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Morning Meeting Ideas + a Giveaway

NEFC is giving away one copy of each of these books. Please read the giveaway information, which is at the end of this post, carefully. Since there are two books being given away, the entry “guidelines” are slightly different than usual.

Several years ago, I took a graduate course entitled “Literature for Older Children” with Kathy Brody, who was a former classroom teacher.  Brody, who was trained in the Responsive Classroom approach, wanted to share her passion for Responsive Classroom with her graduate students.  Therefore, she taught us about one of the most important pillars of the approach: morning meeting.  Each of our weekly classes began with a morning meeting, of sorts.  (I write of sorts because our course began at 4:20 p.m.!)

Morning meeting provides an opportunity for a class to come together as a community to greet one another, share information, engage in an activity, and prepare for the day that lies ahead.  While I was a little skeptical about how a 20-minute meeting could change a classroom, I was eager to learn more about Responsive Classroom.  Thanks to some thoughtful conversations I had after class with Kathy, I enrolled in Responsive Classroom Institute 1 during the summer of 2006.  I implemented the approach in my fifth grade classroom that fall.  I quickly saw a transformation in my classroom’s day to day operation.  Through guided discoveries, full-class rule creation, use of positive teacher language, and academic choice, teaching became easier.  I truly believe this happened because I was paying as much attention to the social curriculum as I was to the academic one.

As a result of my introduction to Responsive Classroom in graduate school, I decided I would implement morning meetings in the graduate course I’m teaching, which begins this-coming Monday.  Obviously the morning mornings I will lead with my graduate students will look different than the ones I led for my students.  However, since I’m hoping to inspire them to give the Responsive Classroom approach a try, I will be doing a lot of the same greetings and activities I did with my students.  (Because who wouldn’t want to put their morning coffee aside to throw around some Koosh balls for a few minutes first-thing in the morning?)

Just a few weeks ago the Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. (aka: NEFC) released two new books about morning meeting.  They are 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades K–2 by Susan Lattanzi Roser and 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades 3–6 by Carol Davis.  These books are wonderful resources for teachers who are new to morning meeting (and want some quick tips for greetings, sharings, group activities, and morning messages) or for educators who have been leading morning meetings for years (and need some fresh ideas).  Here is my chart for the first day of class that was inspired by the 3-6 book:

To learn more about Responsive Classroom go to http://www.responsiveclassroom.org.  If you want to learn more about morning meeting, then go to http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/morning-meeting-components.

Giveaway Information:

  • Many thanks to the NEFC for sponsoring a giveaway of 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades K–2 by Susan Lattanzi Roser and 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades 3–6 by Carol Davis.
  • To enter for a chance to win a copy of ONE of the books listed above, each reader may leave one comment about this post in the comments section of this post. Feel free to share your thoughts about morning meeting, using Responsive Classroom, or your thinking about why schools should spend time teaching in ways that emphasize the academic, emotional, and social curriculum.   All comments left on or before Sunday, June 24th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time will be entered into a random drawing (one for the K-2 book and one for the 3-6 book) the next day.  I will announce the winner’s name at the bottom of this post on June 26th.
    • Be sure to enter your grade level (e.g., K-2 or 3-6) in the text of your comment.
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address and have my contact at NEFC send the book out to you. Please note: Your e-mail address will not be published online.

Comments are now closed. 

Thank you to everyone who left a comment.  I loved reading about the enthusiasm so many  people have for Responsive Classroom.  For those of you who’ve never tried it, I hope the comments on this post are enough of an indicator to help you realize why you should learn more about the approach.

Congratulations to Brenda Nelson and Erika Victor whose comment numbers were picked using the random number generator

Brenda will receive the K-2 book.  She said:

Fun! A new idea to explore this summer! I have heard of Responsive Classrooms but have not delved into it. With the stress of “getting the academics in” and testing, testing, testing, we need to remember we are teaching children and they have needs outside academics. I look forward to the exploration! This book could be the way to get there!

Erika will receive the 3 – 6 book.  She wrote:

As a third grade teacher I can attest to the transformational power of Morning Meeting. This year’s class has become such a community! This book sounds like a great add.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

243 thoughts on “Morning Meeting Ideas + a Giveaway Leave a comment

  1. I LOVE my morning meetings with my 4th graders. It has made such a tremendous difference in how they work and learn from each other. More than anything, they learn to trust others, and me; their levels of empathy continue to astonish me, and I believe it’s because we spend time learning about each other every single day. I tell them that even more than teaching them new “stuff,” that my number one job description is to keep them safe, and that includes their heart! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!!!
    4th graders ROCK!!!!!!!! 🙂

    Like

  2. In all of my years of teaching I have not really done morning meetings with my students. I do think community builders are important and work those into the day. Our mornings usually start with independent reading and from there we get into the curriculum. I am curious about how to implement morning meetings into the day. I believe this would be worthwhile and time well-spent to build a community of learners among my second graders.

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  3. I will be a second year teacher switching to 2nd grade this August. Last year, the management structure I used was not beneficial in teaching students to be reflective and caring individuals. This will be a focus of my classroom this coming year and I am so excited by the Responsive Classroom approach! I already purchased the “Morning Meeting” book, and the activities in the give-away book will greatly enhance that time with my students.

    I am interested in the K-2 book and my email is maryanne.mercede@gmail.com

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  4. Just finished the Morning Meeting video and am ready to launch in my first year of teaching 4th grade. After teaching 2nd for 4 years a 3-5 book would be very helpful 🙂

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  5. I do not teach currently but I am going to school for early childhood and eventually elementary education I believe. I love working with my friends who teach k-2 🙂 So if I do win they’ll be winning as well 🙂

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  6. Next fall I will be teaching 3-5 grades in ESL and while I have not had the chance to try them yet, I saw how positive it was while substituting. This summer I am teaching 9-11 graders in a summer school and would like ideas on how to implement it for older grades.

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  7. Count me in. Morning Meeting (and the Responsive Classroom approach) is transformational. Morning Meeting builds community and infuses joy. My third graders say that it accounts for the kindness in our classroom.

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  8. Our school tried the morning meeting idea, but it was never really enforced. I would love to start it in my classroom to help build make my relationships with my kids even stronger. I teach 1st.

