Magic Minutes

As students arrive first thing in the morning, I’m stationed in my customary position at the door, ready to greet each one. I offer Chase our usual gentle double fist bump and a “Good morning, Chase. It’s so great to see you. How are you this morning?” She replies, “Uh . . . I’m okay,” clearly less bubbly than usual. I make mental notes on how I’ll follow up with her and possibly make small adjustments in our day to support her. Then Brendan bounces through the door with his  cheerful “Good morning, Mr.
Continue Reading

8:00 a.m.: I’m at the Classroom Door

Where are you when students arrive in the morning? At your teacher desk looking at paperwork from the office? At the projector setting up a video you'll be showing later that morning? 
Continue Reading

Morning Routines

What happens in your classroom during arrival time? Those first minutes are so crucial for setting the tone and the pace for the day! The routines you put in place for arrival…
Continue Reading

Good Morning, Friendly Workers!

Question: In many classrooms, the morning message chart is an important part of the beginning of each day and the first place that students go as they enter the classroom. On the…
Continue Reading

Ideas for Morning Meeting Messages

Question:I often struggle to write the Morning Meeting message because my imagination runs dry. What suggestions can you offer that might help me come up with fresh and interesting messages?Answer:This is a…
Continue Reading

Making an Entrance

Think of a place where you feel welcome as soon as you arrive. For some people, that place might be home; for others, someplace where they eat, play, work, or shop; for…
Continue Reading

Books for Back-to-School: Say Hello!

Here’s another children’s book that might come in handy early in the school year. Say Hello!, a picture book by Rachel Isadora, is a good one for when you are introducing Morning…
Continue Reading

Notes from the Road

During a recent school visit, I marveled at the myriad tasks and responsibilities that comprise the first few minutes of the school day.  Watching one teacher calmly direct all this activity reinforced…
Continue Reading

Here’s an Idea! Human Treasure Hunt

This video is excerpted from The First Day of School in a Responsive Classroom, which was filmed on the actual first day of school in Caltha Crowe’s third grade classroom in 2007.…
Continue Reading

A Welcoming Routine for Arrival Time

Each morning at the University School of Nashville's lower school begins with a simple routine that welcomes students out of their cars and into the building. As children spill out of the…
Continue Reading

A New Way to Start

When Steve Bahn became principal at Ideal Elementary School, a K–6 school with 245 students, he didn't like how the school day began. "It felt chaotic and fragmented," he recalls. Students entered…
Continue Reading

“Good Morning, Learners!”

One March morning, children entering a fourth grade classroom take turns gathering at a chart on which their teacher has written a message just for them:March 7, 2005Dear Invertebrate Investigators, Yesterday we…
Continue Reading

Hallway Greeters Make the Morning Transition Safe and Pleasant

School Spotlight: Dame School, Concord, New Hampshire
Continue Reading

News and Announcement Charts

Question: What’s one activity you’ve found effective for the interactive part of the Morning Meeting News and Announcements chart?
Continue Reading