A few years ago I started this whole “Heart Attack” on February 1. Each day up until Valentine’s Day I added a new heart onto the white board sharing something that I loved about our class! It’s a great way to show kids how to focus on the positive and promote kindness and compliments.
Here are two of my favorite resources to use during the month of February.
Valentine’s Day Word Problems – Word problems are a great way for students to practice a variety of math skills and build their problem solving abilities. These Valentine’s Day themed word problems are great for independent practice, can be used as an Around the Room Activity, and more! Get these word problems HERE for your math students! (Digital and Print and Digital Bundle are also available in my store).
February Morning Meeting Activities – You’ll have ALL of your Morning Meeting Activities planned out for the month of February with these easy-to-use slides! These Valentine’s Day themed activities will keep your students engaged and having fun! Includes activities like Noggle, Word Creator, Story Starter, Quick Draw, and more! Grab them HERE.
February Classroom Ideas FREEBIE:
These FREE Valentine’s Day Writing Prompts are perfect to use in your classroom during the month of February! This FREEBIE includes 4 different prompts total. These engaging prompts are great to use as a writing warm-up, for homework, literacy stations, and more! Grab this FREEBIE >>> HERE.
I polled my class recently to see what their favorite Morning Meeting Activities were and I wanted to share them with you! I wasn’t surprised by the results as these are some of my favorites too! Check them out below and don’t miss the FREEBIE at the bottom.
Favorite Activity #1 – Story Starter
Story Starter is my classes favorite activity! For this activity, we work on a creative writing prompt. I have done this activity whole group, with a small group/partner, or independently. Everyone starts with the same writing prompt, but then they get to use their creativity and imagination and take the story wherever they want! My class literally cheers when I tell them that we’re doing this Morning Meeting Activity.
Favorite Activity #2 – Quick Draw
Quick draw is another fan favorite in my classroom! Quick draw is a great activity for days you are a little shorter on time. I put up a slide and students have 2 minutes to draw the set item or task on their white board. Then, students share their drawing. For sharing, students will sometimes just stand and share, share with a partner or group, or we’ll do a gallery walk. I often will do 2-4 quick draw prompts in an activity slot.
Favorite Activity #3 – Word Creator
Word Creator is another great ELA activity. Students have to look at the letters on the board and use them to create as many words as they can. We turn this into a little self-competition where their goal is to try to beat the number of words they created the previous time. The one kicker – the letters have to be touching! Students love trying to see how many words they can create.
Morning Meeting Activity Slides
To make life easier, I have already created sets of Morning Meeting Activity Slides for you in my TPT store. I have themed sets and generic sets that can be used all year long! Check out my Morning Meeting Activities >>> HERE.
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.
Are you looking for ways to freshen up your Morning Meeting Activity time for virtual learning or in-person?? Then, you are in the right place! These activities below can be used in a virtual, in-person, or hybrid classroom. I have used these as activities during Morning Meeting, but you could also use them in different ways!
Let’s check them out…
Boggle is not only fun, but also academic! Students have to create as many words as they can using the letters given on the board. The tricky part is that the letters must be touching! I always challenge my class to see if they can beat the number of words that they came up with the last time.
Noggle is just like Boggle above, 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.
Mystery Word/Make a Word
This is another great ELA activity. Students are given a mystery word with the letters scrambled up. They have two tasks. One – create as many words as they can with the letters. Two – figure out the mystery word.
Guess the Picture
For Guess the Picture, students are given a photo that is mainly covered up with only a tiny part showing. (I’ll be honest this is not the best example since the photo was dark. Normally you can see the small circle that is uncovered much better). They then have to guess what the picture is. You give 3-4 clues before revealing the hidden picture.
Finish the Doodle
This Morning Meeting Activity is great for your creative artists! My class loves to use their imagination with this one. Students are all shown a doodle (it can be honestly anything) and then they get to turn it into whatever they want! After students share in breakout rooms or in a small group or with a partner.
This activity works best for virtual students, but could possibly be done in person. For this activity, students are given an object or something to find in their house and then they come back and share it with the group.
This or That
This is a great Morning Meeting activity to get to know kids and get them up and moving. Students are given 2 different choices and they have to choose if they’d rather have this or that. Then, to show their choice they complete the exercise chosen. This day’s activity was done with breakfast foods, but you could do them with all sorts of topics.
My kids love this activity! For Quick Draw, students have 2 minutes (you could change the time) to draw the item you tell them to. They love sharing these in breakout rooms or with a partner.
Mystery Bag is a super easy activity for Morning Meeting. You hide a mystery item in the bag and the kids have to guess the mystery item. I give clues to help them guess what I put in the bag. I often just use things I have around my classroom.
One of These Things is Not Like the Other
This is another favorite game! I love this game because you can have more than one correct answer and you can cover many different areas and categories. Students have to decide which item, number, or word doesn’t belong. When they make their decision, they also have to explain why. It’s always very interesting to see the different ways the kids look at things. For this activity, I’ve included numbers, words, and photos (and I try to include an academic focus when I can.)
I’ll be real about this – I have no idea if this is how you play Scattergories, but this is how we’ve been doing it in my classroom and it’s working for us. For my version, the students have 5 minutes to come up with as many words that begin with the chosen letter and fit the categories. Then, we see how many words people came up with and the kids share their responses.
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 in breakout rooms or with a group/partner.
To help make planning Morning Meeting easier, grab this FREE digital planning page. This planning page is in Google Slides™ so you can type your Morning Meeting plans right into the table. I’ve also included a little cheat sheet of a few of the activity ideas that I shared above. Grab this FREEBIE >>> HERE.