Morning Message

Hi All!  Do you start your day with a morning message?  
If you saw my weekly schedule on the last post you may have noticed that I put in a morning message for each day of the week.  I actually think that the morning message is one of my favorite parts of a kindergarten day.  I remember how much my kinders loved it!  I think they enjoyed always starting the day off with a friendly message about our day's events and I know they had fun coming up to the board and searching for answers to the questions asked.  I even had parents comment on how their student would tell them all about something they learned or got to do during morning message time.  Now although I love it and the kids love it, I still need to make sure that I can get as much learning out of this fun time as I can.

I remember back to my first year teaching when I decided to start my day with a morning message.  I thought wahoo, this is going to be easy!  Well, let me tell you the first few weeks were not so great.  You see, I'm gonna admit, I wrote up a message, read it to the class, tried to ask some questions, lost their attention, and basically FAILED... TERRIBLY!  I knew right away that I needed more direction so I called up my mom (who is an expert morning messenger) and had her tell me exactly what she did for her morning message time.  I also searched the internet for information on "what to do"  with the morning message and began writing it out in my plan book.  Seriously I wrote the message out word for word and each question I wanted to ask with what it's.  Yes, it was like a script! HaHa

Now although my first year was a little crazy and I, a little overly prepared, it allowed me to really understand the purpose of a morning message and helped me to know all the benefits a morning message could make.  So the next year I did the morning message I got a little better, and the year after that I was starting to feel more like a pro.  But there's always been one thing that bothered me.  When I'm doing the morning message sometimes it seems like I'm always asking the same questions in the exact same way or that I focus on one standard way more than another or only talking about some standards for a day or two.  So I got to thinking and I decided that I'd create morning message sticks!  

I really think these sticks are fun and have a purpose!  I created these sticks using four kindergarten common core strands and color coded questions/tasks by these strands.  I included print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and conventions.  I am so excited because now I have a set of over 70 prepared questions or tasks that cover 4 different strands of standards!  Plus I think the kids will be more engaged because they'll get to "pick a stick."  

So how do I plan to use these?  Well, I think for me while doing my planning for the next week I'd pick 2-3 questions/concepts that I want to introduce, practice, and focus on.  I'd teach these on the first day of the next week and then add them to the jar for "picking."  This will help me to vary the questions and ensure I have a variety of standards.  I of course can always elaborate on a pulled stick or differentiate the question or task but at least I'll always have an idea ready to go that's on target.  Here's what they look like finished?  I can't wait to try these!  

If you like what you see, grab your own set at my teachers pay teachers store

All set and ready :)

Here's a list of all the questions/tasks already prepared on one quick look sheet.

Here's what the sheets look like before you cut each question and glue to sticks.

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