Friday, August 9, 2013

Morning Meeting

 I've been getting some work done in my classroom this week whenever I can. I didn't get as much time as I needed, but things are starting to come together.  The only thing in my classroom that is truly 'done' would be my morning meeting/calendar area.

I moved things around this year to make more room for the students to sit. Last year this was upfront and we had to slide desks out of the way to make room for everyone to sit. It was a pain. So I shifted a few things and love the way this area turned out. It's in the back of the room, but it was the only open area that could accommodate everyone being about to sit down. Plus, I got this CUTE polka dot rug at IKEA that was begging to be used.

If you remember, I teach Deaf/Hard of Hearing students. Language development is key in my classroom. Morning meeting / calendar time allows time for lots of language enrichment and concept development. Last year I ran a morning meeting on Mondays and my assistant did calendar time with the younger students each day. I plan on devoting far more time to our morning meetings this year.

First off, we read our morning message on the white board. I usually ask a question at the end and each student has the opportunity to come up and answer the question by writing a sentence on the board. Sometimes it's skills such as editing or finding nouns, etc.

Then we do our calendar skills. Today is, yesterday was, tomorrow will be.  (I set up the calendar in these photos to show you what it look like completed.) I made these cards last year when I switched over to the black and white theme. Then we use little star sticks to find the days of the week. Our place value, "How many days have we come to school" is next with straws and writing the number in word form on the little white board. We also talk about what's for lunch. This is the most exciting part for my students! Unfortunately, not all of my students know the signs for the various foods so we often have to pull out the iPad and Google image the lunch for the day.

I little side note about my calendar. Last year I was frustrated since I wanted a black and white calendar, but couldn't find a way to attach the calendar numbers. I tried magnets but they wouldn't stay straight. I'm too Type A to let that go. So I made my own 'pocket chart' by sewing old school transparencies right to the calendar. It has worked out really well. Now I can slip in my new holiday cards from this calendar set.

The Question of the Day is a new addition to my Morning Meeting this year. I'm excited to try it out. I added a little page protector cut down to size with washi tape holding the top together to hold the question for the day. This new addition is going to be a great language and vocabulary builder for my kiddos. I like the option of being able to extend the activity by having them fill out a graph of the question as well as just answering the questions.

On this back wall you'll find my job chart. I made this little guy last year but downsized the job list this year since I will only have 5 kids in my class most of the day. Since we are switching over to using coins in our classroom economy system this year, I also hot glued the amount of $ the student will earn by doing that job.  Also my new behavior clip chart we are trying out this year works well here. This behavior clip chart was a free download from Primary Punch here on TpT.

On the other side above the white board is our speech and PE schedule chart. I glued on page protectors to the poster and then I just have to switch out the paper to the correct day and this keeps us on schedule. Well, most of the time. Last year every time the phone rang it was the speech therapist. I couldn't keep up last year! This year I will have far less students so it should be much easier.

In between my white board I have a skinny little Sterlite drawers. These hold my calendar supplies (pointers, extra markers, etc), writing prompts (address/phone number practice, blank story writing pages, graphing papers, lined paper, etc), and misc. supplies (Handwriting Without Tears dry erase marker line tool, etc). I recently lined the drawers with scrapbook paper to hide the stuff inside and added some labels.  On top sits my question of the day box. I also have some black and white place mats that I found at IKEA last year that will serve as 'carpet squares' for my kiddos that cannot sit in their own space.

I can't wait to try out this space with my students and see how it all works out. That's the first little peek into my classroom this year! My to-do list is still quite long!


  1. Kelly, Your room looks AMAZING! So soothing and calm. I know I always say that to you about everything that you make, but I LOVE everything. You inspire me!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Your meeting area is so awesome! I love it! It is so organized! Thank you for stopping by and commenting! :) I did think about spray painting my easel and now that I see yours, I will! Do you have any helpful hints so it doesn't run? Did you tape it off so the paint wouldn't get on the white board and felt? I love the idea of storing supplies between the easel. If I had somewhere else to store my big books, I would do that!