The morning message is a daily letter written from the teacher/s to students highlighting one or more elements of the day ahead. These messages are written before students arrive at school. As students enter the classroom, among the first things they do are to visit and read (or attempt to read) the morning message. In early grades, morning messages are read chorally aloud as students gain familiarity with words/phrases that show up often in the letters. In older grades, students read the morning message independently, and often respond in some way as well. Responses might involve writing a word or phrase in response to a question, solving a mathematical problem posed, or adding information to create a chart or graph of class data. Morning messages provide an anchor for each classroom community to generate excitement around learning for the day, kick-start morning routines, and practice critical learning skills across the curriculum. Teachers can use morning messages to assess where each student needs additional enrichment or support and build confidence of their learners prior to new and challenging skills and concepts that might lie ahead in the school day. Morning messages build community in developmentally appropriate ways at each grade level. Morning messages are a small component of each child’s day (approximately 5 minutes), yet with over 170 school days in the year they are a repeated opportunity for practicing critical learning and demonstrating quality growth.
The “inter-web” is rife with resources, insight, and inspiration and it can be hard to sift through the selections for what is worth delving into. Here are five blogs, along with a noteworthy post for each, that are geared towards both educators & parents that may inspire as the summer draws to a close.
Noteworthy post: 6 Hard Truths – highlights some hard realities of life and living that, while no amount of schooling or training can fix, quality character education & social-emotional learning can endow children with a wealth of tools to cope, persevere, and overcome.
The Science of Learning Blog – by The Scientific Learning Corporation, has a wealth of articles on learning, the brain, and teaching strategies for engaging all types of learners.
Noteworthy post: Smarten up! Three Facts About the Learning Brain – three interesting facts about how dreams, diet, and even summer routines heavily impact your brain’s elasticity and acuity.
It’s About Learning – by Bo Adams, Chief Learning and Innovation Officer at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, his blog examines critical questions related to 21st Century Learning skills and tools and what our children need to be prepared for their future and not our past.
Noteworthy post: “Fallor ergo sum” – St. Augustine 1200 years prior to Descartes, this post examines the critical notion of “failing forward” – or the importance of the experience of being wrong, of failing and moving forward as an intrinsically necessary part of meaningful, lasting learning.
The Positive Classroom – by Muriel Rand, Professor of Early Childhood Education at New Jersey City University
Noteworthy post: 10 Wonderful Multicultural Children’s Books – briefly discusses the importance of actively developing anti-bias children and some literature selections that can be used as conversation starters.
Dane’s Education Blog – by Dane Peters, Head of Brooklyn Heights Montessori School
Noteworthy post: Play – how research shows that play of all kinds, even the rough-and-tumble sort – can be healthy and even prevent violent behavior.