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  9. I think Morning Meetings are wonderful and try to have one every morning right after our read aloud’s in first grade. Are you sure you don’t want to make this an “on-line” class. I promise I would never miss a session 🙂 I will just have to be satisfied with catching glimpses of it through here. Thank you for sharing.
    Tammy

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  10. I really like the idea of morning meeting. School is not all abotu academics, there is a social side as well! I am interviewing for a 4th grade position! Fingers crossed!

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  11. I have been a firm believer in MM for many years. The MMs from this past school year within my third/fourth grade classroom needed some work and I hope to reflect this summer on what can be done to make them better.

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  12. Responsive teaching intrigues me. I think morning meeting would help focus the students when they come in, playing on the natural curiosity they have about each other. I teach 4th grade.

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  13. I am a school based child and youth counsellor. I am interested in spreading the word about including social curriculum in the classroom. It makes such an impact in preventing challenging behaviour and social issues. Thanks as always for all the valuable strategies. This book will help me to implement supportive classroom routines.

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  14. I had never heard of Responsive Teaching before, however, I am very intrigued. I think that taking that time in the mornings to get the class together will help build a classroom community. I would love to use it with my fifth graders. I think the book for 3-6 grades will work best.

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  15. I have been trained in RC I and II and can’t imagine having a classroom without this background. In addition to my daily morning meetings, our school focused on teacher language this year and The Power of Our Words. Like many of you have mentioned, it is hard to fit things in with state mandates on time for core subjects. Morning Meeting is a great way to incorporate other subjects into language arts! After being in the fourth grade for 13 years, I’ll be shifting to 2nd in the fall.

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  16. I just started teaching this year and I love Responsive Classroom! I love doing Morning Meeting with the kids. It’s such an important part of the day. I can use all the ideas I can get my hands on!

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  17. I revamped most of my classroom management last year after 15 years of teaching. I had studied responsive classroom material last summer in addition to other sources and I implemented many elements of morning meeting. I came away very happy with the outcome of many of my new routines but very dissatisfied with others. I am not willing to throw in the towel but need more information and focus. Would love to see what this book has to say. I teach 4th grade.

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  18. I have been teaching second grade for quite a few years. Knowing the importance of providing opportunities for students to be social and have physical activity, I am quite concerned because recess time will decrease this coming fall due to the time requirements needed for academics. I would like to know more about Morning Meeting because I feel that this component will allow me to provide my students with the social interaction and physical activity necessary for all students to be successful members in my classroom.

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  19. I am a first year teacher and I tried this in my classroom this past year. While I am still learning about it and how to effectively use it I found it fun and the kids really enjoyed it!

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  20. I remember as a very young teacher in 1977 (teaching fifth grade) I read and learned quite a bit about William Glasser and his thoughts on “Reality Therapy”. A lot of his work centered around classroom meetings. Now – teaching ninth grade and hosting a short 25 minute period each day that could really use some additional structure – morning meetings sounds just like the thing to try!

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  21. I agree with you…there is an immediate and noticeable change in a classroom that uses responsiive classroom! I teach 5th grade and the way the kids treat each other is an amazing transformation!

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  22. I’m in grad school now, getting ready to start my student teaching in 4th grade and am looking forward to seeing Morning Meeting in action! I love your idea of using a form of Morning Meeting in a graduate classroom. Hope your students enjoy it and learn a lot about the benefits of this community-building activity.

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  23. I plan to introduce Morning Meetings the the teachers in my school this fall. I’m hoping that this will reduce discipline problems and help teach the children to respect each other more.

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  24. Morning meeting grounds my first grade classroom. Not only does it set a tone of mutual respect and focus on emotional / social issues, morning meeting is the PERFECT time to review and reinforce all content area lessons. I can’t imagine starting a day without this vital connection.

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  25. I am a believer in the power of morning meetings: from the comraderie it built in my graduate classes to the community and social awareness it creates in my first grade classroom. I know it to be a worthwhile, beneficial part of each day for me and my students as we progress throughout the year together.

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  26. I’ve been doing morning meetings for many years now. My students really enjoy getting to know each other better and it helps start their day in a positive way. This year I started doing closing circle at the end of every day. It brings closure to the day and we talk about our learning. I’d love to win the book with more morning meeting ideas.

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  27. I love Responsive Classroom. For the past 7 years (as long as I have been teaching) I have been having a daily morning meeting. The students look forward to it and I know that it has been very valuable in helping my fifth graders to show respect for each other. It has been essential in building the classroom community.

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  28. I have been trained in Responsive Classroom and haved loved using many of the morning meeting suggestions in your book I have already but I am always looking to add more to each meeting. I teach 1st grade and would live some new ideas.

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  29. I have fully engaged in morning meetings for the past 2 years. It is something my students expected every day. I felt like it enhanced student relationships and created a more cohesive classroom.

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  30. As a pre-service teacher candidate, I feel extremely fortunate to have been placed in a Responsive Classroom during my recent student teaching experiences. The teacher preparation program at State University at Cortland prepares us in a textbook sense; regarding components of facilitating a Responsive Classroom. However, experiencing it in action was priceless. My student teaching placements in a Responsive Kindergarten and First Grade Classroom allowed me to observe, facilitate and to improve upon my own ability to understand and to implement the important, socially cohesive structure of the Morning Meeting Routine. I contend that we must never loose sight of the significance and the innate human need of healthy, emotional connections which all children, and adults, need to be socially, academically, and emotionally successful in their lives.

    My work as a Teacher Assistant in a Universal Pre-Kindergarten classroom has been enhanced because I have been able to share what I have learned about Responsive Classroom with my colleagues and mold it to fit the younger children. I continue working in the UPK classroom and have seen the significant benefits of making time, first thing in the morning (or afternoon) to establish a real social connection with and for the children. Many children, for any number of reasons come to my classroom with no sense of how or why they should engage in social niceties; such as making eye contact when greeting each other. As educators, our scope of responsibility is exponentially increasing while our resources consistently decrease. I contend that all schools within the United States must recognize the rewards of a building a socially cohesive network within each and every classroom because every child is worth it!

