Sunday, January 27, 2013

Morning Messages, a Question, and New Clip Art

I do a Morning Message almost every day at school. I know there are lots of resources out there about how to use them, but I've always done it on my own. When I taught Kindergarten, I would write the message with blanks and mistakes the children should be able to find (capital letters, no spaces, punctuation, etc.). Then, as a class we would find the mistakes together. I always mentioned the "Student Teacher's" name in one of the sentences, and that child would get to take the message home that day.

In 2nd Grade, I decided to do it a bit differently. I write the message on the board, and let the children find the mistakes and answer a problem or 2. I have a small note pad and basket by the message so the children  can write their answers. They are to write their names, number of mistakes, and the answers to any problems posted in the message. When they are done, they fold their papers and put them in the basket. This is done during our Morning Work time, so some people are at the carpet working on the message while others are at their tables doing their work. They are allowed to do the message at any time during Morning Work time.

The 2nd Grade messages are written in letter format. I usually include a sentence about the date, and say something about our day. Sometimes I mention our Student Teacher (my child helper for the day), and I  mention birthdays when we have one. After that, I usually have a math problem and a language arts problem for them to solve.

Later, we go over the message as a class, and count the errors and solve the problems. This way they can see if they made any mistakes. The best part for them is when I unfold each note and see who completed it correctly. Those students all get to choose a treat.

This is a great way to review skills we have been working on in the classroom. It also gives me a quick view as to who doesn't seem to understand certain concepts. The students enjoy it, which is always a plus when we are learning!

Here is a sample of one of my messages:



Here it is after we corrected it:


Do you do a Morning Message? If you do, feel free to share how you do it. Also, I was wondering if you would find a packet with ready-made morning messages useful. I've been thinking about how to put it together and still make it personal for everyone who uses it. I thought maybe a general letter with blanks for teachers to fill in and 2 problems for each day. Please let me know your thoughts. If enough people show interest, I'll create one for TPT. 

I created some new clip art for Dental Health month! It is available for personal or commercial use. I hope you find them useful!



There is one more thing I just HAVE to share! I found a TPT store by The-Primary-Techie. She makes these "Watch, Think, Color" Powerpoint presentations that give students practice in various math skills. You give each student a hundreds chart and start the Powerpoint. It runs itself, and the children are quiet since they are busy figuring it out. This gives you extra time to grade papers, prepare for the next lesson, or whatever else you have to do. We did place value and ten more, ten less activities. My students are now begging to do one everyday! The only thing to watch for is the timing on the slides. Once I figured out how to set it (I'm not very familiar with Powerpoint), I set it for 25 seconds per slide. That seemed to be enough for the slower learners, and not too long to bore the faster ones. She has a freebie activity if you want to try it out. She also has lots of different activities with different concepts and themes. They are also suitable for older students and younger students.



Click on the image above to get to her freebie. If you want to visit her blog, go to http://readingticket.blogspot.com/ . I'm definitely following her!


Enjoy the upcoming week! February is almost here! 



4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing my activity, Lori! I hope your followers enjoy them as much as I do. :)

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    1. You're welcome! My class is still begging to do more! :)

      Lori

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  2. I would be very interested in a morning message pack! I struggle with creating engaging and useful morning messages. How did you have the students correct the message in Kindergarten? Do you have individual journals they write in, or do you do it as a class during morning meeting?

    Thanks!

    Rae
    Mindful Rambles

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    1. Thanks for the response, Rae! In Kindergarten, we would read the message together, then I'd call on individual children to find the errors. I did it as a part of morning meeting (which I still do). My 2nd graders simply have to write the number of mistakes and the (extremely short) answers to the questions on a small piece of note paper. They get to see what they did right/wrong when we go over it as a class. I'm thinking of doing a short sample as a freebie soon to see how people like it. In the meantime, go to http://www.thekcrew.net/. They have a downloadable called the "Buzz Book" that is full of great morning messages for Kindergarten. I used it frequently when I taught K. Then, I would make my own variations of the messages as well.

      Lori

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