Monday, April 9, 2012

morning meeting breakdown.

Happy Monday, y'all! I know that I shouldn't be counting, but only 6 more Mondays to go! Hooty-to the-hoo! I thought I would get us started off this week by showing y'all how I run our calendar / morning meeting time. My kids love love love Morning Meeting! It's our special time to share exciting news, talk to our buddies, problem solve any skirmishes we are facing, etc. Oh yeah, and we talk about the calendar, just a little bit.

Last week, I shared with y'all how the kids enter the room and drop off all of their goodies. Once they have settled into their desks, the nuggets complete some morning math work in their Math Journals. Now that we are well into the year, we have also started incorporating a bit of grammar into our Math Journals in the form of sentence correction (the muffins LOVE seeing all the silly mistakes I have made in my messed-up sentences!).

After our morning work, we then move into Morning Meeting. Students know it's time to come to the carpet for Morning Meeting when they see this pop up on our ActivBoard.

I will pause here to tell you about our ActivBoards - they are interactive white boards, very similar to Smart Boards. The entirety of our Morning Meeting is completed on the ActivBoard, rather than a bulletin board - students complete jobs on our calendar activities by either writing on or moving objects. In the past, this has meant that one student would approach the board and complete the task for that page while the other 22 students sat idly by. No. Fun. I quickly realized I needed some sort of tool to help keep the students sitting on the carpet engaged and loving calendar life!

When considering the tool I wanted to create to help my munchkins remain fully engaged in Morning Meeting, I wanted to accomplish a couple of things:

  • I wanted the tool to be re-useable. I did not want to create a binder that would have to be constantly refilled with new copies, etc.
  • I wanted any tasks that can be completed individually to be included in the document.
  • I wanted the document to be sturdy enough for kids to be able to write on it on their lap or on the floor so that they weren't having to bring a clipboard to the carpet as well.
After much brainstorming and researching, I came up with this system. As soon as the kids see our Morning Meeting cover page flash onto the ActivBoard...

they grab all of this...

...and head to the carpet! You can grab your copy of the independently-completed Morning Meeting boards in my TPT Shop!

From here on out, I will show you what the kids see on the ActivBoard and what they will then complete on their Morning Meeting board while sitting at the carpet. We first talk all about today:

So as one child fills in the information on the ActivBoard, everyone else is writing the same content on their Morning Meeting board.

Our next page teaches the "logistics" of a calendar. We talk about how each month can start on a different day (not every month starts on a Sunday). We practice remembering on which day our current month began, and then filling in the calendar for that month through today's date (i.e. today we would fill in the 1st through the 9th). One child fills in the calendar on the ActivBoard...

...while everyone fills in the name of the month and the dates on their Morning Meeting board.

Our next page helps us practice the order of the days of the week. It also provides us with a special time to share two specific days that we particularly enjoy during the week! Here, the child manipulating the ActivBoard drags the correct days of the week to their proper box, and then explains why s/he chose their two favorite days of the week. Like I said, this is such a fun time because it's a great way for kids to be "spotlighted" for their hobbies and extracurricular activities. They tell us which days they have different practices, which "special" classes at school they enjoy most, etc. It usually ends with someone saying, "I didn't know you did/liked                      !" H-E-L-L-O classmate lovin'!

The kids at the carpet also practice writing the days of the week in their own spaces - this is a WONDERFUL way to practice spelling those tricky days of the week!
Our next two slides are very group-participation-oriented, so I did not deem it necessary to include on the Morning Meeting boards for students to complete at the carpet! At the beginning of the year, we use our ten frame to help us practice recognizing even and odd numbers, visualizing simple addition facts (8 is 5 red dots and 3 more yellow dots, etc.), and other review skills.

We also work together on our Hundreds Chart! We practice highlighting as we chant our skip counts, we practice adding and subtracting bigger numbers (48+51 or 98-72) by moving up/down and right/left on our hundreds chart. We practice counting coin values (counting by quarters, nickels, etc.) and counting or skip counting backwards!

Our next page highlights how many days we have been in school. It helps us practice our place value, proper number formation, and writing numbers in expanded notation.

On their personal Morning Meeting board, I simply had the kids write the number of days we had been in school, and then write that number in expanded notation.

On the next slide, I have kids practice writing the time they see on an analog clock in digital format, or vice versa.

So while the student is at the ActivBoard completing the assignment, the nuggets at the carpet can be doing the same thing!
We also practice counting our coins and writing the amount we see using both a dollar sign and a cent sign. Generally, I will tell the students I want them to make a given amount and we see all the different ways we can make that amount with our coins! We practice making the amount with the most coins, the least coins, etc.

While a student is manipulating the coins on the ActivBoard, all of the friends on the carpet are showing the given amount with different coins!

Our Morning Meeting on the ActivBoard does continue on with class bar graphs and other class-wide polls, but (just like the ten frame and hundreds chart pages) I did not include those in the document for kids at the carpet because everyone is participating!

I printed this document front/back on heavy cardstock and then laminated it. This allows the students to write successfully either on the floor or on their lap, and we can just erase the expo marker at the end of Morning Meeting making the document last throughout the year! We are as green as the Grinch, amen?

  • This tool is sturdy and re-useable - prime for daily use by six year olds!
  • What kid would prefer to write with a pencil on paper when they can write with an expo marker on shiny paper?! Expo = Ecstasy for a first grader.
  • All of the kids are engaged and practicing these calendar skills DAILY rather than only practicing when they're at the ActivBoard. Happy nuggets, happy teacher.
How do y'all run your calendar time? How to you make sure all of your kids are engaged and excited about this daily routine?

Don't forget to go get your own copy of our Morning Meeting board over at TPT!


  1. This is pretty similar to Every Day Counts. I wonder if I could get away with it next year as part of my morning warm-up time right after my "controlled chaos" morning time.

  2. I'm working on a daily workbook idea and I like some of the stuff you have. Thanks

  3. Your morning meeting on the interactive whiteboard is great! Would it be possible for you to email me the file?

    Thanks! -

    1. Hi Lauren! I would LOVE to share the file with you, but unfortunately the file is too large to email, post to TPT, or post to Promethean Planet! Talk about a lose-lose-lose situation! I hope to create a smaller, more compact version in the very near future! Sorry I can't be more help!!

  4. This is wonderful! We do something similar. How long does your morning meeting last?

    1. Hi Lauren! We usually spend 15-20 minutes on morning meeting, but there are definitely days that we spend more/less time on it depending on the kids!

  5. Hi! Do you have your Whiteboard files made into smaller sizes yet? I would love them!

  6. Is there any way to get this file?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Christy! I am so sorry to say that I have never been able to make a file small enough to email or post to TPT. Further, several of the graphics and fonts I used are copyrighted and I'm not able to use them in a commercial setting, meaning I can't share them. So sorry!

  7. Hi, Great Idea! I have a quick question...Do the laminated cardstock boards erase well? I created something similar for my students (graphic organizers) and we are having a difficult time getting them to erase. I have now placed them in clear sheet protectors and those erase much better, but I don't like them as well. I would love to know your secret. :)


    1. Hi Tina! Unfortunately, I don't have a secret! The Expo markers did erase for several months with the help of the Expo cleaner, but eventually a film did form which wasn't fun! I used a Vis-a-Vis for the second semester and LOVED them! They erased perfectly and were definitely worth the added cost and trip to Office Depot! :)