I’ve had a number of questions about running morning meeting with older students. Older students include middle and high school students, but also has included 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students.
As many of you know, I feel pretty strongly about providing the opportunity to learn age-appropriate activities in the classroom. There’s no judgment when students prefer younger activities, as we all do sometimes (I’m looking at you adult coloring). But I do think we have a responsibility to introduce them to age-appropriate activities. And I don’t want other students in the school to perceive the students as babyish. So I always want morning meeting and classroom activities to meet their developmental needs but be appropriate for their chronological age.
6 Activities for Older Students in Morning Meeting
These activities expand on my morning meeting tools in the Secondary Morning Meeting Starter Kit from TpT or can be used independently.
You can do calendar skills on an interactive whiteboard or have each student have his or her own calendar to use. I wouldn’t have a calendar helper like in younger years. But students can find the date and the day. You can also have them do an online search and look for significant events that happened on that day in the past. You could also have them list out activities that will happen that day in school or special events (even something like an NBA playoff game or something like that) so they are filling out a calendar. You can lead this on a projector or have a student do it on the interactive whiteboard. Managing the calendar is important for all ages.
Have them look up the weather online and make predictions based on the weather forecast. Then have them track whether the predictions were accurate. You could even have a contest about it to see how gets gets it right more often (i.e., makes a correct prediction about whether the weather forecast will be accurate). Or just have them track its accuracy and calculate the percentage of accuracy. This way you are building math into it as well as science.
I still love to sing and dance at any age. But I just use age-appropriate songs. You could use Youtube videos. Just be sure to watch them first for classroom appropriate language of course. I also have been known to fold in some exercise through Richard Simmons videos that I think might be on YouTube now. They are definitely on Amazon prime. The kids love him because he’s so out there! I use a song board and an exercise board for them to make choices as well. Then we build in communication.
Have students read the news online. They can find a news article in an online paper and report about it to the class. They can answer others’ questions about it and give the highlights.
If you take community trips, have them plan them out on Google Maps so they can see where they are going. You can use the satellite view to find out what is next door to the store or restaurant they are going to and the map to estimate how long it will take them. To get there. Then plan what time they should leave to be there at a specific time.
Smart Notebook Question of the Day
Finally, this idea comes from Laura Iovine from the Special Educator Academy. Smart Notebook has the ability to present a question to the students and have students respond on their own device or computer. It’s called Shoutout. Laura uses it in her classroom to have them answer a daily question like “What did you like most about the first week of school?” Below you can see how their answers show up on the screen. So it promotes technology while giving students a chance to answer questions and share with the group.
How do you make your morning meeting age-appropriate and meaningful for your students? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or share it in the Autism Classroom Resources Special Educator Connection Facebook Group.
Until next time,