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Teaching Pre-Kindergarten: Morning Meeting Time
Morning Meeting Time
I'm looking at my favorite book about sharks. We are having our library time. I love sharks. They have big teeth. Suddenly, the teacher calls us over to the carpet for morning meeting time. My friends scurry to put their books back into the bookshelf and shuffle to the carpet for morning meeting time. I go too but I remember to use my walking feet and the teacher smiles at me. I love it when the teacher smiles at me. I wonder what we are going to do together today. I love our teacher because she tells us new things and I have fun. I love school.
Anyone working in the field of early childhood education wants their children to feel like the example above. Morning meeting time is a near sacred staple in the day of a pre-k child. Its where discoveries are made. It's a place to openly share ideas and exciting events. It's where the class sings and dances, learns a new letter, sings a new song. Morning meeting time is a place that should allow children to feel safe and stimulated. How can teachers set up such a dynamic place? READ ON!
Let LENNY Guide Your Room!
With any early childhood program, LENNY plays a vital role. Ever hear of LENNY before? LENNY needs to live and dominate the classroom because LENNY goes a long way into fostering a friendly environment where children feel safe growing, developing, and letting their lights shine. Here's LENNY with a little show and tell.
"I am LENNY. I am powerful and I am free. Here is what I can do along with you, teacher."
L is for love. Each child in your Pre-K program comes from a different background, with a unique individual mindset. Love him or her for that. Appreciate the uniqueness and let the children know it.
E stands for encouragement. Young children are starting to figure out their strengths. Show them their strong points and encourage their growth. Don't just say great work or good job, but be specific and excited with praise!
N and N stand for never-ending nurturing. Some children are emotionally and socially stable, others are just learning. Either way, all children need tons and tons of positive encouragement. Find and focus on what they are doing good, even in a tough spot. If they got angry and said mean things to a friend, tell them they did well by not hitting the friend, but talk about better strategies to express anger or disappointment.
Y is for "Yes I can!" Instill a positive approach into whatever task is at hand. As soon as a child utters the words, "I can't do it," reply with a "I see you haven't done it yet, but let's talk about how you can do it!"
An amazing book that is a quick read with lasting effects. A must read for anyone that has the opportunity to work with young children!
- NurtureMyHeart.com - Catherine Stafford
This article mentioned the use of LENNY. LENNY is an acronym created by this article's author. This website is related to LENNY and presents a loving philosophy in how to develop relationships with children and "celebrate successes."
- Children's Success Foundation | Home of the Nurtured Heart Approach
Read more on the Nurtured Heart Approach, an approach that will revolutionize the way you work with children.
Quick Tips for Morning Meeting Time
"Good morning boys and girls," Mrs. Smith said with an inviting smile.
"Good morning!" the class responded in unison.
"Today we are going to talk about hospitals. Hospitals are places where we--" Mrs. Smith began but was quickly interrupted by Luke who needed to use the bathroom. "Ok, so hospitals are places where we--"
"Are we going to do supermarkets today?" interrupted Riley.
"Yeah, I love supermarkets," Laura called out, "I went there last night and got a sticker book."
"Laura and Riley, you are interrupting our discussion." The two shrunk in their spots. Mrs. Smith groaned inwardly and thought to herself, "Why can't they just listen for two minutes without interrupting!"
Some day's morning meeting time seems like a waste with constant interruptions.Yet, this should not be as morning meetings can be a special time where teachers and children come together to share ideas, actively learn and discuss, and set the tone for the rest of the day. Keep LENNY aside and present clear cut activities and allow children time to express their ideas while also encouraging listening skills. Review the Quick Tips below:
+ Trim the Fat: Be precise with your language and communicate directly to help children focus.
+ Keep it Fun: Use a puppet, act something out, do hand gestures, have a surprise
+ Be Consistent with Your Rules: If you want them to raise hands, remind them everyday and don't accept answers from those that shout it out without raising a hand first.
+ Simple Is Good: Keep concepts simple and direct and give everyone a shot to practice
When teachers follow these tips and keep LENNY active, morning meeting time will be a special part of the day that everyone looks forward to instead of a time that frustrates both students and teachers alike.