    I have yet to earn “real teacher” certification within my state, I will have initial certification as of December 2012 and have been building my professional library for many years. I will sincerely appreciate either of the two books that are being given away. I submit that an Early Care and Learning component would be a successful endeavor for Responsive Classroom to consider.
    Thank you.

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  31. I love the concept or morning meeting. It is a routine that takes place every morning in my classroom. Students are able to interact with the content taught through the activities. I teach K-3.

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  32. I always thought morning meeting was for the primary grades. So glad to come across your post and giveaway! I know my fourth graders last year really lacked the community aspect of our classroom. I would love to read more on this and use it in the upcoming year!

    Grades 3-6
    malyn528@gmail.com

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  33. I think it is a great idea to model techniques for college students, not just teach about them. There is often such a disconnect between teacher education theory and the “real world”.

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  34. I teach 3rd grade now, but used Morning Meeting daily when I taught 1st grade. I would love to incorporate this back into my daily routine. Even if I don’t win the book, I will definitley purchase this book!

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  35. I love the RC approach and have used it for the 4 years I have been teaching. Next year, I will be job sharing in a 4th grade classroom with a teacher who has never heard of RC! I would love a resource that I could use to show her how meetings look, and also give myself some fresh ideas! This book sounds perfect!

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  36. I modify morning meeting and use it with my English Learner (EL) classes. I work with grades 1, 2, 5, and 6, but I think I’d prefer the K-2 book.

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  37. I am a 4th year teacher now and I just moved from kindergarten to 4th grade. I love the concept of a morning meeting, what a wonderful way to bring a class together and build relationships and organization to their lives. Debbie –

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  38. I just finished a week-long training of the Responsive Classroom I. I can’t wait to try out the new ideas in my Kindergarten classroom this year. The K-2 book would definitely help with ideas in starting the year off right. Thanks!

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  39. I, too, love the effects of the Responsive Classroom approach. Paying special attention to the social needs of students builds trust within a classroom and bonds between students. The 3-6 book would be a great addition to my professional library, especially before the new school year. Thank you!

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  40. I like the idea of morning meetings and would like to try them in my classroom this year. I will be teaching 1st grade this year for the very first time.

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  41. I love morning meeting and know it has made such a difference in my classroom community! I refuse to give up the first 20-30 minutes of the day to anything else! I teach 1-2 loop/combo.

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  42. I’ve used morning meeting in my classes from Kindergarten through fifth grade, always with great success. My students benefit from this routine by learning to greet each other in a positive way, learning to greet in different languages, enjoying games or songs, etc. Yay for morning meeting!

    I teach fifth grade.

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  43. I teach first grade. We had a one day training on Responsive Classroom at the end of the school year. Some of my coworkers were lucky enough to go to a weeklong training. I am looking forward to doing the morning meeting in my class next year. This book would be a great help!!

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  44. This is my first year teaching! I took Responsive Classroom I last summer and found it a total life saver. It allowed me to approach education in an academically/socially balanced way. I am really looking forward to next year, as I currently teach a multiage 1-2 and next year will teach the same 1st graders + 9 new ones….but as second graders. I see Responsive Classroom really helping all students feel welcome and safe in a classroom and am anxious to see the foundation I have laid this year in my next year’s class. 🙂

    I teach 1st and 2nd grade.

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  45. I teach a grade 3 and 4 combo class and Morning Meeting is the most important part of our day, as well as our closing circle.

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  46. I have enjoyed having morning meeting in my combined 1st/2nd grade classroom. I will be teaching a leadership course to high schoolers this summer and plan to implement a revised version of morning meeting. 🙂

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  47. I am going to be trying MM and RC for the first time this fall. I am super pumped about guidance in improving the social climate in my classroom. Instructionally I feel more than comfortable, but my time is dwindled as I correct constant misbehaviors and help children learn to like each other. I need this to work so that my children learn more, feel good, and hopefully develop a love for school. I think starting with a morning meeting will give me a positive approach to building community.

    I teach 3-6.

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  48. Every day begins with a morning meeting in my classroom – no doubt about it. It is a great avenue for discussion, listening, learning, and provides a consistancy that is critical for young students.

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  49. I teach 3rd grade, and Morning Meeting is a great way for us to get together and build a respect-filled community! I’d love to win a book of ideas!

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  50. I’ve been teaching for language arts in a middle schools for21 years, yet I’m still learning and striving to be a better teacher. I’ve never heard of the responsive classroom or morning meetings. I’m intrigued and want to know more. Can this work in a 45 minute class?

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  51. I implemented morning meeting in my 4th grade classroom this past school year. My students loved sharing, greeting one another and forming a community. Love starting our day in a positive way.

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  52. I’m bringing Responsive Classroom to Phoenix! I haven’t done Morning Meetings since my student teaching in Minnesota and will be teaching 4th grade this year. I’m bringing it down with me! I need lots of ideas!

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  53. What a wonderful way to begin and set the tone for the day.I think this gives time for the children to socialize with the other children as well as you, the teacher. Something to think about for the upcoming school year.

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  54. I love Morning Meeting time in my classroom, when I began implementing Responsive Classroom in my 5th grade classroom 5 years ago-it was a life changer.

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  55. I’ve used morning meeting in my fifth grade for several years now, and have adapted it somewhat to meet schedule and classroom size needs. I especially like how you have organized the message replies so that they will form a line plot automatically. I’d like to try that in my classroom, as a change from our usual tallies. I’d be interested in knowing if your graduate students followed the directions well, or if it led to a teachable moment!

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  56. This year our school made a big push for morning meeting in all classrooms. It was fantastic and the students absolutely loved it. We use a lot of the responsive classroom ideas in our classrooms too. Can’t wait to try some new ideas next school year!

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  57. Use morning meeting at my school. Consider taking Responsive Classroom 1 if it is offered in your area. Such a powerful tool. I work with both groups mentioned as I am the librarian for the school. Taking Responsive Classroom 2 in August in VA. Can’t wait!

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  58. My first graders enjoyed morning meeting. They learned how to talk/answer in complete sentence which improved their writing a lot! They also got to know each other much better and really enjoyed each other. When kiddos feel accepted and appreciated then they can excel academically.

