The Responsive Classroom website Information Library includes an article entitled Teaching Skillful Communication: A Standards-Based Approach to Morning Meeting. The authors point out that Morning Meeting is a viable setting for building communication skills. As FWSU continues its work in proficiency-based teaching and learning with the prioritized content standards and transferable skills, I took the opportunity to apply their ideas to our work.
Along with other local elementary schools, Fletcher Elementary School maintains a strong focus on the Responsive Classroom practice of Morning Meeting. They recognize that Morning Meeting is an effective practice for positively engaging students, both socially and academically at the start of their day within their classroom community.
This year we have an opportunity to grow our current work into future successes on behalf of our students. When planning for Morning Meeting is guided by the implementation of Common Core State Standards in Speaking and Listening and Transferable Skills in Effective Communication, a classroom has an authentic, personalized, format for teaching, practicing, and formatively assessing proficiency in these important areas of learning. Students are able to learn and use a variety of communication skills during this foundational time throughout the school year.
The Morning Meeting format allows for the deliberate and thoughtful teaching and modeling of skills that are used throughout the day to demonstrate evidence of learning in many academic areas. The Morning Meeting structure also allows for critical scaffolding necessary in the acquisition of these skills with teacher supports built into the Morning Meeting format.
In the charts that follow, you can see some examples of Common Core State Standards for Speaking and Listening in grade 5 along with the Vermont’s Transferable Skills in Effective Communication.
In addition to explicitly teaching these skills, providing sufficient, meaningful learning opportunities for students can be challenging. Identifying Morning Meeting as an authentic context for group discussion on focused topics – for example, sharing and follow-up questions, provides a rich context for speaking and listening standards, as well as proficiencies for effective communication.
“Teaching Skillful Communication: A Standards-Based Approach to Morning Meeting” by Kathleen Sheehy and Emily Young. Responsive Classroom Information Library
Linda Keating is the Director of Curriculum at FWSU. She is a regular contributor to the FWSU Blog. You can follow her on Twitter @Educate4ward