Monday, October 29, 2012

Morning Meeting Binder a.k.a. Morning Circle, Morning Board, etc...

Morning Meeting Binder
 Making a Calendar Time Binder on a  Budget

*Note: this is a super simple version and the pictures are very grainy for some reason... But such is life.
This past summer when I was in the planning stages of our Kindergarten year of homeschool, I came across some fantastic ideas for a Morning Board.  The women who put these together had amazing set-ups.  Big calendars and boards and print outs!  I loved them all.  But in order to apply it to my life I had to do things a little simpler and with what I had on hand.  First of all I don't have a printer, so I used a little creativity and drew my own. And I didn't have the funds to buy new supplies for a calendar and clips, etc... So I use a whiteboard calendar that we already had.  It's not a fancy set up, but it's functional and keeps me on track.  This is probably my most used tool that I use in homeschooling.  I'd be sort of lost without it.  So without further ado, here is the description of my Morning Meeting binder.

Making the Binder:
White Paper
Page Protectors
Dry Erase Marker

In order to make each page, I took a plain white sheet of paper and neatly wrote the title of that page.  Then I placed it in a page protector and put the page in the binder.  Then all I have to do is write on the page protector with my dry erase marker!

Daily List:
This is just a checklist of the things we are going to cover each day in Morning Meeting.  The parts that don't have a corresponding page are:
-Calendar: My five year old and I review the Month, Day, and Year and update the date on the whiteboard calendar.  And then we all sing a Months of the Year and Days of the Week song.  We don't sing the songs every day.  Maybe once or twice a week...
- The Weather: We are making a weather wheel in school today and I'll link to that later, but at this point I just have them draw the weather on our white board calendar.  
-Memory Verse- I have a basket for our index cards and use THIS memorization system.
-Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer:  I think this is self-explanatory.
 -I have a reminder to have the girls write their names at the end of every month as it's fun to measure improvements in handwriting from month to month. 
-I will be adding in a page for setting the time on a paper clock, once we cover that in school.

Days in School
My five year old fills in the number of days we have been in school and we are planning a fun day for the 100th day of School! 

Address & Phone Numbers
I don't have pictures of these, well, because they had our address and phone number on them : )  But we do have them and we recite them every morning.

Foreign Language
We are learning German, so each weekend I choose a word or phrase that we will learn and use for the week.  The one pictured is a bedtime prayer.  I also keep a record in the back of the binder of the words we have learned in order to review.  It looks a little messy but I have notes on what numbers we are learning as well. 


Good Manners/Habits:
I choose these based on the improvements I would like to see in my and my children's life.  For example, we have done Orderliness, Asking Permission and will be working on Generosity.  I sometimes use the same one for more than a week as needed.  

Letter of the Week:
This is more geared towards my 3 year old.  (Her schooling is pretty relaxed as I don't think she needs to start this early but she wanted to be involved and it helps keep her occupied to give her some special activities.)  We don't do letter names right now, we do letter sounds.  We also work on the Sign Language Version of the letter.  So every morning I hold up the page and she makes the sound and then we sign all of the letters that we know.  I think just learning the letter sounds helps her with her word enunciation as well.  
I hang the letter of the week up on our wall as well, it's a letter-sized piece of paper with the letter on it and a picture and I put the Sign Language flash card underneath it.  You can find a fun printable of the letter and the sign here

Sight Word:
I threw this one on a couple of weeks ago and haven't even bothered to give it a title... This is my five year old's Sight Word of the Week.  I either get it from the ABCJesusLovesMe site or from the book Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons 

And that's it!  I update it when I plan school on the weekend and it's the first thing we use every morning!  I think the routine of it helps my kids get into a school mind-set and it makes it easy to remember all of the things we need to be going over on a daily basis.
As far as planning the rest of our school day I use 
It allows me to enter in our lesson plans, track attendance and record all of the books we read.  I recommend watching the tutorials if you are going to use it as it could get confusing otherwise.  But once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy.  And it's free!

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