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In my classroom, we started each day with a Morning Meeting. Not only was it an excellent way to help build and foster the classroom community, but its benefits have been proven as sound educational practice.
Every Friday morning, we started the day with a video from Kid President. My students absolutely loved him, and his messages are on-point, relevant, and relatable. The videos provided a positive way to start the day and fostered excellent classroom discussion. I guarantee that everyone will start the day with a smile!
(Pro tip: To eliminate ads and other pop ups from YouTube, use the site safeshare.tv. Copy and paste the YouTube video link into the URL box, and voilà! Instant, ad-free viewing.)
The original Kid President Video, and one of our class favorites.
After watching the video of the week, we would engage in a community discussion about the content of the video and record our thinking on an anchor chart or SMART document slide.
Some of the questions I used to foster classroom discussion:
Throughout the day and the coming week, we would reference our "Kid President" chart; I found that it often inspired or reminded my students to be kinder to one another and to do little things to make each others' lives better and easier.
As we start this school year, I urge you to find a way to start each day, or each class period, with a brief bit of community building. Even if your jam-packed bell schedule only allows you to do this one day a week, I promise you, the investment is worth every bit of the return you will see.
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