Wednesday, 20 October 2010 17:45

Tip #9: Quote of the Day

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Last week’s tip about having students check in each morning by sharing a number between one and ten launched our new theme: establishing an effective morning routine that prepares students for a great day of learning.  This week I describe the Quote of the Day, another highly beneficial component of a strong morning routine.  

The Quote of the Day
An effective way to bring out the best in our students, develop lasting habits, and help establish an enthusiastic, productive, team-oriented classroom culture is to feature a “Quote of the Day.”

Two or three mornings per week when the students come to the rug to begin our circle time, I have an inspirational quote written on the board.  Over the years I have gathered these quotes from a variety of sources; occasionally, we create our own.  These quotes relate to, and reinforce, the important ideas we often discuss, such as character, quality, success, and health & wellness.

Begin the activity by choosing someone to read the day’s quote to the class.  After providing students with time to think about the quote’s meaning and relevance, do a pair-share to maximize participation in the activity.  Then, select a few volunteers to share their thoughts with the group.  In these whole class discussions students may choose to identify the character trait or larger idea the quote addresses, offer interpretations of the quote’s meaning, or share examples demonstrating how the quote applies to their daily lives.  Emphasize that there are no right or wrong answers.

Though the conversations take only a few minutes, the exercise is a valuable one because it encourages kids to think deeply, because there’s a high tone to the dialogue that appeals to the best in people, and because it allows the group to start the day on a positive note.  Further payoffs to consistent use of this activity include better student behavior, stronger work habits and social skills, improved attitudes towards school, greater enthusiasm for and increased dedication to learning, more connections made between school and students’ present and future lives, and enhanced vocabulary development.

I have uploaded a list of some of my favorite quotes into the "Classroom Resources" section of this website.

New Teaching Tips appear every Sunday of the school year.