Reflections and Resources from Tarheelstate Teacher: What is Morning Meeting? New Blog Series on Upper Elementary Community Meetings!
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What is Morning Meeting? New Blog Series on Upper Elementary Community Meetings!

I have been working on a really big project...it is absolutely the biggest blogging project I have ever.ever.ever attempted. I began this project over a week ago and I awoke at 5:30 Saturday morning to attempt to finish it. I was able to get my 7 year old to let me continue working until 12 pm. The pressure was on with my self-imposed deadline and a cutie patootie wanting to get her fun Saturday started. Needless to say, I am SO excited to begin sharing what I've been working on with you today!
I'm launching a blog series on "Implementing the Community Meeting" aka Morning Meeting! I have implemented different versions of morning meeting over the past 5 or 6 years and I am in LOVE with the impact it makes on my students. I have always had a passion for building a classroom community. I've had times when my classroom community and those sweet faces staring back at me as I read aloud, shared a new lesson with them, or saw the excitement on their faces when they accomplished something challenging in math was all that kept me coming back to my job. That was a dark place. Those times are over for now. But, our classroom community gave me something I needed and I watched as it gave students what they needed.

Today, I'm just going to tell you a little bit more about why I love community meeting and share my loose definition of community meeting. In my next post, I will reveal the other topics in the series. You won't want to miss this! It's a long list of helpful routines, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions.

As I know you do, I build a classroom community in many ways. However, "morning meeting" which I will usually call "community meeting" is the most sure-fire way to launch a strong classroom community, troubleshoot when the community is not feeling so "communal," and keep the love going all year long. A routine classroom community meetings provides a time and a place for you and your students to take care of classroom business, to take care of one another, and to grow ourselves.

My passion for building a classroom community and the importance I place on it cannot be swayed by district mandates, a litany of math, reading, and science standards, or the concern that I won't get my students to where they need to be. Believe me...where they need to be is HERE and NOW having important discussions with an adult who can help guide them through life.  The fulfillment I get when I watch the investments I have made during community meeting shine in a students' improved behavior, their growth in friendships, or their belief in themselves  is worth more than a few more points on a state test. I believe that. I think most of their parents do, too.

I use the terms “classroom meeting,” “community meeting,” and “morning meeting” interchangeably. I'm going to try my best to stick to “community meeting” for simplicity. I define my community meeting as a routine classroom experience that allows older elementary students an opportunity to develop personally, academically, and socially through the use of read alouds, videos, quotations, key vocabulary, classroom discussions, and the teacher as a trusted guide.

community classroom meetings in 4th 5th grade

When can you catch another morning meeting post? Well, since Saturday morning with a cup of coffee puts me in my happy place (and my teacher life restarts in one week so Saturdays will become even more of a big deal again), I've decided that this series will post each Saturday morning at 7:30 am. I'm also working on being a morning person since it gives me time to myself before the sweetie wakes up! Come be a morning person with me and spend time thinking about building a classroom community routine that you will LOVE driving to school for on Monday mornings!

Now, I really am brimming with so much excitement that {just this once} I'm going to post on Thursday! This is when I will reveal the list of topics that I will cover in my "Implementing the Community Meeting" series.

Want to get started right away? The series has begun so take a look!

Series Post # 1: Why I Devote Time to Community Meetings
Series Post # 2: The Design: An Overview
Series Post # 3: Why a Theme-Based Community Meeting?
Series Post # 4: Community Meeting: Materials and Resources
Series Post # 5: Launching Community Meeting at the BOY
Series Post # 6: Day by Day in the Community Meeting
Series Post # 7: Scheduling the Community Meeting
Series Post # 8: I Still Can't Fit it all In
Series Post # 9: Community Meeting Structure for Solving Classroom Problems
Series Post # 10: Justifying Your Classroom Meeting
photocredits: Adventures of a Schoolmarm

2 comments:

  1. Hi Tammy,
    I just wanted to let you know I stumbled on to your blog and I'm really facinated!! I'm a homeschool mommy with twin 8yr olds.... do you think the Community Meeting would work for my small classroom? Thanks for all your hard work!!

    Many Blessings,
    d'Arcey

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi d'Arcey,

    I'm so glad you stumbled to my blog too! The morning meeting lessons would be great for 8 year olds! You may not require them to write in the journals as much but the support of the vocabulary, the read alouds (all picture books that students can relate to at a young age), some of the videos I suggest (check for appropriateness), and the themes we address would lead to great discussions with your children I'm sure! Think of these lessons and discussions as ways to spark conversations on topics that you want to discuss!

    Since you'd only have two "students," I'd suggest brainstorming your own ideas on the journal pages before the morning meeting lessons so that you have some ideas for how to lead them if they get stuck brainstorming and discussing things.

    I'd be happy to answer any other questions!

    Tammy

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