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  59. I am a beginning teacher and LOVED using morning meetings and responsive classroom as I student taught. It is a wonderful way to start the day and get everyone focused and ready.

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  60. Our school began implementing Morning Meeting about two years ago. I love using it to start the day. I think using it in a college course is great. It’s so easy to feel disconnected from classmates.

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  61. Those first few minutes during the day make such a difference to students. Morning meetings are a wonderful way to start the day!

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  62. I am spending this summer getting ready to implement Morning Meeting with my new group of 5th graders. I have taught the older grades before and have used a format similar to Morning Meeting with my classes. I have not taught 5th grade before so I want to make sure I have lots of resources to draw upon for that grade level. I feel that Morning Meeting is essential to start the day off in a positive way and creating the cohesive family that I see my class being. I teach grades 5-8 on a loop (5th grade one year, 6th grade the following year, and so on).

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  63. Our school has been using RC for several years, but to different degrees. We are already planning for the first six weeks because we realize the importance of developing the community. Morning meeting has always been my favorite. It welcomes the students into the community in a safe and fun way.

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  64. I would love some fresh ideas for my morning meetings (grades 3-6). We have been doing morning meetings schoolwide for several years now. It is one of the best ways to build and maintain community in a classroom.

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  65. I teach 2nd. My morning meeting time this year was cut short, and I could really tell the difference. Trying to revamp for next year, and the k-2 book would be really helpful 🙂

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  66. I have used the Morning Meeting in my kindergarten classroom for over 10 years. It revolutionized how my students interact with each other and with me. The children develop a respect for each other very quickly and we get a lot accomplished! I would love some new ideas to help change up our Morning Meeting activities.

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  67. I haven’t had the training (yet!) but I’ve read many of the books and implemented Morning Meeting into my day. I love it, and the kids do too, even without the activity part (which, sadly, I had to eliminate for time reasons this year).

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  68. Last year I began my 31st year of teaching and my first year using morning meetings. I found it was a wonderful way for us to form a strong, cohesive group and helped the children be successful in all areas. They loved it and so did I!!

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  69. The Responsive Classroom training forever changed my way of doing things in the classroom. I made Morning Meeting a priority in my schedule which was really about putting classroom community first above all else. Human beings remember foremost their relationships with others and themselves. Learning takes place when physical and socio-emotional needs have been met, so it behooves educators to spend time fostering a positive environment in their classroom for each and everyone of their students. The time spent front-loading on this actually saves time later on. I am now an Instructional Coach at a K-5 elementary school and love to share RC when I see an opportunity. Thank you for your continuing support through your website and newsletters.

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  70. I LOVE Responsive Classroom, have been learning a lot about it this year and will be buying this book! I am hoping to be teaching kinder or first this fall!

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  71. Responsive Classroom have saved my life. I now manage the classroom with more dignity. I rarely shout or yell but rather refer to our rules and impose consequences.

    Morning meeting is just a joy for all our class community members including visiting parents and teachers. It brings us together and breaks the morning tension!! Just love it!

    My grade is Kindergarten and would like to receive the book for k-2.

    Thanks

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  72. I am a new teacher, and I will be teaching 3rd grade in the fall. I had experience with Responsive Classroom, specifically morning meeting, at a Montessori school I worked at. I would love to have my own copies!

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  73. I will be changing grade levels next year and look forward to implementing Morning Meeting with older children. I can’t wait to read about fun greetings, shares and activities to use in the classroom. Morning Meeting is my favorite time of the day! My grade level is 3-6.

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  74. I love using the Responsive Classroom and the ideas presented in the Morning Meeting book! I have been a teacher for almost 30 years, but have only in recent years, been made aware of this wonderful resource. I actually came across it when I was working on my doctorate and have been excited about using it in my second grade classroom ever since! I also teach college and I recommend the book and the website to all of my students because I want them to have the benefit of such wonderful ideas, as well! I am always quick to tell my adult students of the difference using the Responsive Classroom “philosophy” has made in my day to day interactions with my second graders. It has been such a godsend and I would love to see what other wonderful ideas are presented in the new edition!

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  75. This is spot on!! When I first started teaching using the Responsive Classroom model, I didn’t quite understand the full purpose behind the Morning Meeting or the Guided Discoveries. Now, I am a truly believer! As a mentor teacher, I share this passion and excitement about how the Responsive Classroom changed my view of teaching with other new “skeptical” teachers! Until I became a teacher using the Responsive Classroom approach, I only focused on the academic curriculum although I talked a lot about the social elements, I never truly implemented them. I just thought they would come. I now truly understand the value of educating the whole child! At the beginning of each school year we work together to come up with both social and academic goals and strategies to achieve those goals. We look over those goals at the end of each trimester to see how we are doing and adjust them as needed. I love the Responsive Classroom approach! It has transformed me as a teacher and I think it is vital to introduce this at the college level to give our teachers as many tools as possible to be successful in a classroom! Hopefully, this will help us retain a lot of our new teachers!!

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  76. I retired five years ago and now coach teachers part time. I taught with Responsive Classroom and Morning Meeting for several years and cannot imagine doing without it. Thankfully, my district is requiring all classrooms to implement MM next year! 🙂

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  77. I absolutely love Responsive Classroom and I attribute most of my best qualities as a teacher from what I learned in the Responsive Classroom class I took a few summers ago! The fundamental ideas always resonate with me… building community and making students feel welcome, safe, and happy to be at school will ALWAYS be a good start to the day. I find that the morning meeting gets them better prepared to focus on their academics.

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  78. As a new teacher I fell in love with this technique thanks to my cooperating teacher who began using it in her kindergarten class. Ever since then I’ve been eager to learn more about this approach and as a teacher aide this year, I did my best to hold abridged “morning meetings” any chance I could when I had small groups. For that, the children always wanted to be in my group because they enjoyed how I handled things. Since I graduated I’ve always wanted to go to a summer course to learn more and more, but seeing my generation is in a job crisis, I don’t have the funds to do so. I always pick up my only book, “The First Six Weeks of School” that my co-op gave me to read so that I can try to retain it all? My other goal in life is to after years of teaching become a college professor. If I can get there, I’d LOVE to teach the new teachers of that time Esponsove Classroom. It’s a shame how quickly the morning meeting, student rules, and guided discovery are fading….we need it!

