Morning Meeting and Building Community

calendar.gifAt Cambridgeport, every classroom begins the day with a Morning Meeting. In both Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes, we begin with our greeting while sitting in a circle; every child is acknowledged by name. We then do our attendance routine, which links with our math curriculum. We often have a news and announcements time during which we share personal events and get to know each other. (We also frequently incorporate sharing into storytelling at Writing Workshop as a way to learn about one another.) We integrate academic, social, or curricular themes into a game or movement activity. Finally, we wrap up with a Morning Message during which we update our class calendar, read to find out about daily events, and build enthusiasm for our day.

morning_meeting.pngThe kindergarten year(s) are full of great changes for children and families—entry into a new school environment, first experience in a public school setting, first times eating in a lunchroom, riding a bus, or going to afterschool programs. By emphasizing community and working on ways to help kindergartners become supportive and nurturing friends, we aim to facilitate and make positive those changes. Forming a cohesive, cooperative, caring group is the biggest social goal to be reached during the kindergarten year because it is the context for everything that children do and learn at school.

Developmentally, four- six year olds are focused on their own needs, emotions, attributes, and interests, but they are also very concerned with making friends and are interested in noticing the diversity of their classroom and school. Our initial unit, Community, emphasizes ways to appreciate and respect our individual unique attributes as well as the similarities and differences that abound among appearances, cultural traditions, holidays, families, homes, and food of peoples all around the world. The Junior Kindergarten class will also be using the Second Step social curriculum to teach students empathy and problem solving.