Help build classroom community
and get your students to greet each other!
Good Morning! 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?”
You May Also Like: Classroom Engagement Strategies
Once everyone has entered the classroom we take 5 minutes for students 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 explicitly teach students a variety of ways they can greet each other during the year. Here are the morning greeting choice cards we use. We talk about making eye contact and speaking clearly. I teach one new greeting each day as I show students the greeting icon and place it on our tic-tac-toe grid in the classroom.
Once students are familiar with all of the greetings, I let one student choose our greeting for the day (they love getting to choose!) I rotate the cards fairly frequently throughout the year to keep things fresh. There are a total of 36 greetings cards in the pack that I use. If a tic tac toe board doesn’t suit your style, another option to display the greetings is to put the cards on a ring which is handed to the student when it is their turn to choose. You can get all 36 Morning Greeting Choice Cards here or by clicking on the image below. You can also get the Editable Good Morning Greeting Signs we use to greet students at the classroom door!
Read next article: Student Led Morning Meeting