The key to both a successful morning meeting and to successful independent work are visuals & labels. When you think you have overdone with excessive labeling – then you are done. I want to make sure my students know where each piece of important information is. I also want to be able to refer to different parts of board and be able to be specific. I don’t want to say, “Hey what does that say over there? Three spots to the right above that picture?” Nope. That’s confusing. I what to say read me yellow question number three under daily questions. Concrete and exact.
My favorite part of my morning board is my sentence building wh- questions space. I used colored masking tape to clearly structure and define the space to answer a who, what, and where question about the journal topic picture. Students write each part independently and then we create a sentence using the information. It’s a great way to combine communication skills and academics.
Another important part of my board are my daily work visuals for my lowest morning group. These are like mini anchor chart. I used a magnet to attach them to my board so we can easily pull them off to use them on the table.
My higher functioning kiddos complete daily independent math and grammar questions. These are labeled of course!
My mid level group does a word of the day and number of the day. I made these pieces color coded so I can refer to them more specifically for my kiddos who have difficulty with receptive language. It’s much easier to say, “What’s the green word?’ than say, “What’s that word under all those other words?”
Of course, our daily questions that each of my group completes are labeled as well as our journal topic.
When in doubt, over-label. Even for your highest functioning students. It is so essential to clarify what your students are doing and where they can find that information on the board.
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