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morning meeting greeting

4 Ways to Include Academics in Morning Meetings

Morning Meeting
Photo of Noggle Board.

Are you looking for an awesome way to kick-start your classroom mornings and engage your students right from the get-go? Morning meeting activities with an academic focus is the answer you are looking for! These brief but powerful gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to set a positive tone for the day while seamlessly integrating important academic concepts. By infusing your morning meetings with academic content, you can create a fun and interactive environment where learning begins right from the start. Let’s explore some exciting ways to make your morning meetings educational and engaging for your students. Get ready to supercharge your mornings with meaningful academic connections!

Morning Meeting Greeting

Photo of 4 kids giving a high 5

Greeting is the first part of Morning Meeting and a great way to start the day with a positive tone. It can also be a time to review current academic skills. Here are a few ways to include academics into your greeting:

  • Greet a classmate and share a fact you learned about _____ (moon phases, 3 branches of government, etc).
  • Greet a classmate and share two nouns (verbs, adjectives, etc).
  • Snowball Greeting with a Twist – Hand each student a blank paper and have them write their name and a math problem on the paper.  Then, once in the Morning Meeting circle have students crumple up their paper like a snowball.  Next, they throw their “snowball” in the middle of the circle. They all grab one and that is who they greet and solve the math problem on a white board.  Can repeat a few times. (You could have this focus on whatever math skill you are currently working on.)

Morning Meeting Share

Photo of kids sitting in a circle outside and talking

Share is often a time to get to know each other, but as the year goes on and we’ve established a classroom community, I like to throw in some academic questions. These Morning Meeting questions could be answered one at a time going around the circle or having students find a partner and/or small group.

  • Share and describe your favorite character from _____ (read aloud or book of the week).
  • Share 3 nouns and tell if they are common or proper.
  • Solve this math problem (give them a problem type that you are currently working on) and share your strategy and thinking.
  • Share 3 facts you learned about _______. (Social studies or science topic you are studying.)

Morning Meeting Activity

Photo of Noggle Activity

Activity is an easy time to add in review of academic content. Below are a few of my favorite activities that are focused on academics…

  • Digit Place – Place Value game that can be differentiated. See directions for how to play >>> HERE.
  • Cards – I hand each student a different card from a deck of cards.  While the music is playing they are dancing around and switching cards with each other. When the music stops, they need to find a partner and add their two cards together.  Then, we share out whole group. This can be done a variety of ways – addition, subtraction, multiplication, making numbers, adding 3 numbers, etc.
  • I Have, Who Has – Great game to play during activity with really any skill. Here is an example of some Phonics versions – I Have, Who Has – Phonics Bundle.
  • Story Starter – This activity is a great way for students to be creative with their writing. Students begin their story with the story starter and can then take it wherever they want! I love seeing them use their imaginations and try to choose fun and silly story starters. Afterwards, students can share their writing with a group/partner.
  • Noggle – Noggle is just like Boggle but with numbers! For this activity, students create as many number sentences as they can with the given numbers. They can use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division.

If you are interested in Morning Meeting activities already created and ready-to-go with an ELA, Math, and community building focus – check out my Themed Morning Meeting Activities >>> HERE.

Morning Meeting Message

Photo of Morning Message on white board with a math problem for students to solve on sticky notes.

The message component of Morning Meeting is another wonderful opportunity to review and practice new and old content.

  • Write a word with the /oa/ sound (or whatever sound you’re focusing on).
  • Which character would you be friends with? (from the read aloud or story of the week)
  • Pose a story problem and have them solve it.
  • Fix the errors in a sentence.

Here’s an idea for an Academic Schedule Routine for Your Morning Meetings:

Monday – Math Monday

The activity and message fit around math topics. It could be review, it could be building background for new content. Either way – it’s all math!

Tuesday – Fluency and Phonics Fun

I’ve had a hard time fitting in fluency whole group, so now it is a part of activity on Tuesdays. We also discuss our phonics focus during the morning message and greeting.

Wednesday – More Math…

This day has been about fact fluency during the activity and review during the message.

Thursday – Vocabulary

Vocabulary is another area that I touch on, but haven’t given enough time.  Now that vocabulary is our focus on Thursdays, I tailor our greeting, activity, and message to it. For example, when students greet each other they have to also use one of their weekly vocab words in a sentence. I’ve also found a ton of fun vocabulary games for them to play during the activity.

Friday – Fix It Friday

Another skill we always need to review is grammar and editing. On Friday, our morning message sentence always needs to be fixed. This gives us a chance to review editing skills and continue to add in new grammar skills as we go.

