Saturday, July 14, 2012

Morning Meetings and Compliment Box

Y'all can I tell you how productive I was yesterday!?!? I worked on lesson planning, morning meeting stuff, and tons of Monday Made It things. Today you ask? Well... not AS productive, but I did take my big man to get his nails clipped. He screamed like a Chihuahua, but is looking good.. and resting. Rough day!

Such a handsome guy! Ok... on to my thoughts on morning meetings.

I did these a little bit this year, but didn't commit or make the most of them. Sometimes they would go on WAY too long, and other times there was no plan to them and thus ineffective as a morning meeting.

Yesterday I spent pretty much the WHOLE day dedicated to researching and putting together some resources I can use during morning meeting. Here's what I am planning on doing.

1. Greeting
2. Lightning This That (name still in the works)
3. Announcements/Compliment Box
4. Activity
5. Morning Message

which will all lead into:

Body Break
Poem of the Week (another post coming on this soon, I'm super excited to try this out this year!!)
Body Break
Read Aloud

I'm sure you've seen the awesome Mrs. Bainbridge's morning meeting page right? Well she has some amazing cards there that have directions for all sorts of greetings. 40 I believe.

I cut them out and put them on a ring. She mentioned that she starts the year with learning how to shake hands and give eye contact. I love that. I am really big on my students giving eye contact (and let's be honest, that can be hard for adults to do too!)

At a character education training I went to last year, our trainer mentioned that during morning meetings she would ask students a quick question everyday. Something like "Do you prefer rain, sun, neither or both. Going around the circle students would quickly give their answer only. It takes a minute or so and is fun to do! It's interesting to see how students answer.

Now if a student didn't have an answer right away, I would skip over them. I'd always come back to them at the end after they've had some time to think. 

Here I figure I can go over the schedule, upcoming dates for important events, and any other changes that may be going on for that day. I was also thinking I could do my compliments here!

In my room we do a compliment box. I'm wondering if this might be a good place to put this? I love to pull at least 2 every day.

During the beginning of the year we discuss a lot of character traits, then post them on the word wall in a different color than HFW and vocab words. To alleviate the "you have pretty shoes" or "I like your hair" compliments, I model quality compliments and really praise students who use our character education words. We use sentence stems such as: "Ms. Wilkie showed integrity when she picked up trash on the floor and no one asked." or "Ms. Wilkie showed perseverance in writing when she worked the whole time." Then they put their name on it and drop it in the box. Students can make these during the Daily 5 work on writing, can do it during morning work, at the end of the day, or during any free time.

Basically it's just a Kleenex box

That I put scrapbook paper on! I'm planning on taping it all up with packing tape, so that way it's like it was laminated and all those edges sticking up will stay down. Plus it won't get mucked up with all those many hands on it!

Kids then write compliments on strips of paper, and put their name on the back.

When we pick a compliment out of the box, I read it to the class and we all clap. Then the student who received the compliment looks the person in the eye who gave it to them and tells them thank you (in what ever language we have learned that week). That person then responds with you're welcome.

The person who received the compliment comes up to the front, and using this little mini stapler, I staple it around their wrist.

So it looks like this!

The kids love it! We do it all throughout the day. I especially love giving them out when they're in line- but only when they are quiet and showing the BEST line behavior. What a positive way to start out the day AND the rest of the day! It's especially awesome when students come whisper to me about the compliments they've made others or are going to make.


What a great time to bond and have fun! I've read about so many quick games online, and always wondered when there was time to do one. Now I have an allotted time! Again there was a ton at Mrs. Bainbridge's site.

I printed a few that I thought would work for me and put them on red cardstock. These are more silly/fun songs and team building games. Then I found some quick math and reading games/review which I put on blue and yellow cardstock. My plan is to do this:

MondaySilly (red)
TuesdayMath (blue)
WednesdayMad Lib
ThursdayReading/Word Work (yellow)
FridaySilly (red)


I feel like I need to do some more research on this. I'm thinking of writing a letter to the class each morning on something special that may be happening, or something that we're learning about. My AP suggested we take a few minutes to work on grammar skills, so I was thinking this might be a great place to address some misspelling of HFW and missing punctuation.

This place has a really great schedule for how they do their message. Click the picture to see it!

And during all of this thinking, making, and walking all over the house, here's my little shadow, Max, who was with me through it all.

He's such a great helper!

Oh and Denise at Yearn for Learning is having a give away for hot dots! Yeah! ANNND Teacher-iffic. And Casey at Second Grade Math Maniac!

What do y'all do for morning meetings? Do you have a favorite part of morning meeting or a favorite activity? Please share! :)Ba sically where we go over the schedule, talk about any due dates or upcoming events. Might be a place to address  behavior problems that have been going on in the class as well.


Megan @ I Teach. What's Your Super Power? said...

Thanks for sharing this, Amanda! I want to incorporate morning meeting into my 3rd grade class this year. I taught 2nd grade for 8 years and did morning message. I loved it! Sometimes I wrote about what we were studying in social studies or science, sometimes I wrote a letter about something from my life, sometimes we studies a poem. Whatever it needed to be. I miss it!


I Teach. What's Your Super Power?
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Tammy said...

I love the compliment box. Thanks for sharing.
❀ Tammy
Forever in First

Lana said...

I haven't incorporated morning meetings because of my scheduling conflicts, but I do have a weekly meeting in Monday's. I love this post, it really makes me want to think more about implementing it. Thanks for the ideas! I'm sure I'll be referring back to it.

Amanda Madden said...

Love your furry baby! :) My morning meeting runs about the same as yours, but I love the idea of the compliment bracelets!! I might have to incorporate that this year...maybe for my Mon-STAR of the Week! Thanks for sharing!

Teaching Maddeness

Kelly said...

I am excited to be implementing morning meetings this year and am still searching out some great ideas.
I am your newest follower and have awarded you with an award at my blog. Come by to pick it up!

Kristin Kennedy said...

I love your morning meeting activities and especially your compliment box. I loved it so much I just finished making my own and can't wait to use it! What a great way to build community and teach good character. Your babies are so cute- I have a black lab that's by my side all day while I'm doing all my little projects. :)
iTeach 1:1

Anonymous said...

You did have a productive day! Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!

Delighted in Second

Amanda said...

Yea so excited you made one! Can't wait to see it! :D

Christa Swaney said...

Thanks for checking out my blog! I love all your ideas for your morning routine! The compliment box and making a bracelet out of the compliment is a fabulous idea!!

Thanks a bunch!!

Amanda said...

Great post on morning meetings. I have always toyed with the idea of doing something like this but it never fully manifested in my classroom. I love how routine this is. Bookmarking your post for future reference and I'm your newest follower.

The Teaching Thief

Brandi said...

Love your compliment box!

Success in Second Grade

Chanda said...

I love the idea of a compliment box. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome idea!!

Mrs. Kerola said...

I love your thinking tracks chart. I also saw that on Pinterest and am planning on making one for my room too!

I am now following you. :)


Mrs. Kerola said...

Oops...I think I wrote my last comment on the wrong post.

I do something similar during morning meeting to your lightning this that...we call it a "whip share" and do it during what I call "sharing" during our morning meeting.

I just wrote a post on greetings during morning meeting. You can check it out at:


Erica said...

Hi Amanda,

I had 2 questions about your Morning Meeting routine.

-Where do you get the questions for the "Lightning This That" part. Are you just going to make them up each day or will you have a list?

-I also have Christina Bainbridge's MMtg cards, but am interested to mix them in with Reading and Math cards. Where did you get yours from?

Thanks so much! Great post :))

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