Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The #1 Teaching Tool- The Morning Message

I could go on  all day with my favorite teaching strategies, concepts and tools but no one would stick around to hear me babble.  I wanted to share with you probably the single most effective teaching tool I have used, The Morning Message.  Do not stop reading if you are not a teacher, this is something you can do with your children too. All you need is a few supplies including either a large writing tablet or stand up white board, colorful and fun markers, and knowledge of your students/children.  This where I wonder why school districts spend so much on workbooks:)  If you know me then you know how I feel about rote learning.

Since I can not simply go through all the ways to use the message is, I will touch on a few things and if anyone is interested in learning more I will then add posts.

  • The message is basically a colorful friendly letter.
  • The theme can be dependent on the day especially beyond a preschool level.  For example on Twisted Tuesday I would jumble common sight words for the children to unscramble.  On Thinking Thursday I always included a word problem relative to my students that they would solve.  
  • Leave blanks in the message in predictable locations each day.  For example for the Month of September you could always leave off the S so the children learn that beginning sound.I always left a portion of the date blank.
  • Once the letter is read and filled in, use highlighting tape, a pointer or marker to locate things.  Such as finding a sight word, punctuation marks, adjectives etc...
What a Morning Message  teaches:
Reading fluency and comprehension as well as sight words and decoding. 
Writing for style, structure, and composition.
Science and Social Studies can also be woven into the message.
It can teach most primary skills in an engaging way with little resources but loads of authenticity.  

The example I have is simplistic for my two and five year old, but gives you a feel.  Want to know more then I will happily do some more posts!

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