Message Time Plus
What is Message Time Plus?
Message Time Plus is a modeled writing and shared reading instructional practice that lends itself to the explicit teaching of phonics and letter knowledge. Modeled Writing is a process in which you brainstorm, plan, compose and transcribe a piece of written text as the students watch and respond. Shared Reading, discussed earlier in this unit, is a process where you and the children read a piece of written text together.
How is Message Time Plus Different than Morning Message?
You may be more familiar with the practice of morning message, in which you may pre-write a message to the students on the board that begins with a familiar prompt, like “Good Morning…,” “Dear…” or “Today….” The message may typically be about what is happening that day. It is a whole class activity and highly teacher directed.
On the other hand, Message Time Plus is an enhanced version of the typical morning message and is overall a better use of your instructional time. Here’s why:
- It is written in front of the students (Modeled Writing).
- The message always begins differently; modeling how real writing begins in relation to the content and purpose of the writing.
- The content is pre-planned to accurately reflect the life of the classroom and what the students are learning. The learning happening in this practice is connected to learning happening throughout the day, like in intentional read alouds, shared reading or centers.
- The format, structure and genre of the message vary day to day in accordance to the content and purpose of the writing.
- The primary literacy objective of the lesson could focus on any area of literacy, like concepts of print, phonics/alphabet knowledge or phonological awareness, while the teaching during the message focuses on all areas simultaneously.
- Message Time Plus includes a mini lesson that is pre-planned to meet the needs of the whole class, while the modeled writing, shared reading and scaffolding allows for differentiated instruction.