Sharing Ourselves Together

Morning meeting has been a high point of my days with students for a long time. In the virtual setting I love it even more. I am so glad we have time carved out in our schedule to do this together every day. It brings us together in such fun ways and lets me get to know my students as people.

Our morning meeting has four parts, following the Responsive Classroom model. We begin with a greeting, some students share, we do an activity, and wrap up with a message. Each day a different meeting manager chooses our greeting and activity from ones we practiced at the start of the year. (Sometimes kids will ask for something we haven’t done and I’m open to it.) For the share, every student can share one time each week. For a long time, the first couple of days each week had lots of kids sharing, as many as we could fit in our time. Then later in the week it faded some.

from Howard Lake’s flickr

This week has been an unusually quiet week for share. On Tuesday, four kids shared, which is pretty standard. On Thursday (we didn’t have school on Monday or Wednesday), three kids shared. So today there were still ten kids who hadn’t shared this week. Instead of just asking if anyone wanted to share, I went kid by kid, inviting them to share. As a result, seven kids shared today. Some probably would have shared, even without the invitation, but I can’t imagine it would have been seven.

Others said no, which is definitely an option and one I’m glad they know they can choose. Some kids share every week. Others share sometimes. Everyone has shared at least a few times this year. It is important to me that my students know their voices are valued in our classroom. I feel relatively confident that the great majority of my students have known this in past years. It’s one more thing about which I am not confident in the virtual setting. This morning, listening to them share about their lives, hearing their classmates questions and connections, it all gave me hope that they do know their voice matters to me and to their classmates.

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