacher friends - Christmas in JULY that is! I'm teaming up with my friends over at I Teach K-2 for a summer celebration.  Get ready for some fantastic freebies, sales and a great giveaway - so stick with me to the end!

How do you like to get to know your kiddos at the beginning of the year? We all have favorite activities we do to find out about our bunch of students. Once we've been settled in for a few days, I like to start some quick writing activities to see what my new friends can do.

These two books are my go-to choices for any "getting to know you" activity. They are easy to read, bright and colorful and filled with so many ways each person is special. After reading, we make a chart of some of the ideas the characters had, and use them to come up with a list of "all about me" categories - appearance, likes, dislikes, family, pets, hobbies, talents, etc. This gives everyone LOTS of ideas of what to write about themselves.

Next it's time for brainstorming. I like to do a little oral partner sharing first, just to get the ideas flowing. Everyone partners up and rolls a die (I have big foam dice that are perfect for this.) We make a chart with each number 1-6 representing a category (appearance, etc.) The number you roll tells the topic of your "all about me" fact. Then your partner rolls - same thing. We switch partners a few times, and then we're ready to write! This brainstorming sheet is open-ended enough to allow students to choose ideas that are important to them.

Now comes the organizing part! We work out a topic sentence together (although some kiddos will go with their own ideas), choose our three most important facts, add details and a closing sentence. We don't write full sentences here - just ideas.

The final writing brings together everything we have done. It's not only a good way for me to learn about my kiddos, but I can also see who can write a detailed sentence, who remembers punctuation and capitalization, etc.  Win-win!

Thinking that this will work with your students? You're in luck! These sheets are part of my August and September Writing Workout resource and I'm featuring them as a Christmas in July freebie! You can download them by clicking on the image below.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Writing-Freebie-2024830
The full resource includes graphic organizers and ideas for writing in all three genres - narrative, expository and opinion - all with a back to school theme. They are perfect for whole class writing projects, small group centers, or independent work. Annnnnnd, as part of our Christmas in July celebration, they're all on sale July 6-9!
Each unit is on sale and the bundle of 5 (the spring one will be added after January!) is also on sale!
You can click the links below to see more about each unit.


Still with me? It was definitely worth it because here's a chance to enter to win one of four fantastic prizes!




Did you see that? THREE TpT gift cards? a Target card? Both of those places do major damage to my bank account for back to school. And if that's not enough, Jen from over at Teaching in the Tongass has generously donated a gift certificate for $100 of clipart in her store!! Head over there right now and start planning your purchases!
Ready to enter? Use the Rafflecopter below and good luck! Be sure to visit my other friends who are taking part in our I Teach K-2 Christmas in July party, too!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy Shark Week, friends! Although Shark Week (does that really need to be capitalized?) really comes during the summer, you can do a shark week theme any time of year! I love to do a week about sharks toward the end of the year when my kiddos are starting to lose interest and need something engaging and exciting to keep that interest going. And what's more interesting to kids than sharks?! I like to get as much mileage out of a topic as possible, so I'm always looking to find ways to integrate different subjects.




I love to start my shark week activities with a book - and there are TONS of great books about sharks out there. My favorite one to start out with is by Nicola Davies, called Surprising Sharks.




The biggest reason why I like to start with this book is that it makes sharks a little less intimidating. Don't get me wrong, the author shares some amazing shark facts that definitely make my kiddos say, "WOW!" - but the illustrations and focus are a little less scary  - and by the end of the book everyone wants to know more about these animals!

 
Here are a few ideas for some "after reading" activities:
  • Talk about the fact that surprised you the most - make a chart, write about it in a journal, share with a partner
  • Changing schema - was there something you thought was rue before, but now you know is not? (or vice versa?)
  • Opinion writing - Should people be scared of sharks? Use info from the book in your reasons



I always like to integrate nonfiction into everything possible - and studying sharks is a great opportunity to bring in some math! This book by Jerry Pallotta is so much fun.



