In order to develop social skills and a classroom community, we will be having a daily "Morning Meeting". This is a time when we come together to learn, celebrate our classroom family, and cheer one another on during learning activities.
Our Morning Meetings will follow the same format each day. Providing a predictable routine is one of the ways to develop a feeling of safety for students in the beginning of the year.
We begin by gathering on our rug and sitting in a circle. We choose a greeting and each student greets the person next to them (or whatever the greeting requires). To make remembering the steps to greetings easier, I compiled them into a list that I laminated. I keep this with our easel and other meeting materials.
In the beginning of the year, we spend time doing a "normal" handshake greeting. Students learn how to look the person they are speaking to in the eye, speak clearly, and give a firm handshake. They also learn how to politely ask a person's name if they have forgotten. After students are comfortable with the "normal" greeting, we move on to other greetings.
After the activity, I move from being a part of the circle to a chair so that I can facilitate shared writing during our "Morning Meeting Message". Students get to come up and lead us in reading the message using a fun pointer! During this time I always incorporate the grammar skill that our reading series is focusing on for the week.