Morning meeting is an engaging way to start each day and an easy way to build a strong classroom community. Teachers and students sit in a circle for an organized start-of-day activity. A morning meeting consists of 5 components: message, greeting, reading, sharing, and an activity. Preferably, morning meeting should be scheduled right after your students arrive for the day. It typically lasts approximately 20-30 minutes. Scheduling the morning meeting at the first of the day is a way to help students transition from home to school.
The whole class sits in a circle, which includes the teacher, for the entire meeting. The teacher’s presence is crucial to ensure structure, build a climate of trust, make students feel significant, encourage collaboration, create empathy, and to support social and emotional learning.
For the message component, the teachers writes a message in the same spot every day. The message should include the date and help students think about the day ahead, reflect on the previous day, or focus on an academic skill.
For the greeting, the teacher should pick a way for students to greet each other. Students feel like, “it matters that I came” when they are greeted by name in a friendly and cheerful way. The greeting is exchanged with two students at a time. All other students should be sitting quietly and watching the exchange of greetings. When the greeting card says to say “good morning,” students should make eye contact and include the other student’s name after saying “good morning.” We use printable/projectable greeting cards as a fun way to choose different greetings each day.
Next comes the reading component. For the reading, the teacher builds classroom climate by reading a poem, book, quote, or passage together. This is a great time for teachers to share a reading that is related to current classroom issues such as tattling, bullying, teamwork, friendship, or inclusion, etc. This time can also be used to focus on personal character development topics that teachers don’t usually have enough time to discuss throughout the day such as showing empathy, embracing cultural diversity, giving thanks, acts of service, saving the earth, etc.
After the reading, students should be given the opportunity to share and reflect on the reading. Teachers continue to build classroom climate by allowing students to share their reflections and communicate their thoughts about topics from the reading. We recommend creating a Sharing-sentence starter anchor chart as a class so students can effectively communicate their thoughts to the class. This is a time when the class can work together to solve current classroom issues or discuss ways to improve their personal character development.
The activity is the final component in the morning meeting. It is a time to focus on team building skills. Students will succeed and fail together during the activity and they will work together to problem solve and have fun. Children do not necessarily come to school knowing how to work at a team, play safely, or how to lose with grace. It’s important to teach good sportsmanship to students and the activity component allows a time to teach that the point of playing games is to cooperate and have fun, not just to win. Teaching students these lessons is crucial because it helps build a classroom climate of trust and collaboration. We strongly recommend that the teacher joins the game. This is a great time for teachers to be playful with their class. Students LOVE it when their teacher participates in the activity. Teachers should end the morning meeting by debriefing the activity; discussing what was successful and challenging during the activity. The teacher should connect growth mindset to the debrief and relate to classwork when possible.We use printable/projectable activity cards as a fun way to choose different greetings each day.
Once morning meeting is established, the teacher can allow students to lead morning meeting. Students will choose 4 components of the meeting at home and come prepared to lead the meeting on a given day. Allowing students to lead morning meeting is a great way to teach responsibility and leadership skills. It also helps address important speaking and listening standards.
We have provided everything you will need to launch an effective morning meeting along with everything you will need to allow students to be successful at leading morning meetings in your classroom with our Student Led Morning Meeting resource. You can also purchase our greeting and activity cards to help implement a magical morning meeting in your classroom.