Start the school day well by incorporating a morning meeting into your classroom routine.
Morning meetings are daily warm-ups performed at the beginning of the day that serve to nurture class community, reinforce kindness, and transition students into a learning mindset.
For 20-30 minutes, students along with the teacher gather to engage meaningfully, collaborating on purposeful activities that address the social-emotional and academic needs of students.
Not only does this meeting time set the tone for the rest of the school day, but it also sets students up for success by encouraging a growth mindset.
- It builds community. Students feel a sense of belonging and inclusion. They are seen and heard.
- The environment is safe, fun, and caring.
- It encourages teamwork.
- The social and emotional needs of students take center-stage, supporting a healthy mindset.
- Trust and respect grow among classmates.
- It establishes a positive tone for learning that affects the rest of the school day.
- Students have valuable opportunities to practice and/or reinforce important academic skills.
Components of Morning Meeting
According to the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching, morning meetings consist of four components: greeting, sharing, group activity, and morning message.
Each component is detailed below.
Related: Tips for transitioning students well between components
Greeting is the first component. Students participate in brief, structured activities and greet each other by name.
Greeting activities create an atmosphere of positivity, relaxation, and trust, setting the tone for the other three parts of the class meeting.
Examples of greetings:
1. Give Compliments.
Each student greets another student, giving a kind compliment about the other child’s personality or manners.
2. Name Fun Verbs.
Students choose a verb that begins with the same sound as their first name. Then they complete the sentence, “My name is_____, and I like______.”
For example, “
- My name is Matthew, and I like to make music.”
- “My name is Sonya, and I like to sing.”
3. Share a Little-Known Fact.
Students share a fact about themselves that their classmates may not know.
“Good morning. My name is _____, and a little-known fact about me is_____.”
The class responds, “Good morning, _____.”
Continue around the circle until every child has been greeted.
4. Do An Echo Greeting.
For this greeting, the teacher says, “Good Morning, _____. The class then echoes the student’s name.
Teacher: “Good Morning, Missy.”
Do this for every student.
During the interactive Sharing portion, students share information about their personal lives.
A teacher-selected question or prompt is provided, creating a dialogue among classmates. Every child has an opportunity to respond.
Listeners may be encouraged to give feedback, offer comments, show support, or ask clarifying questions about what was stated by others.
At times, the topic of discussion may be open-choice.
Questions are great to use during this portion. Examples of questions you may want to use…
- Which animal would make a great superhero?
- Of what are you most afraid?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- In what ways do you serve your community?
- Who in your family do you admire most?
- What’s your favorite music genre?
- Would you rather sit in a bean bag or in a director’s chair?
- Do you learn best by reading or writing?
- What are you having for lunch today?
- Which animal do you think has the most interesting features?
- Why is it helpful to recite positive affirmations daily?
The Group Activity is a brief, whole-group task that involves energetic activities such as games, singing, and chanting.
Examples of morning meeting activities and ideas:
1. Pantomine An Occupation.
Sitting in a circle, students take turns going to the center of the circle to pantomime an occupation while the others guess.
The first student to guess correctly gets to pantomime next.
2. Lineup By Height.
Students, without discussion, line themselves up by height. Simple and fun!
3. Mirror An Image.
Students face a partner.
One student will make face and/or body movements. Observing carefully, the partner must mirror the movements.
4. Respond to Would You Rather Questions.
Have students respond to Would You Rather questions.
After hearing the question, those students who prefer one choice will stand, and those for the other will stay seated.
Complete three to four rounds.
5. Guess the Mystery Student.
Students write three facts about themselves on a notecard.
During the meeting time, the teacher chooses a few cards to share. Students have up to five chances to guess each mystery student.
If no one guesses, the card goes back into the pile to be pulled at a later date.
The last part of the class meeting is Morning Message. It is the bridge that connects morning meetings to the rest of the school day.
While settling down from the group activity, students read and discuss a social-emotional or academic-themed daily message from the teacher which reveals what they will be learning about that day.
Examples of morning messages:
1. Academic example
“When I was conferencing with some of you this week in reader’s workshop, I noticed that when you came to an unknown word, you used some very specific strategies to figure out the word. Reflect on that for a minute. Share a strategy that readers use to figure out an unknown word.”
2. Game/Activity example
Complete a Venn Diagram.
Have students complete a Venn Diagram on fun and engaging topics such as sweet/salty foods, two seasons, two planets, etc.
3. Question example
“How did you spend Sunday morning?”
Morning Meeting Tips
- If needed, adapt class meetings to fit the needs of students. It is important that educators feel empowered to modify these activities and tasks to fit the interests of their students.
- Ideally, establish the routines and procedures for meetings at the beginning of the school year and reinforce them as needed. It may take time for students to get the rhythm of each component.
- Communicate with parents and guardians about the importance of class meetings for their child’s academic plus social-emotional learning. Their support strengthens its effectiveness.
Morning meeting is a daily classroom management routine that serves to nurture students’ social-emotional and academic needs through teamwork.
To save time planning for this daily routine, use these downloadable morning meeting slides. You’ll need to log into your Google account in order to access the slides.