Make an impact in your classroom each morning by having a morning meeting. Classroom meetings are an excellent way to spend time with your class, building relationships, and getting ready for the day. Check out the morning meeting ideas in this post with ready-for-you greetings, questions for sharing, activities, games, and messages.
Morning Meeting Ideas and Routines for K-3
Morning meetings are a time for all members of a class to join together and start the day. This daily check-in usually occurs in a circle and involves saying “hello” in a greeting, sharing in a short discussion or answering a question, and participating in a quick activity. This daily warm-up helps kids and adults transition into the day from home into the classroom. The purpose is to help everyone settle in and feel ready for the day.
Morning meetings should be relatively quick and purposeful. A session can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. It is essential to be flexible with the time, and do what feels best for your student’s needs that day. While a morning meeting is encouraged, a class meeting can take place at any time of day and any structure you need. An afternoon wrap-up is a useful way for kids to transition out the door.
This post breaks down the importance of morning meetings, what they are, and their components. You may choose to follow the meeting method below or adapt it to suit your needs.
Why is a Morning Meeting Important?
There are many benefits to having a daily morning meeting in your classroom.
1. Morning meetings help kids settle into the day.
Starting the day off with a meeting is an excellent way to focus on what’s ahead and create a positive atmosphere where students are ready to learn. Often kids come with stories (good and bad) from home that may challenge them to get focused once at school.
Morning meetings provide an opportunity for kids to get emotionally ready for the day, to leave the previous events behind, and focus on what’s happening at school.
2. Morning meetings help create classroom inclusion.
When everyone has a voice and a chance to share openly, they begin to feel heard and understood. When they feel understood and respected, they feel like they belong. This is when an inclusive morning meeting can occur.
Spend time before the first meeting, teaching expectations and emphasize ways to show respect. Brainstorm and model what they should look like, sound, and feel like and practice it together. Record the expectations on an anchor chart and review it often.
3. Morning meetings develop community and relationships.
Through a daily meeting, the classroom environment is enhanced, relationships develop, and the community grows. Classroom meetings dramatically change the climate of the classroom, starting things off in a positive tone. Children connect with and learn about peers and develop social skills, as well. Morning meetings build community when kids get to help one another and care for each other.
Make sure the morning meetings are student-centered and include time for one-on-one interactions, group sharing, and participation activities.
4. Morning meetings build social and emotional skills.
Morning meetings build many skills through social-emotional learning activities. When children have opportunities to share about themselves openly, they develop self-awareness skills and confidence. Spending time connecting, greeting, and learning about peers will help students develop social skills, as well.
Be patient when first starting morning meetings, as some kids will need time to become comfortable with sharing and participating fully. Make sure to recognize those individuals and allow them time and space to get relaxed.
A helpful strategy to encourage emotional awareness is to do a feelings check-in. Have kids note how they are feeling on a chart or with a sticky note. This exercise will help them be emotionally prepared for what’s next.
Role-playing activities are excellent ways to create empathy and practice socially acceptable responses to different scenarios. Use this activity often to teach kids about body language, facial expressions, and how their actions affect others.
5. Morning meetings provide a way to connect at the start of the day.
The time spent at school is often hectic and over-scheduled. Teachers frequently find it hard to fit everything in. Without a scheduled meeting, the day can quickly slip by without much time dedicated to checking in with each other to see how things are going. Morning meetings afford us a small chunk of time to meet and connect with our students before the academic demands take over.
Make morning meetings are part of your daily plan by scheduling the time and recording it in your teacher planner. Jot down what you will cover in a lesson plan, just as you would for any other academic lesson.
6. Sharing leads to learning.
Morning meetings are valuable chunks of time to learn about our students. They provide a safe space for kids to share honestly with the group.
Ask questions that you wouldn’t usually think to ask during academic learning time or in the brief conversations we have each day. When kids share, we grow familiar with their circumstances, beliefs, joys, struggles, and opinions about school, life, and themselves.
7. Morning meetings build conversation skills.
The structure of meetings provides opportunities to speak and listen. Speaking orally in front of a group and listening to others share ideas develop important conversation skills.
Take time to model and practice proper “whole-body” listening. Also, teach and give examples of clear, fluent speech. Participating in daily classroom meetings will build listening and speaking skills naturally.
What is Morning Meeting?
Morning meetings have different components that help bring the class together and connect. A popular format follows the Responsive Classroom method with four main parts. Your morning meeting can take on its structure depending on your classroom needs and time allowance.
Necessary Elements of Any Morning Meeting
No matter what you choose to include in your morning meeting, remember the following essential elements:
- Build a morning meeting routine, but also keep it fresh with fun additions and activities.
- Be willing to adapt the structure of your meetings to meet the developmental needs of your students.
- Provide opportunities for all students to participate equally.
Components of Morning Meetings
Below you will find a description of each part of a morning meeting, how they typically run, and ideas you can try in your classroom.
