One of the most important ways to help students feel safer and more in control is to build schedules and routines they can count on. Many elementary classrooms use morning meetings to check-in with students and lay out the goals of the day. Even with asynchronous distance learning or packets of work that go home, this is still possible.
For distance learning using internet tools, there are multiple ways to create a morning meeting video/welcome. Some possible ways to record and share information: SeeSaw, Google Classroom, Schoology, Blackboard, Canvas, Fligrid, Padlet, or a private Youtube channel. Flipgrid, Youtube, Padlet and some of Google Classroom do not require a paid account so it may be helpful if your district/school does not already have a platform. If you are looking for ways to move online with your classroom meetings, check out Ceedar Center’s Virtual Tool kit for moving to online learning.
Sometimes low tech is the way to go. A morning meeting can be done through a morning email, a shared notebook (virtual or not), a daily warm-up routine, and/or a simple check-in phone call.
Specialized supports for students with IEPs
For students with IEPs, you want to keep the morning message as similar to the rest of the class’s as possible. However, an introductory note with accessibility ideas for families on how to help their child be a more active part of the morning meeting. Basic ideas such as including more visuals, supporting parents on using a core board or other AAC, or ensuring audio is available can be good reminders for families.
For students with the most significant cognitive disabilities Here are two examples: one high tech and one low tech. All of the examples could be aligned with a core board and keywords.
Notice that both examples include similar pieces:
- An accessible greeting, using text, audio (when applicable), and AAC symbols or structure for modeling.
- A short personal message from the teacher welcoming the students to class.
- An accessible way for students to check-in.
- An outline of what academics students will be doing today.