Get Your Students to Greet Each Other
It will help build classroom community!
As adults, we are accustomed to greeting others. We look each other in the eye, smile, and then say something like “Good morning!” or “Hello, how are you today?”
If you watch your students in the morning, most will smile at another student, few will make eye contact, and even fewer will say “Good morning, did you do anything fun last night?”
Children need to be taught how to properly greet another person. In my classroom, we work on this frequently because it is a skill my students will use throughout their lives. Before my students enter our classroom each morning I greet them at the door. They decide if they would like to give me a high-five, handshake, fist bump, or hug. I remind them to make eye contact with me while we are fist bumping or shaking hands. We greet each other by saying “Good morning!” Then, it allows me a few moments to interact with each student and ask, “How are you?” or What did you do last night?”
Once everyone has entered the classroom we take 5 minutes to greet each other before we start the day. Students love to be greeted by name. It makes them feel like “it matters that I came.” Greeting each other is a great way to help students transition from home to school and provides a time in our day when we can all be silly together.
At the beginning of the year, I teach the students the greetings explicitly. We talk about making eye contact and speaking clearly. As I teach each new greeting I show them the greeting icon and place it on our tic-tac-toe grid in the classroom.