Tips for Morning Meetings
Morning meetings are terrific opportunities to connect with your students, have them connect with each other, and set the tone for a day of enthusiastic learning!
That’s a lot of benefit packed into 15-30 minutes a day! Do you need some morning meeting ideas to start your own? Maybe you’re looking for ideas to refresh the morning meeting you’ve been holding for years.
Morning meeting programs are flexible according to the classroom. If you have a lot of wigglers in your class, you might hold a five- to seven-minute meeting, not long enough for kids to get distracted. If your kids enjoy a lively discussion and have the capacity to focus for an extended period of time, your meeting might run much longer. Maybe you’ll incorporate academics in your meeting, or simply stick to reflection and sharing. It’s up to you!
Most morning meetings start with a greeting. This isn’t just the teacher’s chance to greet students—students should take this opportunity to greet each other. You can have children go around the circle and greet each person sitting next to them, or devise fun games so that each child greets different people each day.
Greeting time is a great chance to wake up your kids’ imaginations, too. Instead of a standard, “Hello, how are you this morning,” type of greeting, set up a fun template for kids to follow. Hand around an object, such as a roll of masking tape, and have each child make up a funny identity for the object. For example, “Hello, my name is Karen and this is my spaceship.” See if everyone can come up with their own idea!
After the greeting, many teachers allow time for sharing. You might have to limit sharing to three or four students a day to give everyone time to respond to the shares. This can be great on a Monday morning, when the weekend is still fresh in everyone’s mind. It’s also a good idea to keep the “show” out of this “show and tell.” Kids can share by describing events instead of bringing in objects to show. You can even have themed sharing days.
- Share about a dinner you ate with three animals as guests
- Share about how you got your name or nickname
- Share a description of an imaginary land that you’d like to visit on vacation
Some morning meetings are long enough to do an activity. Make sure the activity you choose is one that the whole class can work on together to promote collaboration skills.
- Read them a mystery and ask them to solve it
- Take the marshmallow challenge
- Design a paper chair that can actually hold a student
- Get kids’ brains moving with fun activities and brain challenges
- Choose a design engineering activity to do
A morning message is an important part of a morning meeting. This is when the class learns the plan for the day, including any special events or visitors. Write the morning message on a smartboard or large easel paper and incorporate interactive elements into it, such as grammatical errors that the kids need to fix, scrambled words, or half-finished illustrations they can finish.
There are lots of ways to make morning meetings varied and interesting. You can introduce an advice box for students to anonymously submit questions or problems that are happening at home or at school. Then open the floor to other students who might have ideas on how to solve the problem. If you want to use the time for academics, here are some ideas.
- Have the children try to solve a challenging daily math problem
- Have children prepare and give book talks
- Introduce a fun vocabulary word of the day. “Defenestrate” means to throw someone out the window!
Morning meeting time is a great chance to practice the rules, respect, and enthusiasm that should be a part of every classroom. And don’t forget to have fun!
School is a chance for learning and connection. Find more ways to connect with kids in this featured article!