Circle time/ morning meeting vamp up

It's that time again... you know, the time of the year when you get a little bored and need to mix things up in the classroom. I felt like our circle time needed a little face lift from how we started this year.

Things I tweeked/ added:
-I started some explicit teaching around the First 40 Core Vocabulary words. Check out this resource from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It explains what the first 40 are, how to implement/ teach them and why they're important! I have a large core vocab. board that all students use and I use for the direct instruction. Each student also has a smaller core vocabulary on their desks or in their personal books. This week, our vocabulary words were "you", "stop", and "go". We read a quick story about things that go and practiced saying "go" and "stop", and practiced following directions in regards to the vocabulary.

-Our service dog, Ike, "travels" every weekend. Ike travels all over the world and students learn about his travels during circle time! Students learn 4 facts about where he traveled, work on matching skills by matching the pictures, and work on identifying the different countries by moving Ike's picture around.

-I added a GoTalk9 with the pictures and faces of all our students and staff. Students use it to greet peers and staff in silly and fun ways like: "Guten tag," "Sup homie?" "Waaaaaz up?" "How you doin'?" "Long time no see," "Buenos dias," and "Howdy, partner!" The kiddos get a total kick out of the silly greetings.

-I added a super short reminder about what we are learning for the week. We review pictures about what we are learning (this week it's the ocean) and then watch a super short video that relates to it.

Have you mixed up your morning meeting/ circle time lately?  Send ideas and tips my way, I'm always looking for ways to mix our days up!