The book uses math to teach information about sharks! There is everything from the size of sharks (big, bigger, biggest), to how much they weigh, how far down they can swim, temperature, etc.... this book puts a new twist on learning about sharks! The focus in this book is on greater than and less than, but you could fit any shark facts into your math curriculum.

 


How can you bring this idea into the classroom? Easy! Just think NUMBERS! There are so many numbers associated with sharks - number of teeth, how long they are, how much they weigh, how many babies they have....
  • Have students do some research and find out different numbers that have to do with sharks. Challenge them to come up with questions comparing information about two or more sharks.
  • Create a "Math About Sharks" poster with a shark illustration and facts that include numbers.
  • Work in groups to focus on one type of comparison - big, bigger biggest (teeth, bodies, etc.); light, heavy, heavier, heaviest; deep, deeper deepest
Here's a little freebie I created using the weight of different sharks.


You could use this in lots of ways! Hang the task cards around the room and give each student a copy of the shark facts and answer sheet (double-sided). Students walk around the room using their fact sheet to answer the questions. Shrink down the answer sheet (85% works well) and have students glue it into a notebook and write their answers there. Use it as a center!


This freebie is actually part of a larger resource about sharks and math - and the full math/nonfiction resource will be available ONLY to my newsletter subscribers later this week. Want to be part of the fun? Sign up by clicking the image below!

http://eepurl.com/bPNYL9

Looking for MORE shark activities? I just finished a brand new reader's theater unit on sharks. It's just another way to integrate subjects - this time nonfiction/science and reading fluency. This resource contains 4 partner plays and 2 reader's theater (6 parts) scripts.


There are comprehension activities to do with all the plays.

There's also a flip book to go with the "All About Sharks" script, and a fact card sort for the "Super Sharks" script. They're all written at about a mid-end of second grade level.

I'm planning on getting it finished for this weekend, but in the meantime, you can win it before you buy it! Just comment below with your thoughts on sharks - and don't forget your email! I'll pick a random winner at the end of the weekend. Good luck!

NOTE: Congrats, Amy! You are the winner!










Happy summer Monday, everyone! (Hopefully, for everyone... and for those of you still waiting for that last day... the end is in sight!) This is the last part in my series on Morning Meeting.

Morning Meeting: Part 4 Sharing Time Helping students build connections and practice listening and speaking skills.


Do you do a sharing time with your students? I admit. I had a love-hate relationship with sharing during morning meeting. On the one hand I know how important it is.
It builds connections.
It helps students (and teachers!) to get to know each other.
It provides opportunities to practice listening and speaking skills.


But.... Sometimes it just took so loooooong for everyone to share. And my kiddos just weren't listening - they were focused on what THEY were going to say... or how what the person was sharing connected to THEM... or they were looking around the classroom thinking about anything except what was being said....


Another confession - I know my students got bored listening to what everyone did over the weekend. Every Monday for Weekend News. It began to be the same thing over and over. Johnny played video games. Ryan watched tv.


Sharing became LAST on our list of things we enjoyed about Morning Meeting and FIRST on the list of things to go by the wayside when we didn't have time in our day.

But.... the teacher guilt set in. I knew that sharing was an important part of building relationships with my students. Sharing was window into what went on outside of school and I just did not want to give that up. But something had to change. I started to think about what I REALLY wanted from our sharing time.
- Sharing during Morning Meeting (or any time during the day) needs to be purposeful.
- It needs to be structured.
- It needs to be engaging.

I came up with these tips:

The longer and more drawn out sharing time is, the faster kids are going to lose focus. Set a timer, play a song, designate a topic - anything to keep things structured and purposeful. I share some ideas how to do this later in this post.
This is KEY! Find a way to get everyone involved. Share in partners or with a small group. Ask questions, make comments. 
Don't keep doing haring the same way all the time - especially if it's not working! Here are some ideas you can try to spice up your sharing time.


