Morning Meeting activities, greetings, and share ideas

Morning Meeting activities, greetings, and share ideas

morning meeting topics
Do you have Morning Meetings in your classroom? Morning meetings are a way to further your positive classroom community, creating a classroom climate that feels safe, secure, and fun for students.

I learned about Morning Meeting through several Responsive Classroom courses that I took- I HIGHLY recommend signing up for these professional development courses if they are offered at your district. The Responsive Classroom approach "empowers educators to create safe, joyful, and engaging learning communities where all students have a sense of belonging and feel significant." It completely changed my classroom management style, as well as turned my focus toward social and emotional learning, instead of solely on academic learning. Responsive Classroom is an approach to teaching that ultimately enables optimal student learning. Instead of simply focusing on student's behavior being "good" or "bad," it looks at every perspective of a child's time at school.
Responsive Classroom morning meeting activities

What do I need for morning meeting?

Absolutely nothing! There are so many Internet resources for morning meetings (I linked a couple of videos on the bottom of this post). Although you can always choose to incorporate materials into morning meeting (such as a ball for the greeting or sorting cards for an activity), you don't need anything to do it. All you need is for students to either sit in a circle, or pull chairs over in a circle. Remember that EVERYONE in the room will participate in morning meeting- this includes any parent volunteers of IAs that are in the room! We are aiming to create a sense of belonging and significant, so including everyone is absolutely necessary.

If you're interested, here is a list of terrific Morning Meeting resource books to check out in your professional library or pick up on Amazon. (this is an Amazon Affiliate link which provides a mean for Glitter in Third to earn a fee by linking to Amazon.com at no cost to you). 

Benefits of morning meeting

Morning meetings create a positive classroom culture. My first two years of teaching, I did not do morning meetings. I see a complete difference of the attitude and respect that my students give one another. My students take the social and emotional learning that they learn during morning meeting, and utilize it in places like the lunchroom and playground. Morning meetings set the tone for the entire day. A peaceful, calm, and stable morning starts the day off right. I saw behaviors in my classroom decrease as morning meeting goes on throughout the year. It creates an incredible climate and culture in the classroom that fosters meaningful student relationships.

Through morning meeting, students learn respect, trust, empathy, and kindness. Morning meeting prepares kids for the rest of the day. Some students have bad mornings. Some students may have had a bad night. However, they will know that morning meeting will happen every morning and offer some level of familiarity to them. Every student deserves to feel valued, and this quick start to your day will help achieve this goal. It is a time where every student matters. Each child knows they are welcomed. Morning meeting is so much more than simply hearing a child's name, but a time that will increase a student's confidence and allow a child daily practice in appropriate and respectful communication.

Morning meeting topics & how it works

There are four components of morning meeting. Although morning meeting follows this specific structure, each of these components is adaptable and flexible. I change each section of my morning meeting every day to keep it interesting, yet the structure is the same so that students know what to expect. This helps students feel a sense of stability in the classroom. Morning meeting takes about 20-30 minutes each morning, but without a doubt it is the most important part of our day.

  • Morning meeting greeting: 

    • Students literally greet one another by name. I emphasize the importance of making eye contact, not standing to close to others, looking interested, etc. It helps the social skills in your classroom. Not every student hears their name at home, this is incredibly powerful to ensure that every student in the classroom feels important and reminds them that they are part of the classroom community.

  • Morning meeting share:

    • This is a time when students share events going on in their lives. There are so many ways for them to do this. Sharing allows students to practice public speaking, as well as how to communicate. Even the student not sharing is learning- they are learning how to be a good listener and conversationalist. The listeners learn how to ask empathetic questions. This is NOT show and tell. I also make sure the kids know that this is not a time to brag, and to be empathetic when sharing (for example, not talking about another student's party they are going to if other kids are not invited as wel).

  • Morning meeting activities: 

    • An activity can be a game. An activity can be learning review. I NEVER use the word "game" for this, because students come to expect it. Everyone participates in the activity that helps create group communication. My students often play these cooperative games during recess and dismissal as well because they enjoy them so much!

  • Morning meeting message: 

    • Every morning I write a message on the board. I read it to the students. Sometimes, we do a choral reading. Sometimes we read it in a funny voice. In the message I mention some things that are exciting that are coming up so that the kids will think about what they can look forward to during the day. I also go over the schedule for the day. 

What does morning meeting look like?

There are some fantastic videos on YouTube of teachers' classrooms where a morning meeting is performed. I embedded a few below!



How can I make morning meeting successful?

As with anything in teaching: model, model, model! Show what the procedure should look like. Discuss what it looks like. Make sure that students know that only one person is talking at a time, it is a time for respect and listening. Create the morning meeting rules together so that the students are responsible and held accountable for the rules.

