Morning Message

What if I told you that if you just took a few minutes each morning to do one activity with your students, they would learn:

  • That print has meaning
  • What you say can be written down
  • Letter versus Word
  • Word versus Sentence
  • Words have spaces between them
  • Punctuation
  • Where to start and stop reading
  • Left to right progression
  • Return Sweep
  • One to one correspondence 
  • Letters Recognition
  • Letter Formation
  • Letter Sounds
  • Sight words
  • CVC Words
  • Rhyming
  • The list goes on and on….

Morning message is a shared pen activity that is written in the form of a friendly letter from you, the teacher, to your class. My letter to the class almost always includes the date, the weather, something that is happening that day (a skill we will be practicing, a book we will be reading, a special event or visitor), and a place to practice a skill. Morning message is a prime opportunity for you to model great writing for your students and for your students to get excited about writing and practice many different skills!

At the beginning of the year, I start off with a very simple Morning Message. It is generally only 2 or 3 sentences long with one blank that we fill in together. As the year progresses, my Morning Message become more complex and by the end of the year, I have many students who are capable of leading morning message and doing most of the writing themselves! 

Here is an example of a Morning Message from the middle of the school year:

By this point in the year, students have the pattern of our morning message down and are able to "read" it together as a class. Students feel comforable writing in sight words, letter sounds, and punctuation (I change up the blanks from day to day).   

Although you can pre-write the message ahead of time (and this is what I did for several years), writting the message with the class is more bennificial to students. They can see what you say can be written down, watch how you move from left to right, top to bottom when writing, obseve how you put spaces between your words... really witness all of the mechanics of writing in real time.  

If you are looking for a few ways to “spice up” Morning Message and make it even more engaging for students, here are a few ideas:
  •         Smelly Markers: Because, who doesn't love to write with smelly markers?
  •         WikkiStix: These are great for circling or underlining letters, words, or pictures on your morning message.
  •         Pointers: Students LOVE using pointers! They can come up and point to words as the class reads the message, point our letters, point out words, etc. 
  •         Highlighter Tape: I like this wide tape because it is perfect for the morning message! 
I hope you found this post helpful and that you got a few new ideas! If you have any questions about Morning Message or would like to share how it looks in your classroom, I would love to hear it in the comments below!

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