Whether you share with your students everyday, once a week or just once in a while, try some of these ideas to put a fresh -- into your sharing time.


Weekend News: go around the circle and give everyone a turn to greet the person next to them with, Good morning Evelyn (or whoever). What's the news?" And yes, I do let students pass - especially at the beginning. For some students, sharing in front of everyone is just too much. And for some students, their weekend events may not be ones they want to share. Trust me, after a few weeks everyone starts to share.


Soon after Weekend News has begun, we add a new piece - making comments and asking questions. (We've already made anchor charts for how to be a good listener and speaker and modeled these behaviors. This is the next step.) We talk about asking questions first. What makes a good question? What more do you want to know? I listen to the questions asked and use those for quick mini-lessons. I once had a group of kids who just could not get away from questions like, "What time did you see the movie?" "What color were the blocks?" We make an anchor chart of question stems and refer to it when someone can't think of a question. After we're good at asking questions, we move on to making comments. Same idea... same procedure. We talk about making sure your comment does not have "I" in it. We want to focus on what the person has shared.


(Note: I do this all in a circle with everyone taking a turn sharing something - ONE thing :-) - and the person next to them asking a question or making a comment. We can usually get around the circle in about 5 minutes once we've done it for a while. But just like anything.... modeling is important!)


And what about those kiddos who just don't know how to be concise? Those students whose stories seem to go on and on and on....? Timers can work. So can limits on the number of sentences. I just came across a fantastic idea from Raegan Tunstall that she calls Bear Share. It's the perfect way to not only keep those stories and sharings manageable, but gives students the oral practice they need to understand written formats. Topic sentences, 3 details, closing sentence... perfect! (You can find the link HERE.)


"5 Little Words" is another way to keep the stories from getting to drawn out. Students can only use 5 words to share their weekend events (or whatever number you choose.) For example, "camping, rain, muddy, cold, awful!"


Need something a little different? How about "Give Me 5!" Call on three students to answer each of the following: 1) good news 2.) compliment someone 3.)something you're thankful for in the past 24 hours 4.) joke or something funny 5.) a question of your choice for everyone to answer.


Question of the Day: Write it the whiteboard. Pick from a bunch in a jar. "What's your favorite ____?" "What animal would you like for a pet?" "Do you think we should go outside even though it is snowing?" Do some "Would you rather...?" This is a quick way to share. We go around the circle, everyone responds. Boom! - 2 minutes tops. Try tying the question into what you're studying - writing, reading, science... anything!


Topics: How about a different topic for each month? The first couple months can be share something you're good at, something you like to do... (you decide if bringing something in is ok, or if it should just be talking about it.) Tell about your family, traditions, great days in the snow/rain/fall... the possibilities are endless. Involve your students in generating the topics and not only will they be more engaged and interested in sharing, but they'll be empowered and you'll find out what THEY really want to know.


For this kind of sharing we have a sign-up sheet. 3 students sign up for each day - and I only plan to do it 2-3 times a week. I had to be realistic - everyday just was not working for me. By the end of the month everyone who wants to share has had the chance. And oftentimes kids who didn't want to sign up to share at first would sign up towards the end after seeing their classmates share.


I also have a couple of favorites from Responsive Classroom that I like to incorporate.
"Maitre-d" is a fun way to keep the groupings changing. Have one person call out "Party of 3!" (or whatever number you want). Students make groups of that number and share whatever is decided (weekend news, answer a question, etc.) Call out a new party (you can use a new sharing topic or the same one) and make new groups. Easy and fun!


Another fun one is "Mill to Music." Put on a song, have students move around, and when the music stops they share with someone nearby. Do a few rounds, then return to the whole group and ask a few students to share what others said.


See? Sharing doesn't have to be filled with long and drawn out stories, blank expressions and forgetful students. Change it up, keep it fresh and do what works for you!

If you're looking for ideas for other parts of morning meeting - take a peek at my other posts HERE.




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