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All About Morning Meeting: A Teacher’s Guide to Responsive Classroom

This blog post is inspired by Responsive Classroom. All ideas presented here are based on the work and research from Responsive Classroom. For more information and ideas, please visit their website.

Responsive Classroom is a “student-centered, social and emotional learning approach to teaching and discipline. It is comprised of a set of research, and evidence-based practices designed to create safe, joyful, and engaging classrooms and school communities for both students and teachers.”

Responsive Classroom offers professional development, books, and resources for elementary and middle school educators.

Based on their research, there are 4 key domains of Responsive Classroom:

  • Engaging Academics: “Learner-centered lessons that are participatory, appropriately challenging, fun, and relevant and promote curiosity, wonder, and interest.”
  • Positive Community: “A safe, predictable, joyful, and inclusive environment where all students have a sense of belonging and significance.”
  • Effective Management: “A calm and orderly learning environment that promotes autonomy, responsibility, and high engagement in learning.”
  • Developmentally Responsible Teaching: “Basing all decisions for teaching and discipline upon research and knowledge of students’ social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.”

Responsive Classroom Classroom Practices and Strategies

In addition to these 4 key domains, Responsive Classroom has also developed classroom practices and strategies that build academic and social-emotional competencies.

Some of these shared practices for K-8 include: interactive modeling, teacher language, logical consequences, and interactive learning structures.

For today’s blog post, I’m focusing on just one of the many classroom practices at the heart of the Responsive Classroom approach: Morning Meeting.

About Morning Meeting

Morning Meeting occurs at the start of the day, and is a common practice in most elementary school classrooms.

During Morning Meeting, which occurs at the start of the school day, everyone in the classroom – teachers and students alike – gather in a circle for twenty to thirty minutes.

There are several goals to Morning Meeting, specifically related to building classroom community:

  • Fulfill students’ needs for belonging and sense of community
  • Build trust as a community
  • Set a positive tone for learning
  • Embed social, emotional, and academic learning
  • Have fun as a classroom community

The Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting approach consists of four sequential components:

  • Greeting: Students and teachers greet each other by name.
  • Sharing: Students share information about their lives, facilitated by the teacher, usually through the form of a question or prompt.
  • Group Activity: Students participate in a group activity that fosters social, emotional, or academic learning.
  • Morning Message: Teachers write a short message that students interact with.

Morning Greeting

In the Morning Greeting, students and teachers greet each other by name. This greeting portion of Morning Meeting welcomes students to the circle, establishes a welcoming tone at the start of the day, and builds a culture of trust and community.

Morning Share

In the Morning Share, students share information about their lives, facilitated by the teacher, usually through the form of a question or prompt. Sharing occurs in a structured format.

The topics are teacher-chosen, and each student in the circle has the opportunity to respond. Students will either share in partners or in whole class dialogue.

Morning Activity

During the Morning Activity, students participate in a group activity that fosters social, emotional, or academic learning. In comparison to the Morning Share, the Morning Activity tends to be livelier.

These activities can be used to get students moving, singing, and chanting, as well as doing math activities or poetry.

Morning Message

During the Morning Message, teachers write a short message on the board that students interact with. Content of the Morning Message tends to connect to both social emotional and academic learning.

The Morning Message serves as a transition for the remainder of the school day. It is great for setting the tone for learning.

Responsive Classroom Additional Resources

Morning Meeting helps build classroom community and fosters a culture of trust and collaboration among students. The Responsive Classroom approach to Morning Meeting is research-based and student-centered.

For more additional resources from Responsive Classroom, please visit the links below:

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