Morning meetings are more than just a routine in elementary classrooms; they’re an opportunity to cultivate a positive and inclusive learning environment while nurturing essential social and emotional skills. If you’re a teacher looking to understand and implement morning meetings effectively, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll explore what morning meetings are, why they matter, and how to conduct them in your elementary classroom.
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What Are Morning Meetings?
Morning meetings are a daily gathering where students and teachers come together to start the school day on a positive note. These meetings typically last for 15-30 minutes and provide an opportunity for students to connect, share, and engage in various activities that promote community building, communication, and emotional growth.
Why Morning Meetings Matter
- Builds a Sense of Community: Morning meetings foster a strong sense of belonging and inclusivity. They create a safe space where students can express themselves, listen to others, and form meaningful relationships with their peers.
- Enhances Social Skills: Through structured activities like greetings, sharing, and group discussions, morning meetings help students develop critical social skills such as active listening, empathy, and effective communication.
- Boost Academic Performance: A positive and connected classroom environment sets the stage for better learning. When students feel supported and valued, they are more engaged and motivated to participate in lessons.
- Promotes Emotional Intelligence: Morning meetings provide a platform to discuss and address emotions, helping students understand and manage their feelings effectively. This, in turn, contributes to improved self-awareness and self-regulation.
How to Conduct a Morning Meeting
Now that we understand the importance of morning meetings, let’s explore how to conduct them successfully in your elementary classroom.
Set a Consistence Schedule
Choose a specific time each morning for your meeting, and stick to it. Consistency helps students know what to expect and creates a predictable routine. Personally, I usually start my morning meeting once all students have settled in for the day. Our school has school-wide morning announcements at the start of each day, so my morning meeting starts right after. Same time, same place…
Design a Welcoming Space
Personally, I have always used a classroom rug as our morning meeting space. I make sure to keep the area free of clutter so that the space is ready to go each morning. Typically, I have students sit criss-cross around the perimeter of the rug, leaving an open space in the middle. This makes things a little easier as we flow into our Greeting.
Follow a Structured Agenda
A typical morning meeting includes the following components:
- Greeting: Start with a warm welcome. The purpose of the greeting is to foster that sense of belonging, ensuring that every student feels welcomed as we start our day. It let’s students know that they personally matter, and gives students practice in welcoming others. Check out this resource of the 50 Best Morning Meeting Greetings.
- Activity: Next, I provide time for a short, engaging activity. These typically take 5-10 minutes, and are typically designed to further build relationships. Check out this resource of the 50 Best Morning Meeting Activities.
- Sharing: This is a time in which every student gets an opportunity to share their voice. I like to provide a Question of the Day. Then, I go around the circle, giving each student a turn to share their answer to the question. Check out this resource of the 200 Best Morning Meeting Share Out Questions.
- Message: Lastly, I finish with my Morning Message. Here, I write out a short message for my students. I might preview a certain topic or skill, give announcements about upcoming events, etc. Check out this resource of premade Morning Meeting Message Templates.
Create a supportive atmosphere where all students feel comfortable speaking and sharing. Use inclusive language and praise their contributions. Morning meetings will help to foster a level of comfort and trust for students. But, this can take some time. It’s best, at the beginning of the year, to start with some easily accessible, low-risk activities and questions.
Morning meetings are a powerful tool for elementary teachers to create a positive classroom culture, nurture social and emotional skills, and set the stage for a successful day of learning. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can unlock the full potential of morning meetings and provide your students with a rich and meaningful start to their school day.