Getting my students to attend to and talk to peers can be very challenging. Sometimes it feels like no progress is being made and then suddenly a student interacts with a peer independently. MAKES IT ALL WORTH IT!!! Right?!?! Here are some ways we target peers talking and responding to peers during morning meeting.
We have a very structured morning meeting time. My students thrive on and crave routine, so we build movement and peer interaction into it. The thought is that making it part of the routine will give students enough practice that it becomes easier and easier to do without help. Here are 5 things my students say to each other every day.
After we go through to see what everyone’s job is for the day, the student who is the greeter turns to the student next to him and initiatives a greeting. The student responds to the greeting and then turns to the student on the opposite side of him and greet that student. We also work on changing the greetings up, so that it sounds more natural. For example, hi, hello, good morning, hey, etc. What ever the greeter begins with is the greeting that everyone has to use. This means that students have to attend to the greeter, imitate the greeting, initiate greetings and respond to greetings. That’s a lot of skills just with this one morning meeting task!
Another job during morning meeting is to be “Student of the day.” For that job, the student has to put his name together on the board:
Once the student is done putting his name together, he has to look at the rest of the class and tell them, “Repeat after me.” He then points to the first letter of his name while labeling it and then points to the rest of the class. The rest of the students have to repeat what he said. Not only are my students paying attention to each other, but they are also generalizing letter skills.
Asking and Answering Questions
Following Student Directions
We also have the students give directions to the other students for certain morning meeting jobs. The rest of the class has to follow the student’s directions. For example, the flag leader asks the other students to, “Please stand up.” and then leads the class in saying the pledge. Afterwards, everyone stays standing until the flag leader tells the class to, “Please sit down.”