Morning group or morning meeting is a staple of classrooms with students with moderate to severe disabilities. It is a daily routine designed to orient them to place and time and prepare them for the day.
It consists of a set of activities that help students understand the day, date, schedule, weather, their emotions, and much more. It can include items like reviewing the classroom rules, talking about their feelings, and even integrating academics like letter-of-the-day and sight words.
The practice is so successful that it’s been adapted for general education students. And as more schools move to inclusive models of educating students with disabilities, the practice is being transformed to benefit everyone.
Benefits of Morning Group
Everyone has a routine. Whether it’s brewing coffee first thing in the morning or setting out your clothes the night before work, routines help us organize our time and stay emotionally regulated. Students with disabilities are no different. Routines like the morning meeting help structure the student’s day and prepare them for the learning that is to come. It can also serve as a time to provide instruction on those small but important items – like emotions and social communication – that might not have entire class periods dedicated to them.
In addition, students with disabilities might have difficulty with concepts that come more easily to non-disabled peers. Concepts like “today,” and “tomorrow” are learned without very much explicit instruction for a lot of students. Learners with cognitive disabilities might require more explicit instruction. Morning group gives these learners the perfect opportunity to work on these important concepts in a way that is meaningful and fun.
The Future of Morning Group
Inclusion in general education for all students is a key goal for the future of special education. As we move closer to this goal, adapting the morning group to inclusive settings will be a critical component. How can we make morning group accessible to students with disabilities in inclusive settings? How can it be beneficial to general education students? These questions are being answered on the front lines of the move toward inclusive education. Watch this space for more posts on how we can move toward a more inclusive classroom and society.
Morning Group in the Time of COVID-19
While the COVID-19 pandemic has closed many physical school buildings, it has given teachers a new opportunity to reassess and redesign how they deliver instruction.
This short 30-minute webinar discusses how you can adapt the morning group routine to an online learning environment.