As a third and first grade classroom teacher, I often combined catching up with my students after the weekend with a Morning Meeting greeting or share. One of my favorites was “What’s the News?” Kids would greet each other around the circle and ask, “What’s the News?” Sometimes I’d have the students brainstorm their response, preparing to share just one word about their weekend, other times we worked to elaborate or to share our favorite part with details to explain. For my students, the greeting was just a fun way to share about the happenings of the weekend. For me, it was a way to layer practice with listening, speaking, and oral rehearsal for some of the writing we were doing.
At the beginning of this school year, Adi, my kindergarten daughter, was talking to her older sister in the car, talking about what she had shared for her weekend greeting. “I said dance. I always say dance.”
“I talked about riding in the jeep with you and Rosie,” Wren told Adi.
My ears perked up. “Do you always share about your weekends?” I asked. They girls nodded.
After that conversation, I made a point of asking the girls what they shared about each Monday, interested to hear what tidbit from the weekend stood out to them.
This morning, after Adi’s shower, she stood bundled in her towel as I brushed her curls. “I don’t know what to share about tomorrow,” she announced, a serious look on her face. “I could tell about Harold [our Elf on the Shelf] and how we found him this morning or getting our Christmas tree.” She seemed really stumped.
Fresh off of shared writing in kindergarten, I decided to see if we could do some story telling practice…combing curls takes some time. “If you were going to tell the story about Harold, how would it go? Which part would you tell first?”
“How I came down the stairs and saw Harold on the calendar and then I was talking to him.”
“Would the talking part go on the next page if you were writing a book?” I asked.
“Yes!” Adi exclaimed and then started again, this time revising her story and letting me know when she would start a new page. “I came down the stairs with Wren and saw Harold on the calendar. We read the note. Turn the page. Then I was talking to Harold and telling him I wanted a goat for Christmas and asking how Santa was. Turn the page. Then I ate the chocolate from my calendar.”
A little while later, deep in my Sunday To Do List, Adi began following me around, whining that she had nothing to do.
“Write your story,” I suggested. “The one about Harold.”
That was all she needed to get started. Before I knew it, she was set up with paper, a stapler, and crayons. She worked quietly for quite a while before reappearing to read me her book.