Class meetings or morning meetings focus on supporting students to reinforce the positive behaviors of their peers, reflect on previous learning, and preview new tasks weekly, daily, or at the beginning or end of class. With established norms for the meeting, this strategy can be used with students in all grades and across content areas. To begin the class meeting, the teacher can ask students to share celebrations or praise for a peer or peers based on the work they most recently completed independently or in groups, and students respond with a celebratory clap. Shout-outs can be followed by updates, a problem or question for whole class discussion, and future plans. The organization of a class meeting can be modified based on the teacher's goals for the meeting.
Set up a class meeting format that is appropriate for all stakeholders in your classroom. See the "Class Meeting Format," "Primary Classroom Meeting Format," and "What is a Morning Meeting?" resources for help in designing your class meeting structure.
If you want students to include a celebratory clap with their praise, you'll need to have students help you identify the claps appropriate for your class. If a celebratory clap does not match your classroom style, feel free to try something that empowers students to celebrate as a whole class. See the "Classroom Culture" video below for ideas about how to make a positive classroom culture.
Select the most appropriate location to hold your class meeting. If you have younger students, you might have them meet on the rug.
Select a consistent time and day to hold your class meeting. Will you run your class meeting daily, weekly, or at the beginning or end of a unit project?
Determine your individual goal for the class meeting. What do you want students to get out of the meetings?
Model for students the types of celebrations and praise that are appropriate during the peer praise portion of the class meeting time. Give students multiple examples, while allowing them to practice sharing celebrations and praise of their own. Support and encourage students as they share their celebrations and praise for their peers.
Share updates and a problem or question with students to solve or respond to collaboratively that relates to the upcoming or previous lesson.
It's important to note that this may not be something you want to include in your Class Meeting structure. Be sure to think about your age group and what activities would be appropriate for them during this portion of the class meeting.
Consistently implement this strategy using the timeframe you determined was appropriate for your class meeting.
Class Forums are a great way to gauge the pulse of your class. The Class Forums allow students the opportunity to talk about how the class is going for them, what they are learning, what they are enjoying. This strategy also be used as a reset after holidays and school breaks. Class forums can also be used as an opportunity to pass along important information and strengthen the class community.
The earlier in the school year the Class Forums get introduced the more helpful they will be as the year progresses.
Early on, allow students to set the goals and expectations for the Class Forums, give them the opportunity to really own this space.
Some students might feel more encouraged if they get the chance to write their feedback before sharing them with their peers or the whole class.
Consider allowing students to come up with topics for discussion.
To support students with learning disabilities that impact their verbal communication, teachers can give students the questions ahead of time and allow them to journal their thoughts before convening the class meeting. Providing sentence stems for their responses is another way to support students who struggle with verbal communication.
For EL students, this strategy provides an excellent opportunity for students to practice their English speaking skills. To acquire language fluency, students need opportunities to produce real, purposeful language. This strategy could be further modified for EL students by modeling for students how to ask and answer discussion questions, providing the students with the ability to prepare responses to questions with a partner or receive feedback on their responses to a question from a partner before engaging in the class meeting, or providing sample question or answer stems to guide their meeting contributions.
The key to making the class meeting strategy work is to build positive relationships with your students, to build trust by giving them opportunities to self-manage and take ownership of their learning, and to establish respect among students by encouraging positive collaboration.
Classcraft is a behavior and learning management tool. The platform allows for the creation of collaborative teams with customizable avatars. Discussion boards, an assignment dropbox, and self-paced quests are features of the learning management system. It has a leaderboard with the ability to add experience and subtract health points to individual students, teams, or the entire class. It's ClassDojo meets the World of WarCraft.
Classcraft supports this strategy because the points feature of Classcraft can be used to reward students with experience points when they receive positive celebrations or praise from their peers during Class Meeting.
ClassDojo is a multi-faceted classroom management tool focused on reinforcing classroom expectations and communicating those expectations out with the individual student, class, and families.