Virtual morning meetings are a way to connect with our students during remote, distance learning. Use the ideas to design and deliver engaging meetings online that kids look forward to each day.
The Teacher’s Guide to Running Fun and Engaging Virtual Morning Meetings
If there is one thing this past year of Covid has taught us, it’s to think outside the box! Especially as teachers, we have had our worlds turned upside down and shaken all around!
The ways we have always done things have had to change. Our methods have had to change. While it has been challenging, it has also been exciting to learn new ways of doing things and to build our teacher toolboxes.
A Virtual Morning Meeting?
It has taken a lot of work to adapt even simple teaching strategies to this new virtual world. One example of this is the morning meeting time.
When we were together in person, the morning meeting time was jam-packed with learning opportunities, reviews, social-emotional lessons, community building, and more. The morning meeting kicked off the day, which brought everyone together as a class. It was a time to review things or learn new ideas, like calendar concepts, rules, etc.
- But what do you do when you are having to hold virtual classes online?
- Can you still foster that sense of community?
- Are you still able to take full advantage of those first few minutes of class and use them for learning?
The answer to those questions is YES! Let me share with you ways that will help you run engaging and fun virtual morning meetings.
For those teaching remotely, we understand the importance of meeting with our students and seeing them face-to-face. Having the opportunity to check in and build connections has been important when we haven’t been together in person.
This has always been an important time of day. Through all this, we’ve realized how vital these first few moments of the day are with students.
Set a Purpose
First, it is important to set a purpose for your virtual morning meeting time.
- Why are you having this meeting time?
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- We should establish a routine. What will you include?
- What is the basic schedule of things you will cover each morning?
To get started, check out my post: Morning Meeting Ideas & Routines for K-3. Though written for face-to-face instruction, the same ideas in the article can apply to your virtual morning meeting.
Explore Online Resources
Next, you will need to strategize how you can bring the goals you have into a virtual format. How can you meet your goals on the computer if you aren’t in person?
Fortunately, there are some great resources for distance learning!
- Videos – There are many educational videos that you can use on YouTube to grab students’ attention. Try lively, educational songs, teaching videos, and read alouds that kids will love. By sharing your screen, the class can all watch at the same time. This post has videos on all the different topics that you might cover.
- Books – There are also books online that we can read together. Once again, with screen sharing, the class can see the book and hear you reading it. And if you don’t want to be the one reading aloud, check out Storyline Online. This site has a lot of great children’s books read by actors. Kids can see the pages of the book while listening to the story.
- Movement – You can even incorporate movement by getting kids up and dancing with the popular site GoNoodle. With lots of fun songs that kids will love, it is easy to play one of these during your virtual morning meeting to get the students more engaged.
A key in creating virtual morning meetings is that your material is of good quality, that things transition smoothly, and that you can hold the kids’ attention.
Technology is good, but only when used effectively. Just throwing together random videos or games is NOT effective. But planning out your meeting time and incorporating a few high-quality online educational resources is a great way to engage with your students.
Participation during Virtual Morning Meetings
There are times during virtual teaching where you may require students to be muted while you teach or demonstrate important concepts. Alternatively, virtual morning meetings can be a great time to let kids have a voice.
Have a special sharing time when each child gets to share something over the course of the week (IDEAS: show and tell, share your pet, etc.). This helps students get to know one another and gives them a chance to practice speaking in front of others.
We need to give plenty of opportunities to speak and for the class to learn to listen. It also lets us gauge their level of attention and understanding.
Emphasize Social-Emotional Learning
The past year has been hard on kids. Virtual learning is a challenge most have never had to face. Make sure, in your quest to use technology for academic pursuits, that you are not neglecting their social-emotional development.
We might tend to think that it isn’t that important. That we need to focus all our energy on reading, math, or science. We may feel overwhelmed to add more. But if ever there was a time when kids need to be taught and mentored on their social and emotional skills, it is now!
As teachers, we provide a safe place to address social-emotional topics. We may, in fact, need to make more effort to teach social skills considering the format of the school day.
What better place to bring those lessons in than in our morning meeting time? Already it is a time of community building and setting the tone for the day. Those first few moments of the day provide a natural opportunity to tie in important social-emotional age-appropriate topics.
Try these home learning ideas for encouraging social-emotional development after your virtual meetings!
FREE SEL Morning Meeting Slides
I have created resources that can give you an easy, low prep way to incorporate social-emotional lessons into your morning meeting.
Get a FREE sample of Morning Meeting Social-Emotional Slides and Cards. With this FREE week of greetings, questions, and activities, you will be able to create an engaging morning meeting to begin your instruction.
Click the image below to grab a copy.
If you are looking for a resource to support your meetings for the school year, look at our Morning Meeting Social-Emotional Slides and Cards bundle. Each month has 4 weeks of slides, which are editable so that you can customize them for your class.
Morning meeting time is an important part of the day. Even if we are teaching remotely, we can utilize the resources to continue making it a meaningful time.
Make a plan today, explore the myriad of online resources, and don’t forget about getting kids to be active participants. Finally, consider making SEL a part of your classroom morning meeting time. Your class will grow as a result of your efforts!
More Morning Meeting Ideas for Your Classroom
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