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Morning Meetings & Closing Circle
Morning Meeting is an engaging way to start each day, build a strong sense of community, and set children up for success socially and academically. Each morning, students and teachers gather together in a circle for twenty to thirty minutes and interact with one another during four purposeful components:
Greeting: Students and teachers greet one other by name and practice offering hospitality.
Sharing: Students share information about important events in their lives. Listeners often offer empathetic comments or ask clarifying questions.
Group Activity: Everyone participates in a brief, lively activity that fosters group cohesion and helps students practice social and academic skills (for example, reciting a poem, dancing, singing, or playing a game that reinforces social or academic skills). This does not have to be done every day.
Morning Message/Announcements: Messages should greet students and either share objectives or a special event for the day. They should have something you want the students to notice, like paragraphs, cursive handwriting, word choice. You can spell a word or two incorrectly or have grammatical errors. You can even give a riddle or brain teaser. These can be read aloud by the class, by you, or by a student.
You can make these fit your needs and the needs of your class.
Excerpt borrowed from Responsive Classroom: http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/what-is-morning-meeting/
Morning Meeting Games and Activities resource (Group Activity)
"Just like me" or "you're in my boat if..." are other share ideas
Mix up how students share to one another. Be creative. Count students off to share, play music/stop and have students share, students throw a ball to one another. Students do not always have to share to everyone, but every student should share to someone.
There are MANY more resources online.
The closing circle routine is a manageable way to peacefully wrap up the day and send students off feeling a sense of accomplishment and belonging. Like Morning Meeting at the beginning of the day, closing circle brings a sense of calm, safety, and community to students and teachers. The routine also helps students practice reflecting on what’s meaningful to them about their schoolwork, their classmates, and themselves. After a five- to ten-minute closing circle, students leave school feeling excited about their accomplishments and looking forward to the next day’s possibilities. (Borrowed from: https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/closing-circle/)
Or think of any reflection questions:
How were you brave today?
How were you kind today?
Is there anybody you need to apologize to?
How did you show hard work today?
How were you helpful today?
Another idea is to do deep breathing exercise to close the day - also good for Morning Meeting.