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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Morning meeting as a tool for community-building and developing literacy skills in ASL and English

  • Author(s): Cole-Regis, Jennifer Christine
  • et al.

For academic learning to occur, students must have the social skills necessary for communicating, expressing ideas, and working with peers. Too often, more emphasis is placed on academic learning before these necessary social skills are highlighted in the classroom. When students feel they have ownership of their classroom, they are apt to take more personal responsibility for their learning and peers. Roxann Kriete's (2002) design for the Morning Meeting is used as a tool for learning and practicing the social skills necessary for academic learning. In the case of Deaf education classrooms, these social skills are important for developing both ASL and English, a sense of community, and a cultural identity. The Morning Meeting was adapted for a first grade classroom in the setting of a residential school for the Deaf. The classroom had an existing form of Morning Meeting that was modified to focus on a set of goals. The Morning Meeting, with some adaptations to meet Deaf students' needs, provided students with opportunities not only to practice specific social skills, but also to improve their reading and writing through the use of the Morning Message in both ASL and English. The findings suggest the curriculum was effective in enhancing students' social and cultural behaviors, developing the classroom as a community, and improving literacy skills in ASL and English

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