Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ten Reasons Why I Love Morning Message

Last year, I began consistently writing a morning message every day for my 4th graders. I know that many primary teachers already do this, but I had not, until I attended a week-long Responsive Classroom training. I decided to commit to writing a daily morning message, (which my SMARTBoard make so much easier, since my handwriting is not the best, and I can easily edit any mistakes.)

After a year of doing morning message, I have become sold on the benefits of this daily routine. Here are some of the things that I love about it.
1. It helps with building routines and getting to know each other in the early days of school. The images above are from the first two days of school last year.
2. It teaches students a predictable structure. Every morning, students enter the room, make a lunch choice, pass in homework, and then read the morning message.
 3. It reinforces and reviews a variety of curriculum concepts. The message does not start out all marked up. That happens at morning meeting when we read the message together, such as in the example above when I asked students to find the nouns and adjectives.  Sometimes I do have students mark the text, such as when they edit my mistakes.

4. It gives those students who need to know what will be happening that day more information than a typical schedule listing just subjects.

5. It prepares students for what I might want them to talk about at morning meeting, so those students who need time to think can have that processing time and are not put on the spot.
 6. It is very current with what is happening on that specific day, in that specific year. This is why I can't imagine using a prepared set of morning messages; you need them to be personal for that group of students on that particular day. However, now that I have a year's worth of messages done and saved, does that mean I won't reuse certain messages with a little tweaking? Absolutely not!
 7. It allows you to address issues in your classroom in a thoughtful way. After Christmas break, my students were having a hard time settling back into the expectations for working quietly. Morning message was a non-threatening way to address the problem and invite them to collaboratively come up with a solution.
8. Morning Message is very flexible. You can use it to reinforce curriculum in any subject area, as you can see in the above literacy, social studies, and science examples.

9. It allows shy students an opportunity to participate nonverbally at times, such as the example above about electrical devices.

10. It helps kids feel connected to their classroom community. They look forward to reading the message each day. On the rare occasion that I was out and there was a substitute, I always made sure there was still a morning message.

The templates you see around my morning messages are available in my TPT store either individually, or bundled. Click on the pictures to check them out.

Set 1

Set 2
Set 3
Set 4

Set 5

Holiday Set
Template Bundle
Are these templates necessary to do morning message? Of course not! They just make it so easy to have a page that is colorful and attractive. I save each template in the My Content" section of the gallery. Then, whenever I have Smart Notebook open, I can go to the gallery, double-click on the thumbnail of the template I want, and it opens on the page, ready for me to type on it. I just keep adding another page each day to the same file until I have a month's worth of morning messages. Then, I start a new file for the next month.

I also have a couple of FREE mini-samplers that you can check out!

Do you do morning messages with your students?

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Cathy! I loved reading all your morning messages to your students. It's clear that they were able to come in and get right to work. I put my objectives up on the board using Powerpoint, and usually have a problem of the day as well. I don't have my students all day, so each class gets a new objective slide. I make enough for the month as well, then I change my design.

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