Morning meeting ideas

You want to start morning meeting - that's awesome! It can feel overwhelming to start. I asked some of my teacher friends on Instagram to help share their favorite ideas as well. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Morning meeting greeting ideas

  • Cinderella greeting
    • This one can take a while - save it for a fun Friday. Students remove one shoe and put in the middle of the circle. Each student will close their eyes and grab a shoe. Then, they will guess whose shoe it is. If they are incorrect, the real owner of the shoe will reveal themselves. Keep going until there are no shoes left.
  • International greeting
    • Brainstorm how to say "hello" in a variety of languages. Students will go around in the circle and say hello to the class, and the class will echo it back to them.
  • Simple
    • All students stand up in a circle. A student walks across the circle, says "good morning *insert name here*," then sits in that student's spot. Next, the student who got greeted finds someone else to greet. This continues until everyone has been greeted.
  • Skip counting
    • Pick a number to skip count by. For example, four. A student will start. They count four students, then say good morning to that student. They take the student's spot, then the greeted student continues the skip count. The greeting is over when all students have been greeted.
  • Object toss
    • Take a ball/Beanie Baby/etc. and stand in a circle. Toss to a student and say, "Good morning, _____." The student who tossed the ball sits down. The next student tosses the ball to another student. Continue until everyone is sitting down.
  • One-minute greeting
    • Students have one minute to greet as many students as they can.
  • Pass the noise

    • The first student comes up with a sound. They start the noise, then it is passed around the circle.

  • The Price Is Right greeting
    • Students form two lines facing one another. A student runs down the line getting high-fived.
  • The Wave
    • Just like at the ball park! Someone start the wave, then is goes all around the circle. This is a nice quickie if you need a shorter morning meeting due to an extra long math lesson or assembly.

Morning meeting share ideas

  • Highlight of week

    • At the end of the week, all students share the highlight of their week to the group.

  • Table share
    • Every day, I let a different table share. Kids do not have to share, it is up to them.A After they do a respectful share, they say, "Thank you for listening. I will now take one respectful question." Students can ask a question - NOT a comment. We emphasize that the share is about the sharer, not the person asking a question.
  • Maitre d' share
    • The teacher will yell out a number (like "party of 3!"). Students need to quickly create a group of three. Then the teacher will come up with a share question ("what is your favorite color?"). The group members share with one another, then the teacher calls out a another "Party of" number.

Morning meeting activities ideas

  • Alibi
    • Pick a student to be the Detective. Send them out of the room for a minute. All students will close their eyes, and the teacher will pick someone to be the Bandit. The inspector will come back and stand in the middle of the circle. Students go around in the circle and say "I didn't do it because I...." and come up with an alibi. For example, "I didn't do it because I was washing my dog." "I didn't do it because I was baby-sitting." After you go around the circle once, you will go around one more time. The Bandit is going to change their story very slightly, everyone else's alibi will stay the same. For example, the first time around the Bandit could say, "I didn't do it because I was shopping at Macy's." The second time they could say "I didn't do it because I was shopping at Nordstrom." The Detective has to remember what everyone said in order to find the Bandit.
  • Coseekee
    • Students sit in a circle. One student is the "Seeker" and stands outside the room as you pick a "leader." The Leader will be doing different movements, like clapping, snapping, tapping toes, etc. The rest of the circle will be following his/her movements. The Seeker will sit in the middle of the circle, and try to figure out who the Leader is. The Leader needs to be extra sneaky to change the movements without the Leader figuring out who she/he is!
  • Four Corners
    • You probably remember this oldie-but-goodie from your elementary school days! A counter sits in the middle of the room and counts to ten. The other students in the classroom walk to a corner. The counter yells out a number ("corner 2!"). Everyone in that corner must sit down.
  • Inspector Bullfrog
    • Pick a student to be the Inspector. Send them out of the room for a minute. All students will close their eyes, and the teacher will pick someone secretly to be the Bullfrog. The inspecotr will come up and stand in the middle of the circle. Students then will make eye contact with each other around the circle. The bullfrog will make eye contact with students and stick out his/her tongue. Students who get "caught" will sit down. The bullfrog will continue to capture students until there are none left. The Inspector's job is to try and find the bullfrog before all students sit down. Your students will be obsessed with this game, it is so fun.
  • Meditation
    • Use the Calm app (it's free!) to meditate for a few minutes as a group
  • Pica ferme nada
    • This is a game to work on place value. Students need to guess a number in the teacher's head (or another student's head). Write down the number secretly. Then, put down on the board lines depending on how many place values (for example, 362 would have three lines). A student may guess the number 831. The teacher will let the group know if the digit they placed is correct (ferme), in the wrong place value (pica), or the wrong number (nada). The teacher would write N N P under the number (meaning the first two numbers wrong, and the last in the correct place value). This continues until eventually the number is F F F. 
  • Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
    • A student hides a small ball (or stuffed animal, whatever you have in your room) in a slightly concealed spot. The other students walk around the room looking for it. When they find it, they say, "zip-a-dee-doo-dah!" and walk to the opposite side of the room. The game is over when all students have found the item.

What other activities can I do throughout the day to improve classroom climate?

Responsive Classroom has tons of activities that you can do throughout the day! Make sure to read my blog post on Closing Circle - it finishes your day in a calm manner. Also, read up on my blog post on Quiet Time. Both of these Responsive Classroom components are a way to refocus students to ensure that you have the most successful day possible.

Are there any other resources that could help me out?

There are TONS of books to familiarize yourself with Responsive Classroom and morning meeting. I linked some below (these are Amazon Affiliate links, so I earn a small amount if you click the link and purchase one. This money goes toward keeping up the website!)

Conclusion

Do you use morning meetings in your classroom? What does it look like in your room? Leave me a comment below!

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