Reflections and Resources from Tarheelstate Teacher: Preparing for Your Classroom Meeting: Materials and Resources {Series Post #4}
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Preparing for Your Classroom Meeting: Materials and Resources {Series Post #4}

Other Posts in this Series:
Introduction to the Series
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?
So you're ready to start a community meeting routine in your classroom? What materials and resources will you need to plan out in order to set your classroom meeting up for success?
Introduce your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students to a morning meeting routine that introduces key themes in literature and complements the common core standards for theme and other reading standards. Morning Meeting is my favorite way to create a sense of classroom community, belonging, and encourage kindness.

Bulletin Board/Wall Space: I have found that our Community Meeting lessons make the most long-term impact when our themes, vocabulary, and quotations are displayed in the classroom so that we can refer back to previous meeting topics. Decide where your classroom community themes will be posted. If you have limited space, you may choose to just post the current theme you are working on. If you don't have space to post all of the related quotations and vocabulary words, I encourage you to try to find a space where you can at least post the theme cards to display the themes you have focused on in the past. In my current classroom, I have a back wall that is completely bare of whiteboards or bulletin boards so I created a long faux bulletin board (shown above) with butcher paper and boarders. It makes for a beautiful wall display that I don't have to change during the year {ever}. My community meeting bulletin board also demonstrates my classroom climate...any visitor to our classroom would immediately know that belonging, kindness, compassion, perseverance, and dealing with conflict appropriately are important to us. Later in the year, I will add our "Happiness," "Achievement," "Compromise," "Integrity," and "Individualism" themes.  

Posting the themes as you study each one allows you to build a timeline of the lessons that you have taught. Above your white board, right below the ceiling or above the floor, on cabinet doors, or even posting your themes on a bulletin board or wall outside of your classroom would work. As an added bonus, our community themes bulletin board also works as a reminder of themes we find in literature for reading workshop! Meeting the standards through community meeting is one of the reasons I love a theme-based community meeting so much. Our community meeting bulletin board display really helps us develop our understanding of themes in literature.
Introduce your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students to a morning meeting routine that introduces key themes in literature and complements the common core standards for theme and other reading standards. Morning Meeting is my favorite way to create a sense of classroom community, belonging, and encourage kindness.
The first year I implemented my themed morning meetings, I used a cabinet that was near our meeting carpet to post our themes each week. I printed out headers (“Morning Meeting Theme,” “Important Vocabulary” and “This Week’s Quote”) and taped them to the doors of the cabinet. Then I glued clothespins under each header to allow me a quick and easy way to change out the themes each week. Under my reader’s workshop bulletin board, I built our collection of previous morning meeting themes. I haven't found a space to do this in my new classroom, but I really LOVED the closepins and that I could just switch out the theme when we were ready to move on. I noticed that students' interest was piqued when they saw a new theme and many of them would linger over to our display as we were getting settled in the mornings.

A finished classroom meeting theme board would look something like this: (I failed to snap a picture at the end of last year when all my themes were displayed!)
Introduce your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students to a morning meeting routine that introduces key themes in literature and complements the common core standards for theme and other reading standards. Morning Meeting is my favorite way to create a sense of classroom community, belonging, and encourage kindness.

Classroom Meeting Notebooks, Binders, or Folders: Another important organizational material to consider is how students will keep up with your classroom meeting activities, discussions, and journal pages. Decide what kind of Morning Meeting/Classroom Meeting notebook you want students to have. You could use a 3-pronged folder or binder and have students insert new journal pages each week or use a spiral notebook where students can glue in pages. In my "Morning Meeting Made Easy" sets, I have included journal covers in three versions: “My Community Meeting Journal,” “My Morning Meeting Journal,” and “My Classroom Meeting Journal.” You can print all of the theme pages you're planning to use, choose a journal page cover, and double-staple and hole punch the pages together.

In the past, I have used the “multiple pages” option when printing my journal pages to get the sheets in a ½ size format that fits into a composition notebook. I suggest printing a few pages in full-sized and ½ sheets to see what spacing format you think would be best for your students. A final option is to print some of the journal pages and display others on an interactive whiteboard and allow students to copy the prompts into their notebooks. This wouldn't be too time consuming for students as many of the sheets for each theme are similar and fairly simple. (I would still always give students the cover page for each theme and the self-assessment page.)
Introduce your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students to a morning meeting routine that introduces key themes in literature and complements the common core standards for theme and other reading standards. Morning Meeting is my favorite way to create a sense of classroom community, belonging, and encourage kindness.

This school year, I decided to continue using a composition notebook because it gives me a lot of flexibility, but I will print my journal pages in full-sized and half-sized pages depending on the journal task. For example, when students complete the comparison charts for the stories we have read, they really need the space of a full-sized page.

Picturebooks, Video Resources, and Journal Pages: When planning for your community meeting lessons, the teacher resource pages are an invaluable resource. Prior to each theme unit, I look over my teacher resources planning page and decide which of the suggested resources I will use during the unit. I use at least one read aloud for each theme study as this will become our touchstone text for talking about that theme and reminding students of that theme later in the year. You can preview the videos and see which ones will work for your students and teaching situation. I like to jot down any notes on the teacher resource page and highlight the resources I plan to use. Then, I look over the journal pages and print the ones I want to use. Planning for a week of so of my community meeting is finished in 5-10 minutes with Morning Meeting Made Easy! Yes!
Introduce your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students to a morning meeting routine that introduces key themes in literature and complements the common core standards for theme and other reading standards. Morning Meeting is my favorite way to create a sense of classroom community, belonging, and encourage kindness.

See you next Saturday for how I launch the Community Meeting {at the beginning of the year, or anytime}!
Introduce your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students to a morning meeting routine that introduces key themes in literature and complements the common core standards for theme and other reading standards. Morning Meeting is my favorite way to create a sense of classroom community, belonging, and encourage kindness.

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