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Morning Classroom Conversations

Build Your Students' Social-Emotional, Character, and Communication Skills Every Day
By: Maurice J. Elias, Nina A. Murphy, Kellie A. McClain

Foreword by Joshua Freedman

Written by expert SEL practitioners, this book provides you with a wealth of tools to guide successful Morning Classroom Conversations (MCCs) from start to finish—in just 10-15 minutes!

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071839362
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2021
  • Page Count: 208
  • Publication date: September 29, 2021

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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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.



Maurice J. Elias photo

Maurice J. Elias

Maurice J. Elias, PhD, is Professor, Psychology Department, Rutgers University, Director, Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab (www.secdlab.org), Co-Director of the Rutgers-based Academy for SEL in Schools, which offers online certificates in SEL Instruction and School Leadership (SELinSchools.org), and a member of the Leadership Team for SEL4NJ and SEL4US (www.SEL4US.org). He received the Joseph E. Zins Memorial Senior Scholar Award for Social-Emotional Learning from CASEL , the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education, and the Jane Bostrum Service to School Psychology Award. Dr. Elias is a past winner of the Lela Rowland Prevention Award, the Ernest McMahon Class of 1930 Award for service to New Jersey, and the American Psychological Association/Society for Community Research and Action’s Distinguished Contribution to Practice and Ethnic Minority Mentoring awards. His books include Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, The Educator’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement: Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom, and The Other Side of the Report Card: Assessing Students’ Social, Emotional, and Character Development (how schools and districts can integrate social-emotional and character development systematically into their ongoing student report cards). Most recently, he is the coauthor of The Joys & Oys of Parenting: Insights and Wisdom From the Jewish Tradition, Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students: 30 Flexible Research-Based Lessons to Build EQ Skills, Nurturing Students’ Character: Everyday Teaching Activities for Social-Emotional Learning, and Social-Emotional Learning Lab: A Comprehensive SEL Resource Kit (with Victoria Poedubicky).

He writes a blog on SECD for Edutopia (www.edutopia.org/profile/mauricej-elias) and can be reached at secdlab@gmail.com. His Twitter handles are @SELinSchools and @SECDLab.

Take a look at a review on The Other Side of the Report Card from the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists at https://us.corwin.com/sites/default/files/review_of_the_other_side_njasp_0.pdf.

Nina A. Murphy photo

Nina A. Murphy

Nina A. Murphy, PsyD, is a practicing school psychologist in Three Village Central School District, adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s College, and Senior Consulting and Field Expert at the Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) Lab at Rutgers University. Dr. Murphy has had a commitment to supporting positive youth development since she can remember but learned, during her graduate work at Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology and in the SECD Lab that this passion was targeted in helping youth develop positive character and purpose. She worked as a consultant in an urban school, opening her eyes to the intricacies of systems-level work and the importance of collaborative change.

Dr. Murphy has worked as a school psychologist for Grades K through 12 and feels inspired each day by the potential of her students to be the leaders of the future. Whether facilitating groups, individually counseling, consulting with teachers, coaching parents, or engaging in committee discussions, Dr. Murphy embeds her passion for social-emotional learning and development within each part of her work. At St. Joseph’s College, she teaches classes based on adolescent development and personality, which align with her passion for supporting student growth.

Dr. Murphy’s research targets youth leadership, self-efficacy, perseverance of effort, and student voice. She has trained teachers, administrators, and fellow psychologists in social-emotional curricula, embedding behavioral, emotional, and social competence into multitiered systems of supports and formulating social-emotional character development plans. Dr. Murphy has presented at conferences such as the National Association for School Psychology and APA Division 36 (Religion and Spirituality). She has been published in professional journals such as The Middle School Journal and Evaluation and Program Planning, highlighting a preventive youth leadership “Ambassador” program and the importance of preparing youth for social action. With experience in training youth leaders and supporting the implementation of social-emotional curricula, she is committed to ensuring youth establish positive character skills through programming and intentional, coordinated school supports.

Kellie A. McClain photo

Kellie A. McClain

Kellie A. McClain, PsyD, is a practicing school psychologist for the River Edge School District and a Senior Consulting and Field Expert at the Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) Lab at Rutgers University. She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in School Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. It was through these years of study that Dr. McClain developed a passion for helping at-risk youth through preventive measures. This passion is what led her to become a curriculum writer and consultant for the MOSAIC program, a social-emotional learning (SEL) program that helped bring Morning Classroom Conversations to life. Over a three-year span, Dr. McClain worked closely with students and teachers in multiple MOSAIC pilot schools and consulted around what is now known as Morning Classroom Conversations.

Dr. McClain’s experience working with students and teachers in urban areas has further deepened her passion to provide children with the tools they need to succeed both within and beyond the classroom. Dr. McClain actively incorporates several SEL and SE CD strategies in her current daily work as a school psychologist, with children ages 5 to 21. She specializes in professional development training with middle school teachers and administrators who are looking to incorporate SEL into their students’ learning in a cohesive, systematic way.

Dr. McClain’s research on the effects that student–teacher relationships have on SEL and academic achievement was published recently in the journal Research in Middle Level Education. Dr. McClain is committed to using her knowledge and experience to continue to help educators prepare students to tap into their full potential and live successful and purposeful lives.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Authors

Chapter 1: The Art of Conversation: Building and Reinforcing SEL Skills and Civil Discourse

Chapter 2: Morning Classroom Conversations Instructional Framework

Chapter 3: Preparation and Introduction of Morning Classroom Conversations

Chapter 4: Setting the Foundation for Morning Classroom Conversations Through Practice

Chapter 5: Guiding a Successful Group Discussion From Start to Finish

Chapter 6: Alternative Implementation Options

Chapter 7: Individualizing Your Morning Classroom Conversations

Chapter 8: Three-Year Developmental Progression

Chapter 9: Implementation Considerations for Lead Teachers and/or Administrators





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.