Mrs. Stephens First Grade Safari
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When the timer goes "ding," everyone puts away their morning work and begins to gather on our large carpet area for our welcoming song and the Pledge of Allegiance. Then we sit criss-cross applesauce and begin our Morning Meeting. Morning Meeting sets the tone for the day and builds the community feel of our classroom. First, we read the morning message which gives a brief description of our day and any special happenings. We use the message to find vowel spellings, word endings, sight words, spelling words, digraphs, blends, etc. The morning message is also helpful in demonstrating different writing styles (lists, letter writing) and writing traits.
We also have our "Cheetah Chat" during our Morning Meeting. Cheetah Chat is our class meeting, which goes along with our school anti-bullying program. We sit in a big circle and pass around a stuffed animal - you can share only when you are holding the animal. Sometimes we just share things we did over the weekend, other times we discuss an issue from the playground, how to be a good friend, or other topic relevant to our classroom community.
Another way we encourage kindness is by becoming "Bucket Fillers" instead of "Bucket Dippers." After reading, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, we learn that each one of us has an invisible bucket. We learn to fill each other's buckets with kind words & actions, and not to dip out of someone's bucket by saying or doing mean things. Each child has a bucket in the classroom for students (and the teacher!) to write "bucket fillers." Each week we read all the positive things are friends have to say!