Grab FREE Week of Morning Meeting Activities

Photo of example of Free Morning Meeting Activities - Picture of Story Starter

If you’d like to try a sample of my Morning Meeting Activity Slides, I have a free week for you to try HERE. This FREE week includes 5 different activities to give you a taste of the Morning Meeting Fun. CLICK HERE TO GET THIS FREEBIE!

Here are some other ideas for Morning Meeting:

Morning Meeting Round-Up Blog Post

Morning Meeting Activity Slides – Volume #1

3 Favorite Morning Meeting Activities

Morning Meeting Activity Slides BUNDLE

Ask Me Anything – Morning Meeting

Morning Meeting
Ask Me Anything - Morning Meeting. Photo of class sitting in a circle with boy looking at camera.

Morning Meeting is one of my favorite times of the school day. I know many teacher can use it in many different ways! Recently I asked my Instagram audience what questions they have about Morning Meeting. Today I’ll be answering those questions here on the blog.

How do you set up Morning Meeting?

Morning Meeting has 4 different components – Greeting, Share, Activity, and Message. To help me plan out my meeting time, I use a planning page that you can grab here for FREE. When planning I consider what content we are covering and try to find activities and messages that will either provide an opportunity to review content or offer a chance to introduce or find out background knowledge on new content.

Morning Meeting is always the first 30 minutes of the school day. In a normal – not pandemic year – I would have students create a circle on the classroom rug. This year to be socially distanced students stay at their desks and more of the activities are independent where in a normal year the would be group activities.

What is the most valuable part of Morning Meeting?

This is a tough question to answer. Each part of Morning Meeting is important in it’s own way. Greeting is important because it gives each student a chance to feel welcome and seen in the classroom each day. Share is important because it provides opportunties for students to get to know each other and practice speaking and listening skills. Activity is important because it often gives kids a chance to move and can include get to know you games or content activities/games. Morning message is also important for content review and background knowledge. I really wouldn’t say that one is more valuable than the other. They each have their important aspects that they bring to the meeting.

How long does it usually last?

The meeting is supposed to last around 30 minutes give or take. Here is roughly the amount of time that each component takes (obviously depending on the day things might take longer or less time):

Greeting: 2- 5 minutes

Share: 5 – 10 minutes

Activity: 8-10 minutes

Morning Message: 5 minutes

How do you have time to fit it in?

Morning meeting is what we do at the very beginning of the day so I make sure to make time for it. That being said some days and years I have to cut components. For example, this year due to all of the constraints with COVID and how everything seems to take longer, I have cut out the Morning Message. So that saves a bit of time so I can make sure I fit it in each day. You can definitely shorten the components and run a 20 minute morning meeting – whatever works with your schedule.

How do you do Morning Meeting (circle style) while socially distancing?

So this year due to socially distancing and since I was virtual the first semester I don’t do the traditional circle for Morning Meeting. In a normal/typical year, I would have students sit in a circle on the rug, but I don’t have a rug space this year due to social distancing. If you do have a rug space and a small amount of kids you could potentially still do the circle, just make it a very spread out circle. This year students are in their seats for Morning Meeting. They are able to move around for greeting with their masks on, but still need to keep their distance.

What are you favorite greetings?

In a typical year, below are a few of my favorite greetings…

Ball Toss Greeting – Stand in a circle and have one person start with the ball.  The person tosses the ball across the circle wishing good morning to who they passed it to.  This continues until all students have had a turn. To add a challenge, we’ve used two or three balls.  We start with one and add in more.  When adding more, kids have to pass to the same student each time.

Handshake, high five, fist bump, elbow bump

Snowball Greeting – Hand each student a paper and have them write their first name on the paper.  Then, once in the Morning Meeting circle have students crumple up their paper like a snowball.  Next, they throw their “snowball” in the middle of the circle. They all grab one and that is who they greet.  Can repeat a few times.

With our social distancing this year, here are a few greetings students can do without making physical contact and getting too close…

Mirror Greeting – Student completes an action (dance move, silly pose,etc) and says “Hello, my name is Jordan.”  The other students mirror the action and say “Good morning Jordan.”

Silent Greeting – Students have to figure out a way to silently greet each other.

Foreign Language Greeting – Students greet each other using a foreign language. For example, Buenos dias Matt,  Bonjour Cindy, etc

Air High Five or Air Fist Bump

FREE Morning Meeting Planning Page

To help you get started or organize your meetings, check out my digital or printable planning sheet and guide with activity ideas. Click below to grab your FREEBIE today.

FREE Digital Morning Meeting Planning Page

FREE Printable Morning Meeting Planning Page

For More Info

If you are looking for more information about Morning Meeting, check out my blog post – Morning Meeting Round-Up >>> HERE.

Ask Me Anything - Morning Meeting. Photo of class sitting in a circle with boy looking at camera. Long Pin