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  79. Morning meetings always help me to focus on each child– How is he carrying himself today? What did she bring to share today? They help me to start the day open to my students’ individual needs– and usually with a few laughs and smiles. Our school is drifting away from its RC core, but many of us remain steadfast in our Morning Meeting routines, and pass them on to new or preservice teachers.

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  80. I am a new teacher this year in Ames, Iowa. My district is implementing Responsive Classroom procedures. I would love to learn more about Morning Meeting!

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  81. I completely agree that teachers need to pay as much attention to the social skills in schools as they do the academics. Children don’t necessarily come to us knowing how to interact with one another and how to problem solve. Morning meetings allow teachers the time to help with those skills and it also provides students the opportunity to feel part of the group. If students feel they are part of the group then they are more likely to be successful and less likely to act out. I would love some fresh ideas for morning meeting activities for grades 3-6!

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  82. I am a substitute teacher for 2 different districts – one uses Responsive Classroom, the other does not. I LOVE the district that uses morning meetings! It really makes a difference in the classroom atmosphere. If I am lucky enough to win, I would like the K-2 book.

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  83. I have been doing morning meeting with RC for a few years. It always helps to have new ideas to incorporate into the meeting. We at our school have been sharing our ideas on our share drive which gets everyone new ideas. I teach first grade so the K-2 book would be fabulous!

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  84. I couldn’t imagine teaching without morning meeting. It sets a foundation for beginning each day positively. Some teachers skip morning meeting on late start days, but I try to avoid doing that. I find that without a morning meeting our day is more chaotic and it’s more difficult for my class to engage and focus. I taught 5th grade last year and will be teaching 4th grade this year.

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  85. I teach 5th grade and have been so impressed by how the simple act oforning meeting brings our class together as a family. Students feel safe and lived and begin to share and care for eachother. I can’t imagine a school year without responsive classroom.

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  86. I have taught at 5 different schools and my current school was my first introduction to Responsive Classroom and Morning Meeting. I have been teaching 2nd grade here for 7 years now and the kids often list Morning Meeting as one of their favorite activities. If I ever move to another school, Morning Meeting will certainly go with me!

    I think have a morning meeting with your grad students is a terrific idea! Grad school is a great place to build a network of new colleagues outside of the school building. It is great to get to know each other on a personal level and develop a community of support…morning meeting is the perfect vehicle for this!

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  87. I taught kindergarten for over 25 years. When I started doing morning meeting the whole day seemed to go better. I am no longer in the classroom but leading PD for teachers to improve their practice. I will be working in older grades next year so I would like the 3-6 book. Thanks.

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  88. I started using Morning Meeting this year and loved the response from the students. I am anxious to do it again next year and change things up a bit!

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  89. I can no longer imagine starting my day without morning meeting in my 4th grade classroom. I’m looking forward to expanding my toolbox at RC2 this summer!

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  90. as a kindergarten teacher, i know the importance of building classroom community. learning how to interact and communicate is an important life skill that begins when you are young and continues for a lifetime. my students love the structure of morning meeting to start their day and enjoy greeting one another with a good morning song and silly handshakes!

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  91. I’m a second grade teacher who has used morning meeting in my classroom since I began teaching five years ago. The students LOVE it and it’s my favorite way to begin the day. Responsive Classroom techniques are a wonderful supplement to any school-wide behavior program! I’ve read most of their books already and look forward to getting my hands on a copy of their latest text!

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  92. Our school is using this approach and some of our new staff will be trained this summer. These books would be a great addition to our library. I use these ideas in guidance classes. I am a school counselor for grades K-6. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  93. I believe that paying attention to social curriculum is as important as any of the other subjects I teach. Morning meetings are a wonderful way to set the tone for each day and to make each student feel that they are part of the group.

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  94. Academics can be easy to teach but isn’t applied so it’s quickly forgotten. Social connections are used every day so the better we teach teach our children, the higher their quality of life, now an din their future.

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  95. I have seen the benefits of morning meeting and responsive classroom with my three sons while in elementary school. I am also a new teacher having spent the past two years working part time and this coming school year will be a full time classroom teacher- I am looking forward to incorporating morning meeting into my daily routine.

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  96. Love starting the day with morning meeting …. Also love as the students take ownership of the meeting and seem to be able to do the meeting without me ….. Thankfully they always want me there lol. Would love some new fresh ideas! 🙂

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  97. I just finished my first year as a kindergarten teacher and we had morning meetings everyday. I love the community it built in the classroom. Our whole school uses morning meetings and the response is great.
    Charisse
    (Kindergarten)

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  98. I love, love, love RC. Went to the conference in San Fransisco a couple years ago. We came back and got the rest of our school on board. All the classrooms in the school begin with morning meeting each day, no excuses! Having this new resource would really pep up our Responsive Classroom morning meetings. Can’t wait to get a look at it, whether I win it or buy it! I teach a multi-age classroom of K-2.

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  99. Hi! In an area where sometimes the only sense of community the students have is in the classroom and school, the Morning Meetings have helped my students come together and is an excellent way to start the day. For those of you in Michigan, this can be used in ways to informally assess GLCE’s cross curriculms too. Thanks for the opportunity to win! Either K-2 or 3-6 would be fine, since I’ll probably be in a 2/3 split.

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  100. I think morning meeting is essential to the curriculum, it gives the students and teacher a time to connect with each other all together, understand what to expect and a forum to discuss things that are on their mind. In kindergarten (what I teach) I find it to be an important part of their routine, not only because it teaches such important social concepts but because it gives them a chance to practice expected behaviors for school.

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  101. I am pretty new to RC (last two years). I used morning meeting everyday last year. My first grade classroom community was much more focused and supportive because we all knew each other and each other’s goals. I am going to use the above idea for our staff beginning of year training. I am on team in charge of introducing CCSS to our staff. Community spirit around this will be critical.

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  102. As kids get in the upper grader of Elementary (I teach 5th) it gets more and more challenging to keep them interested in Morning Meeting and reading & signing the morning message. It is so important to keep spicing things up so they stay engaged! As the year goes on I try to get them more involved in planning meetings and choosing activities. Ownership is vital.

