Morning Meetings During Covid19
Morning meetings are a terrific way to build community and establish healthy social-emotional connections. But what do they look like now?
Social distancing and remote learning mean the usual circle time has to change. No more kids sitting knee to knee on a rug and shaking hands, or even clapping hands together. But that doesn’t mean morning meetings can’t still happen. We just have to get a little creative! After all, it’s the act of taking several minutes to join together as a group that can make the difference between a productive day and a frustrating day.
Here are a few ideas for morning meetings that work with both in-classroom students and remote learners.
Kids are in no way immune to the stressors of the pandemic. Add to that worry about their families’ economic situations, which might be greatly changed, and you’ve got students who are dealing with a lot. The morning meeting takes on a whole new level of importance when things are this intense, so don’t forget to not only listen to their words but watch their expressions and body language.
An anonymous question jar is a great way to encourage kids to ask questions they might be embarrassed not to know the answers to. There are plenty of rumors going around about the coronavirus, how school works now, what the pandemic means for the future, and by offering up a safe way for kids to ask questions, you can start a classroom dialogue that goes a long way toward easing anxieties and fears. Classroom kids can slip pieces of paper into the jar and remote learners can email their questions.
This is a school year unlike any other, which means that many of the rules and regulations we’ve all been used to have been replaced with new rules and regulations. Plus, those new rules and regulations are likely to change at any minute in response to new information. For kids—and adults—this adds up to a lot of change. Keep the conversations about rules going beyond establishing expectations. Check in about how kids feel about wearing masks, social distancing, staying at desks, and everything else. They might have some ideas on how to make the classroom easier and safer, and discussing and implementing these ideas can be very empowering.
Share a Story
Kids love telling stories, and one activity that’s great for when you can’t stand too close is having everyone add a paragraph to a made-up story. Start them off with a first line, the next child adds to it, and then the next, and so on until you have a complete story. If you can record it or write it down to revisit later, that’s even more fun!
You don’t need to get close to get creative. Keep a baggy of charade ideas handy and let a child pick one out to act out for their friends. This can be a great way to get kids moving, too, which they all need after spending so much time at desks. Remote learners can join in through their video cameras. Here are some charade ideas.
- Harry Potter
- Riding a pony
- Carving a pumpkin
- Scuba diving
We all need something to keep our minds from focusing too much on how life has changed. Just as adults try and find things to think about that have nothing to do with the pandemic or economic uncertainty, kids need to have fun, too! Learn one foreign language word a day, learn one piece of trivia about a new animal every day (did you know that hellbender salamanders breathe through their skin?!), read one chapter out loud every day—there are plenty of daily habits teachers can establish to keep joyful learning alive in their classroom.