Morning Meeting Monday: September 24th, 2012

Howdy folks!  Did you survive your Monday?  We had a great day full of fun and learning.  We were so busy with our apple activities that we were late for dismissal.  OOPS.  But remember…I don’t work to educate children.  Note to self:  stop not working so hard!  GRRR.

Can I tell you something?  As I was driving home I decided to check Blogger to see how many followers I was up to (at red lights and sitting in Nashville traffic…not really driving…I swear!)  I noticed a huge spike in my page views.  For the first time ever, I had more than 1,000 page views in a day.  Wait?!  What?!  Where did that come from?  I think it came from the friends who shared my shape pack on Facebook last night and from my friend Kaci for giving me a shout out last night!  Thank you to all of the support and sharing and pinning and shouting outing!  You guys make a dude feel so good!

And to brighten your Monday here is the famous Greg in a fun hat picture!  This is one of my favorites so far.  Insects…and guess what?  Next week we celebrate Read For The Record and our theme for the week is “Gettin Buggy With Books”  and we have a schoolwide door decorating contest.  So…bugs…insects….my creative dude brain went to work and I got this far:  I took pictures of the kids with their insect hats on.  Now I am thinking of doing an art project to create a bug body for each bug head and having the kids write something about their buggy favorite book.  It’s still a work in progress.  Thoughts?  Ideas?  Suggestions?  HELP!  My creative dude brain needs creative help!  Anyways, here is the picture!

Isn’t my classroom so fun!?

And now onto our regularly scheduled programming.

I am continuing my newest feature:  Morning Meeting Monday!   I am a huge Morning Meeting advocate.  Last week I shared the schedule of my morning messages.  Today I am going to share some of our favorite activities for morning meeting.

The activity component of Morning Meeting should last just a few minutes and can involve movement but it’s not a requirement.  Early in the year our activities do not require a lot of movement.  As the year progresses, we add in a lot of movement (we have better control of our 5 year old body later in the year and no one gets hit in sensitive areas by flailing arms…sensitive areas.  5 year olds at a perfect height.  Dude problems in Kindergarten.)  The activity can be just for fun or it can have an academic component (because how dare we do anything that doesn’t meet a standard!  Bad teachers.  Bad.).

Here is a short list of our favorite activities:

Hot Penguin:  This is played like hot potato.  We pass a stuffed penguin instead because penguins are cute.  And it’s fun to say hot penguin.  This is a great game to teach good sportsmanship.  I love that my monsters cheer for the winner!  This also helps with hand eye coordination because we can’t throw the penguin, we must pass it.

Number Game:  This is a favorite and a much requested game.  It also meets Common Core Standards and gives you a quick and informal assessment first thing in the morning (standards…assessments…good teachers.  good.).  To play the number game, everyone stands in a circle and you determine which number you’re going to count to.  Early in the year we go to 5, then 10.  Later in the year we can count to 20.  You can even let one student pick the magic number.  Once the magic number is chosen, you pick your starting student and you count.  1..2…3…4..and so on.  Whoever lands on the magic number sits down.  And then the next person starts at 1 again.  You continue until one person is left.  My kids crack up whenever I have to sit down!

I Have Who Has:  This is a favorite of mine and the class.  I love that this can be a great introduction to a new skill, a fun way to review previous skills and a quick easy informal assessment.  For example, today we started our shapes unit.  We played I Have Who Has with shapes.  I quickly got an idea of which shapes we’re a challenge (oval and hexagon) and the three students who had no shapes at all.  I was able to adapt my small group time to meet the needs of those students better.  (Assessment…standards…small groups…good teachers.  good.)  My kids love I have Who Has and beg to play it.  Check out my TPT store and older blog posts for I Have Who Has games!

Find The Clothespin:  This is my favorite!  I learned this game in training and love watching the kids play it!  It’s simple.  Everyone closes their eyes.  Actually, I have my students turn around, close their eyes and cover their eyes.  No peeking.  After everyone is not peeking, you put the clothespin somewhere on a child or yourself.  Then you find the clothespin.  We have a rule that you cannot talk or point when you see the clothespin.  If you see the clothespin, you sit down quietly.  I use this game to help my students with attention skills.  They can’t just walk around and laugh, they have to really pay attention to their friends or they won’t see the clothespin.  When we first start playing the game I use a giant clothespin that I found at Target (oh Target…how I love thee…good Target.  Good.)  After we play a few times, I switch to a regular clothespin.  And later in the year I use a tiny clothespin that I found at….Target.  It’s so funny to find interesting places to hide the clothespin.  I have hid the clothespin on my ear…in kid’s hair…on shoe laces…belts…and once in my nose.  Clothespin and nose=pain.

These are a few of our favorite and most used activities.  What kind of activities do you use in morning meeting?  Will you try any of these activities?

And here is how we spent recess!  Can I just say that I LOVE my kids!

THE WEDDING!  12 Days!  Go buy stuff.  I have to pay for the macaroni and cheese bar that includes THREE types of macaroni and cheese (regular, Gouda, and pepper jack!) and the 15 different toppings for the mac and cheese.  My shape pack is free through today and then it will be $2.  Go buy.  Mac and cheese.  MMMM

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