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  103. I’m an ESOL teacher (K-2) and find that Morning Meetings (and Responsive Classroom in general) have been one of the most important factors to the success of my ELLs in feeling safe, comfortable, and engaged in school. I love how the classroom teachers I collaborate with differentiate for these students gently encouraging them to participate as early as they are able. I would love to have some more resources to provide these teachers with, or perhaps to facilitate my own morning meetings someday too!

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  104. I’m looking forward to trying a form of morning meeting in my 3-6th grade tech classes. After 37 years of teaching I had my first RC training. I love it! Wish I’d had this training long ago!

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  105. I love the idea of morning meeting, though I haven’t used it. I will be teaching 6th grade next school year, and this sounds like a wonderful way to start the day.

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  106. I love the Responsive Classroom approach. I used it during my student teaching in a 1st grade class and it is wonderful. As a student teacher you’re concerned about being the “new” teacher and students testing your boundaries. With Responsive Classroom I rarely had behavior problems and morning meeting is fun! It was a great way for me and the students to learn about one another and connect. I have every intention of using components of Responsive Classroom in my own classroom this coming school year.
    (K-2)

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  107. I run a Jewish afterschool, and we think morning meeting is so important that we’ve transformed some of the games into Hebrew language learning tools in order to have a content-rich meeting after school.

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  108. I love using morning meeting and rc in my class. It has truly transformed my classroom community and is totally worth the time spent. The kids are ultimately so much more productive when they can collaborate respectfully and follow the procedures, two of the things that are explicitly taught in rc. I teach 6th grade.

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  109. I have been a Responsive Classroom teacher for many years. Morning meeting is the only way to start my day. It leads to all-day positive social interactions. Combine this with guided instruction and modeling and you have made your classroom a LOT more manageable

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  110. I was committed to doing morning meeting this past year with my class. I teach a single gender classroom of girls and building community is vital! Our favorite part of the day was morning meeting. It went a long way in helping me to build a community within my classroom and I didn’t have the drama that you would think would come with a classroom of 17 4th grade girls! I attribute that largely to our morning meeting! (I teach 3-6 by the way)!

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  111. Morning Meeting is by far, the best part of my day. More learning ismpackedminto those 30 minutes than any other part of our schedule.

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  112. I have used morning meetings (at times in the afternoons!) with responsive classrooms. It provides a way of validating all students and encourages a classroom culture that supports community.
    I think it wil be great in a graduate class. Perfect way to share this great idea.

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  113. Stacey- I often do closing meetings as well as morning meetings, if only so students have a few moments to offer compliments, put an agenda item up on the board for morning, sing a favorite song, at do a hand-squeeze Friday closing. The kids love them all. May be doing a new age level, would love to see new ideas.

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  114. I love starting each day together in our meeting area. Used to think it was too primary for 4th graders, but have learned how false that assumption was. I would love a book of ideas. Many thanks!

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  115. Haven’t ever done morning meetings, but would love to learn about it. I teach 3rd and 4th, so the 3-6 book would be right for me!

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  116. I love the way morning meetings can be adapted to any age and subject group. As a fourth grade teacher, I would love to have a copy of Carol Davis’ book on Morning Meeting ideas.

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  117. I love doing morning meeting with my class. One of the components of Responsive Classroom’s morning meeting is to talk about the morning message (that message written on chart paper). I’ve found that to be a great time to do some vocabulary building or to touch briefly on some aspect of grammar.
    I have been teaching grades 4-5 but am about to switch to a classroom with grades 1-3.

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  118. I have had morning meetings for over 20 years and I think it’s great to start the day like that, but I would love to get new ideas and the books seem to be great and just right. I teach grade 3 in a school in Sweden.

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  119. Thanks for the reminder– morning meeting is so powerful and we have to find creative ways to keep it in our schedules! I also love how you integrated the concept into your graduate course. I am a K-5 literacy specialist.

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  120. 1st-2nd grade teacher
    Fun! A new idea to explore this summer! I have heard of Responsive Classrooms but have not delved into it. With the stress of “getting the academics in” and testing, testing, testing, we need to remember we are teaching children and they have needs outside academics. I look forward to the exploration! This book could be the way to get there!

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  121. I do something similar called community circle with my students instead of morning meeting. I would love a copy of this book because I’m definitely in need of some new ideas! 😉

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  122. Grade 3-6 I always wanted to do a morning meeting but I don’t have my whole class until 80 min. after school started because of math switching. After seeing your chart, I am thinking I could have a math morning meeting with my own class to build community within that specific area. Thanks for the chart and a great way to collect data for math.

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    • @Maria: There are oodles of possibilities when it comes to including math at morning meeting. Besides including word problems, polls, & other activities (eg, drawing polygons, listing multiples) on the chart, there are many math games the whole class can play (eg, Buzz) during the activity portion of the meeting.

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  123. Grades 3-6…When I was a fourth grade teaacher, the morning meeting was the highlight of our classroom. I am always looking for ways to improve this precious time of day.

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  124. I am a new fourth grade teacher. These ideas look great. I am looking forward to exploring the responsive classroom and morning meeting ideas more. Thanks.

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  125. I’ve used some Responsive Classroom techniques in my third and fourth grade classroom, but it would be nice to learn more about ideas for morning meeting!

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  126. Morning meeting is something I would never give up in my classroom. It’s a great community building time for students and the adults who work with them. I have participated in the RCI training and would love to take RCII at some point. (Formerly a Grade 1 teacher)

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  127. I have been leading morning meetings in my classroom for many years now and I could use some fresh ideas. This book sounds like exactly what I need. I would be interested in the k-2 book since I teach first grade. I think that morning meetings help to set the tone for positive learning experiences. It’s important for educators to also respond to the social/emotional needs of our students.

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  128. I have been doing morning meetings for the last 7 years and my students and I love starting the day on the carpet greeting each other before we get into the academic routine. This year I am going to try to have my Friday morning meeting in the afternoon before dismissal time as a weekly wrap-up/ready for the weekend/what was good or not so good this week meeting and also use it as an opportunity for some anti-bullying lessons.

