Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Blog Series: Morning Meeting Sharing

Hi everyone!  Today's post is all about the "sharing" portion of Morning Meeting.  If you are new to the blog, be sure to check out part 1: What is Morning Meeting?  as well as part 2: The Greeting.   

During the share portion of morning meeting, students share news or information about themselves and their peers respond.  They can also share a topic provided by the teacher.  Sharing helps students get to know one another.  It also helps build community in the classroom.  It's a great way to strengthen language development and success in reading.  Students are practicing their speaking and listening skills during the share time.  It helps with speaking clearly, forming appropriate questions, maintaining eye contact and so much more!  There are several ways to do the share:

1.  Open Share:  This is where you select a few students to share about anything they'd like.  You can make a schedule for this or just go on the fly.  I like to keep track of who has shared so I keep a checklist.  I typically don't give my kids a prompt for open share...I find that kids have so much to say!  They love telling stories about things that are important to them.  During this time, I like to take notes on what the kids say and ask.  This helps me notice speech issues and gives me a glimpse into their home lives and the things they do over the weekend.  After the kids have shared, they end with "I'm ready for questions and comments."  This opens up the conversation and allows kids to find out more details.  This share is typically done later in the year, once kids have gotten comfortable with sharing.

It's important to teach the students about things that are appropriate for sharing and things that are not.  I've found that brainstorming a list of appropriate items to share about is key.  This list could include family, pets, sports, friends, vacations, and special memories.

2.  Circle Share:  This is a more organized share.  The teacher provides a topic and the kids respond to it around the circle.  This type of sharing is great for the beginning of the year and is non-threatening to kids who may be shy.  The topic can be anything you want!  I like to choose seasonal topics or topics that relate to what we're learning about.  When you're doing a focused circle share, you might consider brainstorming ideas first.  This helps give kids who don't have an idea think of one.  For example, if kids are sharing their favorite Thanksgiving food, you could make a web of all the foods people eat on Thanksgiving.

The circle share is a great opportunity for kids to work on forming complete sentences. You can even give them a sentence stem to start.  For example, if you want them to share about their favorite food, you can give a stem like this:  "My favorite food is __________."

3.  Partner Share:  This is where students pair up and have a discussion.  They sit knee-to-knee and discuss a question that you give them.  Again, the topic can be whatever you want.

It's important not to forget the job of the listener during a share.  The listeners need to keep quiet, and show active listening.  They also have to practice self-control.  The listeners also have to formulate questions and appropriate responses for the people sharing.  Kids often try to make the sharing about themselves vs. the person sharing.  It's very important for the teacher to teach kids not to do this.  If a share veers into something inappropriate, steer the child back and re-direct them into sharing about something else.

As with anything in early childhood, modeling is KEY!  Model each type of sharing.  Practice often.  Refresh/review as needed.  Particularly after a weekend or holiday break.

If you'd like to check out my Morning Meeting: Sharing packet, click the cover below!  It includes several resources to get your sharing portion of the meeting organized and flowing!

And in case you missed the Greeting pack, click below!



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