Here at HIS, we believe that:

  • our social curriculum is as important as our academic curriculum
  • how children learn is as important as what they learn
  • the greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.

An integral part of our Social/Emotional curriculum is our use of Morning Meeting in the Lower School and Early Years, and Circle of Power and Respect in the Middle School.  Starting with MM or CPR allows us to begin each day as a classroom community of caring and respectful learners.  It establishes a climate of trust and motivates our students by addressing two human needs:

  • the need to feel a sense of significance and belonging
  • the need to have fun.

The way we begin each day in our classrooms sets both the tone for learning and the expectations for how we will treat each other.  MM and CPR sharpen the tools of listening and productive talking, which are essential for:

  • partner work and small-group work
  • class discussions of Essential Questions
  • peer critiquing and collaborative problem-solving
  • taking intellectual risks.

Both MM and CPR consist of the same four Components:


  • Welcoming each other to the classroom every day is an act of hospitality.
  • Affirms that we are caretakers of each other in that classroom community.
  • Sets a positive tone because all greet and are greeted equally.


  • A person who can listen well, who can frame a good question and has the assertiveness to pose it, who can examine a situation from a number of perspectives, will be a strong learner.
  • The practice of sharing and responding nourishes the important cognitive skills of:
    • Stating one’s thoughts with clarity
    • Listening actively and forming questions that clarify
    • Seeing things from another’s perspective.

Group Activity

  • Fosters active and engaged participation.
  • Affords opportunities for academic skill-building and tie-in to current curricular topics.
  • Builds cohesiveness and deepens individuals’ sense of responsibility as group members.
  • Affirms the role of practice and effort in learning.

Morning Message

  • Allows students to reflect on learning from previous days.
  • Increases engagement by anticipating the learning to come.
  • Develops and reinforces language, math, and other academic skills in a meaningful and interactive way.
  • Builds community through shared written information and allows students to practice responsibility.

Through daily MM and CPR here at HIS, we attempt to merge social, emotional, and intellectual learning.

If we are to expect children to be knowledgeable, responsible, and caring, we must teach social and emotional skills, attitudes, and values with the same structure and attention that we devote to traditional subjects.”

-Maurice Elias in Promoting Social and Emotional Learning

-portions of the above excerpted from The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete


John Heffron

Lower School Principal

This entry was posted on Friday, January 16th, 2015 at 9:46 pm and is filed under Academics, Community, Students. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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