why morning meetings are still the golden rule
Right now, you might be bogged down with grading, writing report card comments, getting ready for testing, attending a meeting that could have been an email, and still wrangling your own kids. I get it, I’m there too.
It’s that time of the year where you may be tempted to jump from a morning “Do Now” warmup activity right into instruction simply because time is so precious and time itself seems to be getting cut into smaller and smaller pieces. Trust me, you don’t want to do that. Having morning meetings is STILL an essential part of your classroom culture. In fact, it will create more buy-in and motivation for your little scholars and future test-takers.
Morning meetings set the tone for the day in a major way. Having the space to express our feelings, ideas, and greet one another is an important way to build trust and comradery within our walls (virtually or in-person). It is the step for teachers to lower the effective filter; with daily checkins and guided meditations.
We discuss things that matter to earth, to the classroom, to the school, and to the students themselves. Morning meetings can be an impactful practice as we practice scenarios that may occur in their real lives. Many of my morning meetings drive home the concept of a growth mindset that is needed to build grit and be successful in life.
At other times, our morning meeting can turn into a ruckus of laughter and comic relief. Either way, I believe the relationships built during our meetings are the key to student growth. I am a firm believer that students have to know you care before they want to learn from you.
Here are 5-morning meeting tips that help me make my morning meetings successful:
1. Have a Morning Message Ready
My morning messages consist of a greeting to my students and the “Question of the Day”. Students are encouraged to read it as there are important announcements, shout-outs written, a question to answer. As students wait for others to trickle into the classroom they are able to organize their materials, read our morning message, and begin their warmup. It is a perfect way to set a routine in the classroom.
2. Choose a Topic to Focus on For a Few Weeks
Often times there are opportunities to celebrate academic, national, and global themes within the calendar. Since April is National Poetry Month, you may want to focus on various styles of poetry throughout the month. April is also a wonderful time to highlight Earth Day which occurs annually on the 22nd. My class has dubbed April Earth Month and we are learning more about how to protect the environment each morning.
3. Provide Various Methods of Responding
Students in my virtual classroom struggle to take a risk. Allowing students to answer verbally, with their notebooks, with a signal, or in private/public chats helps with engagement. Don’t be afraid to remind them of the various ways to show what they know.
4. Checkin With Your Students
Morning meeting is also a time of the day where we check in with ourselves. We identify our feelings from the feelings chart. Each day, the chart varies slightly but the concept remains the same: rate yourself, acknowledge your feelings in the moment, and let them pass. We often close with a simple breathing exercise as I encourage those who may not feel green that perhaps their feelings may change throughout our day. This check-in is powerful. Since my students are told they can send their check-ins privately, I learn so much about them. Which helps me make choices as an educator and provide resources and support when necessary.
5. Make it Fun!
Don’t forget to have fun with your kiddos. Our scholars are doing the hard work of learning right along with us and having some levity helps with learning too. When teachers show that they can be fun students are more willing to take risks. Having an enjoyable time with your teachers helps build the memories needed to build a foundation of learning.
Try our NEW Spring Would You Rather activity in your classroom today!