Partner Greetings in Morning Meeting

By now my first grade students are pretty good at chatting with a partner. They know how to pair up quickly and how to decide who will go first. They sit knee-to-knee and look each other in the eye. They usually stay on topic, and each person has a chance to speak. They ask each other questions and make comments to keep the conversation going. They've been practicing their conversation skills all year, and the positive results are really starting to show.
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Weekly Plan for Morning Messages

In addition to the other tips I shared for getting out of a Morning Meeting Message rut, I strongly recommend making a weekly plan. Instead of trying to come up with ideas…
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Questioning Your Assumptions

Winter break can provide teachers a bit of time and space to reflect on how the school year has gone so far, and to decide what adjustments to make in January. This…
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Need a New Mattress?

At this time of year, people who work in schools often start feeling a bit frayed. Now that the school year is well underway, the "honeymoon period" of the first weeks is…
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Invisible Children

Are there invisible children at your school? A recent series of comments on the Responsive Classroom Facebook page got me thinking again about how many children go through their school days feeling…
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The Power of Morning Meeting

The earnest fourth grade girl straightened up tall and looked around the circle, drew a deep breath and began: “Our greeting today will go like this. First you say your name, then…
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Mudge

How can you create a powerful sense of community in your classroom? With the leisure of summer, we can ponder questions like this and plan ahead for next year.
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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…
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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…
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Morning Meeting: One-Minute Greeting

Carolyn Bush prepares her fourth grade students to start their Morning Meeting with a successful, safe, fun “One-Minute Greeting.”
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“Magic Box” Activity

Yesterday somebody who'd read Margaret Wilson's post, "Handling Halloween High Spirits" asked "What's the 'Magic Box' activity she refers to?" I wasn't familiar with that one either. Since Margaret is presenting at…
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Class Yellow Pages

Here's a beginning-of-the-year project that helps classmates get to know each other by "advertising" their strengths:Each student thinks of things they are good at in school and could help other students with.…
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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.…
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Knowing All Our Students: An Interview with Caltha Crowe

In your book Solving Thorny Behavior Problems, you write about teachers getting to know their students. Why is this so important, especially for children with behavior and learning challenges? Children vary enormously…
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“How does that make you feel?”

I’m new to the Responsive Classroom approach, but even in my first year of having Morning Meetings, the children’s social growth exceeded what I had typically seen in my kindergarten classes. For…
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Learning Names At the Start of the Year

Caltha Crowe retired in June after 35 years of teaching. Most recently, she taught third graders at King’s Highway Elementary School in Westport, Connecticut. She is a certified Responsive Classroom consulting teacher.
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Morning Meeting: A Soft Place to Land

When Eric's father died suddenly just before a long weekend, Morning Meeting gave our school the safe structure we needed to help this second grader and his schoolmates cope with the tragedy.
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A Sustaining Routine

Megan’s Great Uncle John was dying of cancer, and she needed to share this distressing experience with her fourth grade classmates. During a Morning Meeting Sharing in October, Megan explained that her…
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Teaching Children to Care

Editor’s note: Teaching Children to Care by Ruth Sidney Charney, first published in 1991, has transformed many teachers’ practices. This well-loved book has sold over 70,000 copies and is widely used as…
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“Like Being at the Breakfast Table”

Adapted, with permission, from an article in Childhood Education, Spring 2001
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Building a Sense of Ownership

Question: In the book The First Six Weeks of School, co-authors Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete emphasize the importance of helping students feel a sense of comfort and ownership in the classroom…
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