The morning meeting often begins with a greeting. Classmates greet each other briefly, in a friendly way. Each greeting brings the members of the class together into a circle. The greeting is a quick way for everyone to connect and foster community!
Ideas for Morning Meeting Greetings:
- Vary greetings with fresh and fun ideas
- BUTTERFLY: While saying good morning to classmates, hook thumbs together, and wave your fingers.
- ROLL THE BALL: In a circle, greet a classmate and roll them the ball. They greet someone new and roll the ball in their direction.
- ECHO: In a circle, take turns saying, “Hello, my name is ___, and I’d like to say good morning!” in a unique way with gestures. Repeat back, “Good morning!” in the same way!
Give the morning meeting greeting a social-emotional focus with these ideas.
- THANKFUL FOR: Take turns and greet each other with “Good morning, ___!” and “Today, I am thankful for ___.”
- POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS: In a circle, greet classmates with “Good morning!” and something you are good at. For example, “My name is Wesley, and I am a good friend!”
- GIVE A COMPLIMENT: Greet classmates by saying, “Good morning, ___!” and compliment them (You are…, I think you…, I like how…).
The morning meeting continues with sharing time. The teacher or meeting facilitator asks a question. Students reflect and share their thoughts and opinions openly while listening respectfully to others. Sharing is a nice way for peers to get to know each other better!
Ideas for Morning Meeting Shares on Social-Emotional Topics:
- Learn about the value of sharing time in your morning meeting.
- BRAINSTORM AND DISCUSS: What are your three favorite things to do at recess?
- WHAT WOULD YOU DO: What would you do if someone dropped their snack at recess?
- SHARE: Tell us about one of our classroom rules. Why do we follow it?
- THINK-PAIR-SHARE: Is tattling a good thing? What can we do instead?
- WHAT DO YOU THINK: What do you think when you look at yourself in the mirror each day?
The morning meeting continues with activity time. Activities are typically short, energetic exercises that get kids moving their bodies and playing as a group. The activities bring everyone together to play games, move, act, dance, work together, and have fun!
Ideas for Morning Meeting Activities:
- Try these three fun morning meeting games by Susan Jones Teaching.
- BRAIN BREAK: Get up and find a space. Sing and do the actions for “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”
- FIND A FRIEND: Find a friend with something in common. Listen to the teacher for direction. E.g., letters in the first name, play the same sport.
- EXTREME ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS: In this rock, paper, scissors tournament, everyone starts off playing with a partner. The winner of each round stays standing, while others sit down. The game keeps going until the last person wins their game.
Encourage kids to participate in social-emotional learning activities:
- Practice meditation and breathing exercises.
- RESPONSIBILITY CHARADES: The teacher will start acting out a way to be responsible. Kids guess until someone gets it correct. Then, it is their turn to do a responsible act. Remember, no talking or calling out! E.g., putting dishes away, making the bed, hanging up bag.
- THE COMPLIMENT GAME: Turn to the person sitting next to you and compliment them. A compliment is saying something kind about a person, like something they are good at or something they work hard on. Try not to compliment what they are wearing or how they look!
- ROLE PLAY: Act out a social skill given a situation.
- RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS CHALLENGE: Today’s random act of kindness is to smile at everyone you see. Perform this act of kindness all day long. Bonus points if you continue to spread kindness in different ways!
Morning Message or Announcements
The morning meeting concludes with a message or announcements for the day. The message typically includes the important events of the day, as well as the date. The morning message may also include a skill that needs review or a question to encourage thinking. The message provides an open-ended way to close the meeting and proceed with the day.
Ideas for Morning Meeting Greetings
- Layout your message in letter format.
- Greet and welcome students in a fun way.
- Write the date or leave it blank for students to add.
- Include any important classroom announcements or school events that are occurring that day.
- Reinforce a skill or topic in an interactive away (i.e., fill in the blanks, riddle, math problem).
- Check out the morning message ideas that support social-emotional growth.
Morning Meeting Ideas and Resources
Free Week of Morning Meeting
Try social-emotional morning meetings in your classroom with this FREE week-long resource! It includes editable PowerPoint and PDF slides, printable cards, and instructions on how to use. Click the image below to grab a copy.
Social-Emotional Morning Meeting Resources
Begin a daily morning meeting or build upon your own with this 100% editable and low-prep classroom meeting resource that targets important social-emotional learning topics.
Our SEL morning meeting resources include everything you need to engage and connect with kids and make a HUGE impact in only 15 minutes a day! You will have everything you need for a daily morning meeting all school year long!
The mind+heart Morning Meeting BUNDLE gives you an entire YEAR’S WORTH of SEL slides for every day and every month of the school year, plus bonus resources to make implementation seamless.
See this resource in action and everything it includes HERE!
More Social-Emotional Learning Ideas
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