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    • @Robin: It is SO nice to start the day together on the carpet, isn’t it?
      Have you ever done closing circle? That might be a nice way to end your Fridays (or every day) so you can still start them with morning meeting.

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  129. I have used some aspects of the morning meeting. More as a touching base with my children, that does help to bond us all. I would love to learn more.
    I teach Grade 3

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  130. Morning meeting is such an important part of creating a positive classroom community. I currently teach 5th grade and have been using responsive classroom and having morning meetings for about 10 years. Morning meetings build teamwork, collaboration, and a sense of belonging for kids.

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  131. I started this year with the morning meeting in my grade 6 class. It has been a great success. It was a quick way to build community at the beginning of the year. It has been a great forum for building all types of social skills at the middle school level.

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  132. As I teach mostly secondary, I have not done much with morning meetings. But lately as I have heard more about it, I have been wondering how I could adapt it to even high school. Your idea for grad school class makes me think that it is possible! (grades 3-6)

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  133. As an ENL teacher poised to teach the reading block for our second grade English learners, the community building activities in these books intrigue me. (K-2)

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  134. I am definitely going to find out more about the Responsive Classroom program and institute ‘morning meetings’ into my graduate school education and ESL courses!

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  135. I teach fifth grade.

    I love morning meetings and started them after taking a team building class. The kids really got to know one another better, worked better together and became better listeners.

    Jen

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  136. Our staff will be implementing Morning Meeting school-wide this fall, and I am beginning to try the concept in my summer school class, albeit it on an abbreviated schedule because we are so limited by time. But I believe it’s an important piece of the day, and I would love to see the K-2 book of ideas!

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  137. Anne
    I love all the positive comments I am reading. Have been really frustrated in the last few years with the time spent on “social” problems. I think mm sounds like just what I’ve been looking for.
    $th grade

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  138. I’m a huge proponent of Morning Meeting and thus, I push to keep a sufficient amount of homeroom time in our school’s schedule each year. Children (and adults) need the time to transition from home to school each morning, as well as feel safe and respected in their classroom community. I teach 3rd. 🙂

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  139. I would like to be in on the drawing for the grades 3 to 6 book. I am always looking for fresh ideas to use with those classrooms!

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  140. Morning meetings allow me to build community, address class concerns, and pre-teach multiple concepts in my fourth grade classroom. Great post! Great comments, all!

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  141. I love morning meeting! I see that it makes a huge difference in the classroom. I have been subbing for the last couple of years and I try to make it work every day. I have found that it is an awesome way to connect with students even if I am only with them for one day. A principal in a building I sub in often even mentioned that he noticed that I have an ability to quickly build rapport with students. I would attribute some of my success with building rapport quickly is because I hold morning meeting! I agree with Stacey that it will make a dramatic change in the climate of your classroom!

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  142. I’ve embraced the principles of the responsive classroom approach for many years now – it is amazing to see the respectful community that is built within your classroom and extends throughout the school. (I teach 6th grade).

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  143. I have attended the Responsive Classroom I and I loved all the wonderful ideas and strategies that they utilize especially in regards to creating a cooperative and kind classroom. It has made a great impact in my first grade classroom and would love to have more ideas on adding more variety in morning meetings.

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  144. I teach 1st grade. Due to the State Mandated Requirement for a 90 minute uninterupted reading block, morning meetings have been non-existent for the past 2 years, within our first grade classes. Our 90 minute block for 1st grade, starts as soon as the morning school wide announcements, and the pledge are over. My 1st grade team feels that morning meetings in the past have been great asset to build a classroom community. Responsive Classroom techniques are something I would lke to know more about. I would love to have a copy of this book to gain some insights into this approach, and change my perpective of my “old” morning meeting!

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  145. I love the concept of morning meetings to build a community that keeps moving throughout the day focused on learning. Love to see some of the Gr. 3-6 ideas!

    Stacey, I love that you are utilizing a variety of lessons and activities that teachers in your class can walk away with and try tomorrow (Ok, not really tomorrow, but in the fall!) I think I want to be in your class — and I hope you keep sharing more! Thanks for sharing another great resource.

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    • @Michelle: I believe there are a few more spots open in the seminar. Though you’d have to make it to Penn State’s Harrisburg campus by Monday! 😉
      But seriously, thanks for mentioning what you noticed. I’m really trying to make the course something that’s informative about children’s literature and practical for teachers.

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  146. I have tried to implement the principles of Responsive Classroom with my K-2 students and I am always looking for good ideas to improve my morning meetings.

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  147. K-2
    I started using Morning Meetings last year but found that I didn’t have the right strategy for it. After the first few weeks of school I found that we didn’t make the time for the morning meeting. I have been looking for a resource that makes morning meetings practical and useful for my classroom. I have been talking to other teachers in my school about the importance of morning meetings and we have talked about where we can get more information. The sad thing is the kids did ask about it so I need to be more consistent with it.

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  148. I am happy to say that I kind of do this. Would love to be more consistent and use new ideas to mix it up more. Grades 3-6. 🙂

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  149. As a new to 5th grade teacher I would love to implement morning meetings to help create a culture of caring as my students move into the middle school and still need to feel anchored and supported.

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  150. As I leave first grade after 18 years to move to fourth grade, I would love the 3-6 book so I can incorporate morning meeting into my intermediate classroom. I have been a fan of the Responsive Classroom for years!

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  151. Grades 3-6
    As a third grade teacher I can attest to the transformational power of Morning Meeting. This year’s class has become such a community! This book sounds like a great add.

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  152. I have been implementing Responsive Classroom in my second grade classroom for three years. I have a long way to go! I believe in everything RC promotes, but when we get crunched for time, it’s the first thing to go. 😦

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  153. I heard about this book! Definitely need a new approach to my morning meetings with my 2nd graders. Would like to have a copy!

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  154. I am moving from 4th to K, and I echo many people here. I am interested in trying morning meetings with my new group of little ones.

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  155. I firmly believe that learning won’t take place if kids don’t feel they are in a safe, welcoming environment. I would love to use ideas from this book in my 5th grade classroom.

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  156. I am a third grade teacher and would love to know more about how to establish morning meetings with my third graders. It sounds very interesting and definately would promote a culture of community within the classroom.

