It’s no secret that mornings in the classroom set the tone for the entire day, which is why I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea of giving students ‘work’ as soon as they walk in the door. Well, what can you do if you don’t give them any work? Read on to learn about the power of morning meeting discussion questions!
Why Say No to Morning Work?
The first thing you do in the morning when you arrive in the building is likely NOT work; you check in with colleagues first, chatting here and there.
What if you allowed your students to do that, too? What if you gave them the freedom of easing into their day without any tight restrictions on what they MUST do?
Instead of having students work for what may feel like forever, you can encourage grade-appropriate discussions.
Focus on the community-building aspect with this precious morning time. You and I know how precious this time is, as it sets the tone for the day, so use it to get everyone started on the right foot.
Often, students come in with a load of baggage that we, of course, cannot carry for them. However, we can make their time with us as positive and memorable as possible!
One way (and my favorite) is to utilize morning meeting discussion questions on Google Slides. There are many benefits to using discussions, including speaking practice, getting to know each other, community building, and overall engagement.
Predictable, Daily Questions
Even if you don’t do a traditional morning meeting, I would strongly recommend at least carving out time for daily discussions.
To make it easier on yourself, create a predictable routine for the questions you ask each day. Not only does this create familiarity for students, but it gets them excited because they know what to expect!
I’ve created yearlong questions that correlate with each month of the school year so that all you have to do is project and teach – no laborious printing and prepping required!
Using Morning Meeting Discussion Questions
My slides help you foster meaningful discussion and be inclusive so all students can access the conversation. I’ve included a discussion starter, simple language, and REAL visuals for ELs or nonreaders.
You can use them first thing in the morning. Simply display the slide and allow students to walk in and chat with their classmates! If you’re cringing at the thought of that, implement a structured system that will enable discussions to flow naturally.
An example could be having students write their answers, then finding a partner or group to share with. You can then have a whole-group share afterward. Again, each day follows a familiar pattern:
My Weekend Monday
This day serves a twofold purpose. First, it allows the teacher to gauge students’ emotional states. It also allows students to elaborate and talk about their weekend, which many students can’t wait to do!
Top Two Tuesday
This day gives students a prompt to respond to. There will be a different topic, and they will state their response. Use the ‘examples’ slide to help generate ideas if students get stuck.
Would You Rather Wednesday
This is the traditional game of ‘Would You Rather.’ Students will see two options displayed and pick one. The real images truly help all students, but especially English Learners.
This or That Thursday
This day is similar to Wednesday. Students will see two options displayed and pick one. They will type their choice.
Fun Photo Friday
Essentially, students are creating a meme from the photo. They will look at the funny photo and generate a caption. I give students examples FIRST before doing the rest. I love to see their ideas!
Daily Discussion Questions – DONE FOR YOU
Hopefully, by now, you see the importance of utilizing daily discussion questions for morning meeting instead of laborious morning work because now it’s your turn! (No scary prep work involved, promise.)👇🏽
Or, choose individual months’ discussion slides that fit your needs!