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The Morning Meeting: Group Activity

What are you reading this summer?  I have been enjoying The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete & Carol Davis. Here are my reflections on this engaging professional development book!

Hello friends! I really hope you are reading The Morning Meeting Book along with me or I in some small way have inspired you to go out and read this book because let me tell you, I am L-O-V-I-N-G this! This weeks chapter was no different. I was nodding my head and highlighting away as I read! This week was all about Group Activity. You see my reflections on Greetings HERE, and Sharing HERE.

Group Activity: Building Whole-Class Identity.  
Can I get an amen? 

Isn't that what we strive for every single day? A unified group that has it's own unique identity? Students that will stand together through thick and thin? Support one another? Oh gosh...I'm getting all weepy but really! That's what we all want!

This chapter outlines the purposes of the group activity (the 3rd piece to the morning meeting) pg. 133. 
  • Contribute to the class's sense of community and group identity
  • Foster active and engaged participation
  • Encourage inclusion and cooperation
  • Can help students learn the value of persistence and practice
  • Strengthens academic and social skills
Community. As I was reading through each section in this chapter I started thinking about the songs, chants, poems, and activities that we do in our classroom. They DO unify the group! I have a shared space with a half wall between our extension teachers room and mine. We each have our group for half a day and then switch at lunchtime. We can hear each other and what's happening next door all day long. When her group sings, my group hums along.  When my group does a chant, her group does the motions. We have those shared moments that happen throughout the day but I never thought about how much that really contributes to our class's sense of community.  More of that is a good thing! 

Participation!!!! We have a little "thing" we do (I think I got it from a Whole Brain Teacher video) to make sure everyone is ready. I ask the class, "Who participates?" and the whole class answers back, "EVERYBODY PAR-TIC-I-PATES" (they say participates in little sections because it's such a long word...that's why I typed it that way!) I LOVE that the group activities will encourage this as well! 

Inclusion.  Gosh, isn't that what we are all wishing for too?  I can be a little competitive (the people that know me are reading this and thinking, ya think?) so making sure my group activities aren't competitive will be my main focus. "Group activities should be cooperative, not competitive, in nature" pg. 135

Persistence and Practice. We have been discussing EFFORT the last couple of years in our district and fostering a growth mindset in our classrooms.  I love that group activities can show the group that persistence and practice pay off! This will be a great reinforcement of what I tell them ALL OF THE TIME!

Strengthen academic skills (and don't forget the social skills too!). I did get a tiny bit overwhelmed when I started thinking about all of the "extra" stuff this will be adding in but I was reassured when I got to this section. Don't reinvent the wheel (as my principal would say)! You already have things within your everyday curriculum that will work as group activities. Include those too!

The BEST part about this book (besides the abundance of inspiration) are the "Fine Tunings" at the end of each chapter plus the lists of activities to try. They don't leave you out on a limb searching for a something to grab on to! Hooray! The fine tunings answer questions you might have like, "What if I have a lot of ELL students?" or "What if my class gets out of control". They give great advice for those what ifs that come up in any classroom.  The activities are all super engaging and fun! Some of them I've heard of before and some are new and I can't wait to try them all (ok...maybe not all, they won't all work for primary, but hey..I'm always optimistic!)

Thanks for stopping by today! I will be wrapping up this book next week and then moving on to another PD book. That's what I love about summer, I get to chose what I read! So what are you reading this summer? I'd love any suggestions you might have!