I use equity sticks and do not have an assigned "calendar helper" or "weather helper" etc. I find that it keeps my students more engaged if they don't know exactly when they will be called on to help or ask a question. Once I get all the routines up and running I can run through the entire class at least once and sometimes twice.
I'm listing the routines I start with at the beginning of the school year. I usually try to add or change some of them each month so I'll update with those as I make those changes.
- Month - What month is it? What is the first letter? What is the last letter? How many letters are in the word? I will sometimes sing a song about the months of the year (I like the Dr. Jean Macarena Months)
- Today's Date - A student will count starting at 1 and stop at the Red Sign that says "Today is" If it is early in the month before we count I might ask What do you think the number will be today? How do you know? After counting if it is a two digit number I will ask what will the number like and I make a big deal about them saying the number in the correct order (i.e. 1 and 2 for 12 and not 2 and 1). We will also create a pattern (I always start with AB) So I can ask What shape and color should we put in today? Why? What will we put in tomorrow?
- Day of the Week - We sing a song about the days of the week. (I have a few I use because I can't sing the same thing all school year) What day of the week is it today? What was yesterday? (We also review the number) What will tomorrow be? I have students put in the red tabs.
10 Frame Date - I start this at the beginning of the month since there are already so many routines to teach the first week or so of school. Each day we decide how many dots we need to add to make the number (This is always fun to ask on a Monday after the weekend) After another student fixes the number at the bottom a student will use a pointer to count the dots. After counting one way I'll ask Can we can count another way (by 5s of 10s)? How many dots until we have 10? 20?
- Weather - This is pretty straight forward. I have students pick from a chart with velcro although with my ELL students it is fun to stop and discuss the weather on days when it is foggy or there is frost on the ground. I always have a student "read" the weather with a pointer practicing the one to one correspondence.
- Counting the Days of School - I have a student put one more straw into the pocket chart and then two student count all the straws. Then I have students help me figure out how we need to change the numbers and how we need to change the straws. Do we need to make a group of 10?
Then as something new this year (that I read in a Mailbox magazine) was to get a 100 piece puzzle and put a piece on every day. I put it together, wrote numbers 1 to 100 on the back and then each day we add a piece to the puzzle. My students are having so much fun trying to guess what the puzzle will be. (Edit: I just glue the pieces on with regular liquid glue)
- Letter of the Day - Our reading curriculum begins with reviewing the alphabet so right now I ask What letter do you think it will be today? and What sound does this letter make?
- Morning Message - This is one of my favorite parts of the morning meeting. I write mine out on chart paper and each day my star student (who also is my line leader and paper passer for the day) gets to pick the color. I write the same message everyday. I forgot to get a picture but here is what I say...
Today is (Day of the Week) (Month) (Day), (Year). We can see ____ girls and ____ boys at school. We will go to (special of the day).
(My Name) and _______
My star student counts the boys and the girls and fills in those numbers. I use this time to review sight words and letters and sounds. Then we use our pointing fingers to read our morning message together.
And then we continue on with the morning. Right now it takes FOREVER to get through this while I train the students how to stand so they aren't blocking everything when using a pointer and where to put the different cards and things. Some of it is getting faster and the students are getting better about understanding that they can't call out all the answer and that they will each get a turn.