Morning meetings build social and emotional connections, helping each student feel like a valuable member of their classroom team. The meetings provide a daily structure that sets the tone for a powerful day ahead—beginning with key academic and social-emotional learning and reinforcing a positive classroom culture where everyone contributes.
The same elements of in-person morning meetings apply when conducting them virtually. The eight tips below, along with the Virtual Morning Meeting template, are just what you need for your virtual morning-meeting makeover!
1. Virtual Greetings
Are you missing your students? Do they miss you? Reconnect to their hearts during the greeting. Welcome each other with virtual hugs or “high fives.” Feeling extra adventurous? Try “hello” in a new language, like learning how to spell hello in sign language.
2. Virtual Mission Moment
Inspire everyday greatness by connecting with the class mission statement. Reflect on yesterday and prepare for the day ahead by asking, “How did our behaviors match our mission yesterday? How will our behaviors match it today?” Consider having students take their answers into a web-conferencing chat box, discuss as a whole class, or utilize breakout rooms for small-group discussions.
3. Virtual Expectations Review
Cultivate leadership by celebrating students who model classroom and learning expectations at home. First, review the expectations. Then, share positive feedback by including the student’s name, the reason for celebration, and the impact their behavior has on the class: “Today we celebrate ______ for ____________. This action positively impacted our class because____________________.”
Example: “Today we celebrate Jalen for his contributions to our virtual math lesson yesterday. This action positively impacted our class because his description of how he arrived at his answer to the word problem helped us all to better understand the multiple steps.”
4. Virtual Announcements
Increase communication with “open mic” time. Invite students to share personal updates as well as school news. Intentionally model what Habit 5 listening skills look and sound like in a web-conferencing platform. Consider having a student leader share announcements and monitor the chat room for any personal announcements listed there.
5. Virtual Weekly Goal Review
Commit to class goals, priorities, and/or learning targets for the week. Monitor through the week and gauge follow-through with hand signals. Continue a virtual class Wildly Important Goal or create a new one. Use a visual scoreboard (paper or digital!) to keep track of progress and to reflect together. If you would like to turn your paper Leadership Notebooks to digital ones, have a look at this article with online templates to get started.
6. Virtual Habit Huddle
Leadership is even more important during times of challenge. Consider asking a powerful question about one of the 7 Habits, from learning embedded in the Student Leadership Guides or with a resource like Question of the Day.
7. Virtual Issue Bin
Give students voice by solving problems and discussing class family issues that need attention. Start by inviting students to drop notes into an “issue bin” and establishing norms for its use. Consider creating an online survey that allows students to anonymously ask questions and provide feedback on issues of concern. Give careful consideration about when to use names and when to keep things anonymous.
8. Virtual Reflection
Foster a growth mindset with a virtual Plus/Delta reflection on a regular basis. Capture what students think is going well and what could be improved. Use the chat box or encourage class discussion about progress of the virtual learning environment, time spent with family, and class synergy.
There are some logistics to virtual morning meetings that we don’t face when in person. We suggest you use a web-conferencing platform in a live-online format. Parents of young students may need to help younger students connect. Be patient, expect some false starts and tech challenges at first. Over time, everyone will get better. Consider recording your morning meetings to share with any students who may have missed.
Our Virtual Morning Meeting template contains unique ideas for virtual morning meeting success.These visuals can aid students in a deep understanding of the meeting process. You’ll find one idea on each slide, plus bonus ideas in the notes section!
Use our Virtual Morning Meeting template slide deck to structure your virtual morning meeting. To access, click and then make a copy of the document when prompted.
Muriel Summers, Principal of A.B. Combs Elementary, shares her heart about the importance of the classroom morning meeting for all ages in this Leader in Me Weekly article, Ask Muriel: Morning Meetings.
Watch Leader in Me teachers conduct morning meetings and read about some best practices in My Morning Meeting Structure.