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 for a message each and every day, try thinking about messages when you do your planning for the week. Choose a different focus for each day as a way of building in variety. Here’s an example of how this might work:
Monday: Community building
Goal: Encourage students to care for each other in some particular way during the week.
- Highlight classroom rules one at a time. Ask students to think about how a rule might apply at different times of the day: writers’ workshop, lunch, recess, etc.
- “Class quiz” questions in the message prompt students to think about what they know about their classmates (“Who has a new puppy?” “Whose team just won their basketball tournament?”)
Goal: Highlight one aspect of reading, writing, or language arts that would be useful for students to remember or use in the day ahead.
- Ask students to predict what will happen next in the read-aloud you’ve been reading.
- Work on editing skills by embedding some mistakes in the message and letting students correct those during the meeting.
- Leave blanks at various places in the message, and during the meeting, have students offer adjectives, verbs, nouns, etc. to fill those in.
Goal: Encourage students to think about math in fun and interesting ways through the message.
- Ask students a personal question at the end of the message. For younger students this might be a question such as “Which pet would you like to have? Dog, cat, turtle, fish, or something else?” For older students, try something like: “Do you consider yourself to be more of a morning person, a mid-day person, or a night owl?” Use their answers to practice counting, comparing numbers, or representing data.
- Make the message itself a math problem relevant to their work or day that they have to solve themselves. (Example: We have $25 to spend on our writing celebration. Here are some prices of possible snacks, drinks, and supplies. Be thinking of how we might spend the $25.)
- Challenge the students to find an object that weighs more/less than a given amount, is taller/shorter than a given measurement, costs more than/less than a given amount, etc.
Thursday: Science or Social Studies
Goal: Encourage students to think more deeply about and make stronger connections to science or social studies concepts.
- Prompt students to be thinking about a “big question,” such as why a certain result occurred in science or how a person in history might have been feeling. Later in the day, use their thinking about that question to start your lesson.
- Have students make a prediction—about what might happen with a particular experiment, or to share a hypothesis: “What would happen if . . . ?”
- Invite students to share one fact they have discovered or found particularly interesting in a unit.
Friday: Reflecting on week/reinforcing
Goal: Help students make sense of their schoolwork and end the week feeling positive about their learning
- Ask students to reflect on something they have done particularly well during the week, how well they’ve followed a class rule, or their favorite thing they learned.
- Reinforce by pointing out specific things you noticed that they, as a class, did well, over the course of the week.
How about some examples from you? Share an actual message or tell about a way you keep yourself inspired when writing daily messages. The inspiration you offer just might get someone out of a message rut!