Before we begin our day, we go over our classroom expectations and read A Great Attitude by Sandi Hill. Every. Single. Day. Setting your expectations at the beginning is something I have learned can set the tone for the entire day. Below you will see what I use in my room. The pink behavior cues were given to me when I was student teaching. The cues on popsicle sticks were given to me at the beginning of the year. I think you can find things like this at the Dollar Store. These come in handy big time!
We implement LOVE (Listen, Obey, Voice, Enjoy) at my school so each day we talk about how we should show love in our classroom, during centers, in the hallway, at music, etc. For example, I show love in the hallway by.... L-listen to my teacher, O-Obey the teacher, V-inside voice, E-enjoy by participating. The kids respond very well to this so I was super glad to have been introduced to this technique. My amazing assistant made up a song to the tune of "We Will Rock You" that helps the kids remember what LOVE means. She's fabulous!
When I see that my kids have been doing a great job obeying, I encourage them with these quick motivators. These are from Dr. Jean. I laminated them and placed them on a ring so we can always grab them and encourage the students. It's amazing what positive reinforcement does! :)
Back to our morning meeting time.... After we have gone over what it looks like to obey in the classroom, we start our day by moving around to these Have Fun Teaching CD's. The pink one is great for movement. We start by moving along to "Stretch it Out Simon" to get our bodies warmed up. Then, we move to "Walk it Out Willie" or another song on the CD. I like to change up the songs each day so the kid don't get tired of the same ones. My kids LOVE these CD's!! I highly recommend them.
At this point, I go over daily jobs. Sorry that I don't have a picture of my job chart. I completely wasn't thinking! I change jobs at this point because for the next thing we do, we need our Pointer.
We are always moving in my classroom and I think that is so important for young kiddos. Once we have stretched our muscles and warmed our bodies up, we begin singing and moving to Dr. Jean's ABC song "Who Let the Letters Out?" The Pointer (A job in my class) comes to the easel and points to the letters as we hear them in the song. There are motions that go with each letter. For example, for "B" we act like we are bouncing a ball. We love this song! It is a daily ritual in our class and my kids are able to learn their letters and sounds in a fun way.
I don't have a picture of our number chart, but after we review our letters and sounds, we do a "counting punch" from the Have Fun Teaching Counting CD. It counts all the way to 50, so we punch each number. I have seen so much progress in my students' ability to count.
After we have moved around a bit, we take a seat for our morning message and our calendar routine. Each morning, the kids come to the class with a greeting message. We fill out the message together. This is where I can model for them. For example, I will say "Goo_ Morning! Goo_ morning? That doesn't sound right, does it? What word should that be? What letter can I add to make that word?" The kids always love to tell me the missing letter. I'll call on someone to come up to the board and write the letter in.
Then we move on to our calendar routine. During student teaching in Kindergarten, we had a long calendar time (which was awesome), but for pre-k'ers, I had to modify. We always say the month we are in, say each letter in the month (M-a-r-c-h), then we say the sound of each letter. Next, we count how many days we have been in that month. Once we have identified what day it is, we sing a song that I learned from Hadar Maor at the online workshop a while back. It is to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin?" The words are "Today is Wednesday, Today is Wednesday, March 21st, March 21st, 2012, 2012, that's the date, that's the date."
Next up is the weather. This is my easy, peasy weather plate. Ha! Y'all, I am pinched for time these days, but this works great. :) My weather helper today said, "I am putting this in the middle because it's rainy AND cloudy!" They love to clip the pin on the plate.
The last thing we do is a thematic lesson. This week our theme is Zoo, so each day at the closing of our morning meeting, we have a lesson on a different animals. Today, it was zebras. We brainstormed what we knew about zebras before reading our zebra book. I wrote down everyone's answer, whether is was true or not. :)
After our lesson, I like to do some sort of demonstration or experiment that correlates to what we are learning about. Since zebras have black and white stripes, we predicted what would happen if we mixed black and white paint. Several kids predicted grey, while some predicted striped (my favorite answer, ha!), blue, black, and red. So, we tested it out..... The kids determined that the more white you add, the greyer the mixture. YES!
This may look like a lot, but in reality, it doesn't take much time at all. It flies by, too! The kids aren't bored because we are constantly up and down. If I see that they are getting antsy, we will just get up and dance to one of our Have Fun Teaching songs. Those are a lifesaver! :)
I hope you enjoyed getting a peek at our morning. I'd love to know what you do for your morning routine!