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Oct 06

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Building Community through Morning Meeting

IMG_2747Morning Meeting is an integral part of many classrooms, bringing students together to build a sense of community and start the day off on a positive note.  At Cloverleaf, Morning Meeting has an even deeper and more significant meaning for our teachers and students.  Not only are students engaging in academic learning, such as what day it is or what the season is, but they are also learning through social connections such as greeting, sharing, and participating in activities together.  At Cloverleaf, we value social learning as highly as academic learning!

 
 

What do students learn at Morning Meeting? 

1. Children often observe adults greeting each other, yet they have little knowledge of the context of most relationships and are unaware of how to socially interact when first meeting or greeting another person.  At Morning Meeting, we model multiple ways to greet each other with both words and gestures, such as handshakes, fist bumps, etc. to better prepare our students for everyday social interactions.

 

2. A concept called “whole-body listening,” created by Elizabeth Sautter and Kristin Wilson, is a research-based model for students to learn how their body communicates.  At Morning Meeting, students learn and practice strategies to listen with their whole bodies: orienting toward the speaker, keeping body still/quiet, reducing noise-making, and thinking about the speaker.  This awareness improves perspective-taking and empathy and gives children a concrete method to truly understand how to focus on what others are saying. 

 

3. Each day, teachers at Morning Meeting introduce an interactive group activity that supports relationships and builds confidence within and amongst students.  Students may draw a number on either other’s backs to guess, play animal charades, or any number of other fun games.  As we participate in these activities together, students build bonds and become more comfortable with their educational setting.

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In this morning meeting activity, students used PlayDough to create a league of super heroes together!

With consistent modeling and practice, Morning Meeting is an effective and fun way to ease into the school day while building personal connections and ultimately increasing social learning. 

Permanent link to this article: http://cloverleafschool.org/building-community-through-morning-meeting/

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