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.

Message ideas:
  1. 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.
  2. “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?”)

Tuesday: Literacy

Goal: Highlight one aspect of reading, writing, or language arts that would be useful for students to remember or use in the day ahead.

Message ideas:
  1. Ask students to predict what will happen next in the read-aloud you’ve been reading.
  2. Work on editing skills by embedding some mistakes in the message and letting students correct those during the meeting.
  3. Leave blanks at various places in the message, and during the meeting, have students offer adjectives, verbs, nouns, etc. to fill those in.

Wednesday: Math

Goal: Encourage students to think about math in fun and interesting ways through the message.

Message ideas:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.

Message ideas:
  1. 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.
  2. Have students make a prediction—about what might happen with a particular experiment, or to share a hypothesis: “What would happen if . . . ?”
  3. 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

Message ideas:
  1. 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.
  2. 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!

Tags: Building Classroom Community, Engaging Academics

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