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  157. I am moving to third grade next year and would love to start morning meetings. We have a bully meeting once a week but I think being pro active is the way to go.

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  158. I’m a reading specialist/coach…I love morning meeting and do modified version essentially every day with each group I see. Community building is such an important life skill and it is so essential that we get our little guys talking and listening to each other. I teach K- 5 and groups of teachers. xo nanc

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  159. I have been doing the morning meeting for several years now and love it. My kids absolutely love it. I have seen it help my students to accept each other and also feel acknowledged and important each and every day. It’s a critical part of my classroom community. I teach 4th grade. My email address is bernrice@hotmail.com. Thanks!

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  160. I used morning meeting with my reading clinic class. I’ve always thought about a mini-meeting (or at least a greeting) for my 40 minute small group sessions , especially with my intermediate students (3rd-5th).

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  161. Thank you for sharing. I tried something similar this past school year in my second grade classroom. I called it free exploration and had activities in science, art, technology and math that I wanted students to explore during the 20 minutes we had before heading to music. I would rotate around the room and visit with my students discussing what they were trying or helping them finish up a project from the previous day. I was missing the writing/community building piece though. I am very excited to try this next year!

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  162. Building community is so essential to a successful year. Children learn to care about each other, find similarities and respect differences, and are willing (want to) work together to create. what a wonderful resource

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  163. Ugh! I’ve learned a lesson about posting from my phone. Sorry about that. Anyways… I’ve tried various formats for morning meeting and I’d love some fresh ideas for grades 3-6. Thanks so much!

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  164. At my school we do community circles, and it sounds like it would be very similar to the rationale behind morning meetings as you describe them. I would love to see the resources to hear more ideas (3rd-6th grade level is closest to what I teach, but I would be happy to receive either to share with my colleagues).

    Enjoy trying it out with your graduate students. Being able to experience a strategy or approach first hand is so powerful!

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  165. I do use Responsive Classroom techniques with my sixth graders, including the version of Morning Meeting called Circle of Power and Respect. Much of the year, I turn over leadership of those morning routines to the kids but having more activities on my resource list would be great. (So, I’d like the upper grade version, please)
    Kevin Hodgson

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  166. it is important to sit together as a class and connect with each other ,make choices together,plan for the day and lay down the most important rule ,word,challenging question to answer and be together and doing things for the fun of it.

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  167. It’s an important part of the day, I think, to start as a group, have the greeting and announcements, and so on. The Responsive Classroom newsletter is so helpful in sharing ways to approach all kinds of teaching. What a great idea to introduce this to your class, Stacey. I hope you share how it went. I like the first questions!

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  168. I have been an advocate of Morning Meeting for many years and our school will have a whole school platform in the future. I am anxious to read the new books. Building a classeroom community is so important. Just think about it….you are together as a family for 180 days! Can’t wait until September to continue to promote Morning Meeting!

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  169. The concept of Morning Meeting is completely new to me. I just completed my first year of teaching and I am so excited about next year and how I can change everything I did this year. I’m going to consider implementing Morning Meetings next year.

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  170. I began using a responsive classroom approach in my 6th, 7th & 8th grade language arts/reading/writing classes 3 years ago as I realized that the social/emotional growth of my students was a critical component of their academic growth. Morning messages and agendas led into morning meetings where even my 8th grade boys (those big, cool dudes) learned quickly to sit on the carpet and participate in the greeting, activity and sharing. I noticed that my adolescent learners (even the shyest kids) thrived in this setting and classroom management was everyone’s responsibility…rather than a teacher-centered system. I believe the Responsive Classroom approach is the most powerful way to build a supportive and interactive learning community at every grade level and it can be adapted to fit any schedule and content area.

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  171. Love Morning meeting and am now thinking about how I will use it this next year. My morning has home room and then literacy and science ( 5th grade). Good to go I can get Morning meeting in my homeroom. My afternoon will be a new group of students (4th grade) literacy and science. I want to do a shorten version of MM with them as well – because of how it builds community and understanding with in the group. Will be tricky but worth it I think. I have to hope the new teacher for the fourth grade homeroom group will also do a MM or I can talk her/him into it. 🙂

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  172. For the last five years, I have been implementing the Responsive Classroom approach in my third grade classroom. It has been a game changer for me in the most positive way. Giving the social curriculum the time and energy it deserves makes a huge impact onto the academic dynamic as well. Morning Meeting is the highlight of the day for everyone. The opportunity to interact, listen, invest, and simpy have fun together before academics begin sets the tone of the day like nothing else. Can you tell I’m a fan? This year in particular, I noted that the investmennt of time building relationships during Morning Meeting made postive moves for my community as we worked together in writing partnerships.

    Morning meeting elements greeting, sharing, activity, and news/announcements have different purposes, yet when you have limited time, it is possible to eliminate or shorten the length to fit into time constraints. We have a really busy Friday in my school, so often times our MM consists of greeting and news. Over time, the students learn to roll with that change.

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  173. Thabk you for pointing out how important it is o build a classroom community in addition to teaching classroom curriculum! Morning meetings have been a part of my day every years for the past sixteen years and I know how powerf they are to the learning atmosphere. A child needs to feel belonging and this 20 minute a day meeting allows that in addition to building confidence, gaining trust and simply making friends! I hope more educators try this approach~it works!

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  174. I would like to know how others might have adapted the idea of Morning Meetings to middle school with students who change classes every period. I do have the same students for a two period block each day and every other day I see them for three periods. I teach sixth grade LA/SS.

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  175. I love the idea of building a community in my classroom, but I have a unique situation. I teach grades 1-6 gifted, so my classroom is fluid, kids coming and going at different times in different grade levels and in different subject areas. I am used to adapting ideas, so how could I adapt this one of morning meeting? Any ideas? (For the give away, most of my students are in the grade 3-6 range.)

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    • @margartsmn: Like Miss Moyer said (below), you can shorten morning meeting so it works for you. On days when we had a school assembly, I would do a greeting that doubled as an activity (e.g., a silent birthday lineup — by month and day NOT year. Once the kids were in order by the calendar year I’d have them shake hands and greet each other by name). Hope that helps.

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