Morning Classroom Conversations
Build Your Students' Social-Emotional, Character, and Communication Skills Every Day
- Maurice J. Elias - Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA, Academy for SEL in Schools, The Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, SEL4US.org
- Nina A. Murphy
- Kellie A. McClain
Foreword by Joshua Freedman
Get students thinking and learning by getting them talking!
Transitioning from home to school can be chaotic—but it doesn’t have to be. When you make Morning Classroom Conversations (MCCs) a regular part of your homeroom or advisory period, you give students a safe space to practice critical and creative thinking, build active listening skills, learn to respectfully disagree with others, and strengthen peer relationships… all while improving overall classroom climate.
Written by expert practitioners in the area of SEL, this book provides teachers, school counselors, and other conversation leaders with a wealth of tools to guide successful MCCs from start to finish—in just 10-15 minutes! Features include:
- Three calendar years’ worth of thought-provoking prompts and themes
- An overview of the underlying structure and goals of MCCs
- Sample scripts
- Vignettes and student and teacher voices
Adolescents need to feel heard and understood—by adults and by their peers. MCCs teach them to channel scattered thoughts and strong feelings into dynamic discussions while also strengthening social, emotional, and character development and building the skills they will need to achieve their goals as they transition to adult life.
"Morning Classroom Conversations are ready to blast off! Teachers can launch an exciting and structured means to introduce critical connections into classrooms, which are focused on teaching social and emotional skills and abilities while building rich communication skills at the same time."
"Morning Classroom Conversations provides a framework for how to begin having conversations that help students develop a stronger sense of self and develop awareness of those around them. This book provides students, as well as other members of our communities, with ways to develop skills for having a discussion with another person who may hold a differing view in a rational, productive manner."
"Morning Classroom Conversations provide educators an authentic way to develop meaningful communication in the classroom. Their Better Me, Better School, Better World developmental framework addresses all of the essential Social Emotional components required in today’s classroom environment."
"Morning Classroom Conversations will truly enhance the art of teaching. From its concise layout to forward thinking content, expectations and examples are clear. With the environment educators will foster, students will surely feel safe, accepted, confident and ready to learn. Teaching through this specific lens will help create problem solvers equipped with empowerment tools for years to come."
"There’s no doubt the pandemic, racial injustice and political divisiveness have resulted in tumultuous times for everyone! Teachers and students will return to school to re-connect with colleagues and classmates with many unresolved issues and challenges. We know that student voice is essential to understanding their needs, perspectives and interests. Morning Conversations is a well-designed, thoughtful resource for teachers and other school staff interested in supporting ongoing conversations with their learners. The authors have worked with hundreds of teachers and school staff to design and implement conversations in diverse school settings. They know the limitations of “cookie cutter” approaches to supporting teachers and students. This book includes many examples of Morning Conversations that practitioners can use or adapt to align with the realities of their school/classroom context."
"In our current reality and within the strange world of ‘pandemic teaching,' educators realize the need to provide even more supports for students in the areas of social and emotional learning. This book makes the critical connection between SEL and the ‘lost art’ of conversations. Teachers can use this book to teach and model for students how to engage in meaningful, relevant, and enriching conversations. Students grow in their understanding of themselves and their place in the larger community and world."
"The authors of Morning Classroom Conversations demonstrate the value of using daily conversation to not only build meaningful relationships but also to immerse a school community into explicit SEL instruction one classroom at a time. This text has the power to change an individual teacher’s practice and transform the lives of every learner. Explicit SEL instruction allows students to develop the necessary skills that will allow them to have agency and intentionality over their lives. SEL skills are not just for the classroom; these are vital life skills."
"This is a timely book. With many school systems now implementing SEL programs in order to help students, Morning Classroom Conversations discusses both the theory and practice of the strategies presented. Particularly helpful is that each section and process is broken down, with possible obstacle and roadblock scenarios addressed. Samples of the protocol are provided and the entire framework can be printed for easy access."
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 1. The Art of Conversation
Chapter 2. Morning Classroom Conversations Instructional Framework