I love GoNoodle! GoNoodle is such a great tool to get students moving and using Brain Breaks but did you know there is another side to GoNoodle? Try using GoNoodle during the morning meeting.
Every morning, I start the day the same way. I got the idea from a book called “The Morning Miracle” by Hal Elrod. Having a morning routine helps me start my day on the right foot. I am more productive, less stressed, and feel much better.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the importance of developing these habits and realized what a great gift this would be for our students. As an educator, we spend a lot of time teaching our students about reading, math, and science. We even teach students how to treat each other, but how much time do we spend talking about how they should treat themselves?
I've shared a daily classroom schedule perfect for the K-5 self-contained classroom. The first part of the morning is dedicated to the morning meeting. One of the hardest things about teaching is dealing with various behaviors exhibited by children in the classroom and how we, as teachers, deal with those behaviors. Students come to us with a lot of baggage. There is no way for us to know what students are dealing with at home, but there is a way to get students to start their day on the right foot. How? The morning meeting.
So when I saw the calming videos on GoNoodle, I immediately thought of my morning routine and how I could use this in the classroom. Here are the steps to start your day off on the right foot with your students.
Why GoNoodle Morning Meeting?
Creating a morning routine is essential to a successful day in the classroom. It allows time to focus on goals and provides strategies for students to conquer their day. It also provides students more energy, mindfulness, and strength.
Another benefit of the morning meeting is to throw in a bit of social-emotional and character education to the mix. Here is a sample of what the morning meeting could look like in your classroom.
Start with Silence
Begin every morning by having students come to the carpet area for a moment of silence. Silence doesn't have to be a religious thing but just a time for students to clear their minds and prepare for the day. There are several excellent videos from GoNoodle to use during this time. Here is an example:
Affirmations are my favorite part of the morning meeting! Each week I provide students with a daily affirmation that correlates with our character word for the week. Here is an excellent site to find affirmations appropriate for kids in a language they can understand.
Affirmations develop an atmosphere in the classroom where it is the norm to acknowledge positive behaviors, thoughts, and actions. It needs to be consistent to change teacher and student's attitudes and actions. Here are the steps to teach the affirmation each week:
Write – Have students write the affirmation. Students can write their affirmations in a journal or I like to have students color these cute affirmation bookmarks.
Teach – Discuss with students what the affirmation looks like and sounds like. Students need to understand how to do them effectively.
Acknowledge Behaviors – Publicly acknowledge when students are doing the desired behavior. Encourage students to recognize others, too. Be sure to send positive notes or make calls to let parents know when students are doing well.
Our thoughts are creative forces and are constantly expressing themselves in our lives. We need to teach our students how to rehearse to achieve their desired results.
For example, if students want to make good grades, they need to picture themselves doing what it takes to succeed. Have students create an image of doing whatever they need to do and repeat these images repeatedly in their minds.
Students need to understand that what they focus on becomes their reality. The same goes for teachers. If we tell ourselves our students never do their homework or are never prepared for class, that is precisely what happens. If students tell themselves they are not good at math, they will never be good at math.
GoNoodle has great videos called “Think About It.” Here is an example:
While exercise is on the GoNoodle morning meeting schedule once a week, I would encourage you to have time set in your day for students to exercise.
Movement can be added during transition time, at the end of the day, or any other time students need a brain break. Here are a few reasons why you need students to exercise.
- Exercise improves learning on three levels: Improves alertness, attention, and motivation
- Prepares and encourages the brain to log in new information
- Helps make retaining information easier.
Students love GoNoodle exercise videos! Here is an example:
Every week students get to participate in an interactive read-aloud that deals with the month's character word. Since the morning meeting should only be 15 minutes a day, I like to read the weekly book at another time to allow more time to discuss the book.
I am currently developing specific questions for each book to help you plan for your interactive read-aloud each week. Remember when I shared the importance of read-aloud to teaching students to read? The Science of Reading research is clear that students build listening comprehension and background knowledge when they participate in interactive read-aloud. The goal is to go deeper and get students thinking and discussing the character word.
Every week students get to respond to the reading or develop ideas for integrating the character word in their life. Writing allows students to organize their thoughts and extend their thinking.
Students have several options for writing. Whether it be by responding to their interactive notebook, using the digital notebook, or using the writing prompt paper provided in the lessons.
Try GoNoodle during Your Morning Meeting
Now that you know how to use GoNoodle for your morning meeting, it's time to get started.
If you would like to check out my year-long curriculum to help you teach classroom community, mindfulness, and character education click here.
Want a Morning Meeting Freebie?
An important component of building a classroom community is the environment. Hanging pictures of kids on the wall, displaying student-made work and interactive bulletin boards are a great way to spruce up the environment. Here is a fun bulletin board idea you can try in your classroom. Sign-up below: