Sheila Schraber, Early Childhood Teacher
In JK105, students begin each day with a morning meeting that follows a Responsive Classroom format. This is an engaging way to start each day, build a strong sense of community, set students up for success socially and academically and—most importantly—to have fun! Each morning Junior Kindergarteners gather together in a circle for 15-20 minutes and interact with one another during four purposeful components:
Greeting: Their greeting is different each week, but the one constant is that students and teachers greet each other by name. During this time, students work on eye contact and using a strong, proud voice to say hello. The greeting welcomes everyone and establishes an atmosphere of trust.
Sharing: Students share ideas and information about important events in their lives or a teacher-chosen topic. Topics may be include: holidays, seasons or interests observed in the classroom.
Group Activity: After the thoughtful focus of sharing, everyone participates in a brief activity. The activity might include active games, math activities or dancing. The activity is pre-planned based on their teachers' observation of their explorations and conversations. This can sometimes shift due to what their teachers notice about the needs of the children at any given moment.
Morning Message: Students practice pre-literacy skills by participating in the reading of and/or listening to a short morning message and then discussing the content of the message. The message is written in a repetitive way each day to help students notice key words and to know what the rest of the day looks like. The key words that are repeated each day are also written in a different color for the students to recognize and "read" with ease. This helps to begin the process of fostering the development of print knowledge.