By now you have been hearing from your kids and teachers, I have to be at school on-time
because our Morning Meeting begins first thing! The bell rings, the students take a morning
lap to wake up, socialize and get that school energy flowing, and off into the class circle they
go! What happens next is a lot of fun, builds classroom friendships, and helps everyone feel
included, recognized and equal while building a strong sense of community. BUT the
Morning Meeting is even more because it teaches those skills needed for success in the 21 st
century: collaboration, cooperation, communication, critical thinking and creativity while most
importantly promoting the skills of being “social engineers” all of which lead to academic
SO WHAT IS THE RESPONSIVE CLASSROOM MORNING MEETING ALL ABOUT?
In a classroom, a strong community is fundamental.
•The children are expected to work well together, openly share their ideas, and take academic
risks in order to grow and learn as an individual and student. But how does one successfully
build this sense of community? Simply stated -the Morning Meeting.
•The Morning Meeting has four essential parts: the greeting, share, the group activity, and
the morning message.
To begin the meeting, children properly greet one another using eye contact, a pleasant
voice, and a firm handshake. Commencing the meeting with a greeting gives a sense of
belonging to each student which is an essential component when working on building a solid
•During the share, children are encouraged to listen as another student shares an important
story or event in their life. Likewise, the children are asked to respond with a comment or a
question regarding that particular student’s share. This is not an easy task for an 8-or 9-year-
old child. Often times, children want to reply with a similar activity they too have experienced,
rather than responding to the speaker’s share. Thus listening to one another begins in the
circle every morning. With this daily activity, the students are learning about their peers while
they are gaining invaluable communication skills that will hopefully last a lifetime.
•Another facet of the Morning Meeting is the group activity. Taking part in the activity is
crucial. When children do so, they are unassumingly taking risks they would not normally take
in an academic setting. Participating in an unfamiliar game or being the leader of an activity
can be intimidating to many youngsters, and as educators, it is important to teach children
how to overcome these feelings in a safe and nurturing environment. With gentle guidance
and support from their peers and teacher, children eventually learn that taking a risk can result in a positive outcome, building self-confidence. As a result, children become comfortable with their environment and genuine learning in an academic setting takes place.
•The final component of the meeting is the morning message. The message can set the
stage for the learning that lies ahead, or it can be used to review previously learned
information. Either way, their minds are reflecting upon the material and the children are
engaged early in the day, anticipating the day’s lesson.
•It is true that setting the expectations for the Morning Meeting requires time, patience, and a
great deal of modeling, however the benefits that come from this daily activity are far reaching
in the many days of discovery and confidence that come from each child in the class. The
components of this daily gathering work simultaneously allowing each individual to thrive. It
begins in the Morning Meeting -where effective learning takes place, listening is appreciated
and valued by all.
Join with all of us at Juan Cabrillo by asking your child about the daily Morning Meeting. Ask,
what was the greeting today? Can you show me how you greeted your friends during
Morning Meeting today? Maybe try it out at how during a Family Meeting? Use these similar
frames for finding out about the other components of the Morning Meeting. Soon we will have
opportunities for parents to visit and join us during class Morning Meetings as well. One of
the most significant factors in student success is school climate and relationships. If a child
feels comfortable on campus and has a relationship with an adult, their success in school
significantly increases. Thanks in advance for assisting us in making this happening by
discussing with your child about Morning meeting. Also for ensuring your child is at school
daily and on-time so he/she can participate in Morning Meeting.
Hand-in- Hand, Together We Can!
Filling Buckets and Developing the Future Together!