Interested in hearing about the key elements in one school’s morning meeting structure? This will be time well spent.
Why develop a morning meeting routine? Some teachers share their thoughts…
“In my opinion you don’t have time to not have a morning meeting. It really has changed our class. Our transitions are tighter, expectations are clearer, and we have a relationship we wouldn’t otherwise have, both individually and as a class. It sets us up for a successful day and for a successful year. Students know what’s coming and there are so many children in my class who are coming from really tough situations. That morning, something may have happened that you can’t even imagine, and to launch right into reading or a literacy mini lesson, it just doesn’t make sense.”
Erin St. Jeor, Kindergarten
“At first, it does seem a little daunting to take this time in the morning because you have so much to do in the day, ‘How am I going to squeeze in another 15 minutes?’ It might seem just like adding to your schedule and another thing to do, but it really is something that centers us and then helps us have a successful day.
“My advice is start small and build a consistent structure. Know that you’re going to have to help guide and lead the students more at the beginning until it becomes second nature. It really is a vital 15 minutes that starts and sets the tone for the rest of the day. You’ll find there will be times when students share their concerns at that time in the morning and that will help those other transition times in other things throughout the day. It’s really neat to see some students come out of their shell, too, and find success in morning meeting. Because we keep the same structure, they know what to expect, and they feel confident that they can lead our students and our class in that morning message.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to advocate for themselves, as well as find some of that leadership and finding their voice through a morning meeting.”
Erin Knight, 3rd Grade
“We started morning meetings because we’re all about building relationships with children. We understand that the relationship that children have with their teachers, as well as the one they have with other students, is the foundation of everything we do here. Morning meetings are a way to consistently build relationships every single day. They provides a baseline to start the morning with what we believe in and what we focus on, and then to continue the day with that.
“My top piece of advice would be to make it your own, because the four elements–greeting, sharing, message, and activity–are so flexible. Some students are going to be really comfortable with a greeting, where it’s kind of a mingle greeting and all the students are working around the room and there’s no structure to the greeting. While some students are going to be much more comfortable if it’s a right-left greeting, ‘Let me greet the person on the right, let me greet the person on the left, and that’s my greeting.’ Some students are going to be comfortable with an activity that’s very open and everybody’s moving around again, while some are going to want a very structured activity.”
Courtney Clark, Intervention
“They get so excited when it’s their turn to lead the meeting or to lead the afternoon Plus/Delta, and as a result, I think that we do get great results. This classroom is really like a family this year. They work so well together. There’s no student that says, ‘Uh, I can’t work with somebody else’ because they love those relationships, and they see how important it is.”
Kelsey Rodriguez, 2nd Grade
Have you taken in Muriel’s article about how essential morning meetings are in starting the day well? And scroll to the bottom for research and articles about this foundational routine.
Check out our recent article about The Best Part of the Day and the fabulous resources attached there like the Build Your Own Morning Meeting Adventure Guide and the Daily Greeting Menu.