Morning Messages and Math Messages ....Watching It Evolve

I made some changes to my "morning message" routine this year.  We changed our schedule a bit and added a few things (Making Meaning and the vocabulary) and took out a few things (no more rest time!).   Because of that, my day looks a bit different than it has the last few years.  

Because of those changes, I'm no longer doing one morning message a day, but two!  One for language arts, and the other for math as a part of my math mini lesson.

So far I'm loving it!  I feel like we have more time to focus on new concepts and what we need to review, as well as building on yesterday's learning.

I follow my unit plan that has the concepts we are covering, but add things based on what my munchkins are excited about, what they have questions about, and what the next step in their learning might be.  I remember when I was working on my portfolio for National Board Certification, I needed to show why I made decisions in my day.   
"Yesterday, I noticed that one of my students used a counting on strategy when solving a math problem.  I'm giving another problem like that in large group because I want to give him the opportunity to explain that strategy to the rest of the group for anyone who is ready for it.  

I noticed that all but 2 kids in my class recognized all of the 2D shapes.  I'm going to do some quick interventions with those 2 kids (It's a hexagon!!!!), but not spend much more large group time on naming shapes."

Is a whole different explanation than:  "We are talking about shapes in this chapter and I bought this great addition activity on TPT."

I've seen some great new "Morning Message" packs you can buy on TPT.  There are some great ideas out there!  Here is my morning message and my math message on the very first day:

The morning message we filled in the chart, and then circled all of the "double" letters (oo in school, ss in recesses).  The Math message I had volunteers come up and draw a circle at the end of each of the lines.  We do a math problem using the teacher's helper's name every single day.  The helper and a friend come up to the board and solve it on paper, while the rest of the class solves it using their fingers or other strategy on the carpet.

And here is tomorrow's messages:

We are still circling doubles in the morning message, but are also looking for sight words as we add them to our word wall.  So far we have I, can, like, and we.  We are practicing "the kindergarten way" of writing the lowercase letters (to match their mamas and papas and uncles and aunts).  We also do a "Build A Bear" with someone's name each day.  Build A Bear is a more kindergarten friendly game of hangman where I draw a bear.

In te math message, we have REALLY been struggling with teen numbers, so we are going to have a discussion about that.  We have six helpers each day so we make a number sentence (greater than, less than, equal to) with how many girl helpers and how many boy helpers we have.  We are also going to graph the colors of the helper's cards on our helper chart and talk about that data.  Olivia will be excited about her "pony problem" tomorrow!

The best part of morning message (for my kids) is when the teacher's helper of the day gets to take it home!  I love morning/math messages!

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