Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Morning Meetings

I have been researching morning meetings a lot lately and I am really looking forward to implementing them next year. Our tardy bell rings at 9:00 and we have school announcements from about 9:05-9:15. We have announcements on the loud speaker on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays which is a lot shorter, but Tuesdays and Thursdays are video announcements on the Promethean boards.

I think I will have the students come in, unpack, and then write the edited morning message in their word study notebooks. Students will drop everything and come to the carpet as soon as announcements begin. Immediately after announcements we will start with our morning meeting. The schedule I plan on following is Greeting, Share, News, Big Idea Jar, Message, Pledge.

General Morning Meeting Resources
  • handshake
  • high five
  • grown-up (using Mr. and Ms.)
  • ball toss (students choose someone to greet and then throw the ball to that person)  
  • 1 minute greeting (one minute to greet and shake hands with as many people as you can)
  • Skip Die (students roll die, walk past that many people in circle, greet the person, and exchange places)


I will choose a weekly topic and students will have 2 minutes (on their day) to share their thoughts.
  • Some topics might be to bring in your favorite picture or drawing and tell us about it, share your thoughts on school, what would you do if you were president, tell us about your family, what is something you like to do after school, free choice, etc. 
  • I might also use this time for self reflections (what did you great yesterday/what can you do better today). 
  • Another possibility is to read through the word wall words to use synonyms to describe how we are feeling (see video below).
  • Some weeks I might do a show and tell, but this tends to take longer and create more hassle so I probably won't do it every week.

  • class announcements
  • changes in the daily schedule
  • forms that need to be turned in
  • expectation/behavior reminders
  • test reminders
  • preparing them for a sub
  • etc...
Big Idea Jar

I have a big idea jar in my classroom. This is where students place any ideas, comments, complaints, or problems. The students really like this idea because it helps them feel like their opinions are valued. Reading 1-2 (pre-screened) ideas from the jar every morning will help make the students feel like they are part of our class community. I may allow a couple students to comment or offer suggestions after each reading. Some things students have placed in the jar include:
  • ideas for rewards or incentives
  • names of other students they think should receive a reward and why
  • compliments for other students
  • advice for how to handle an issue with another student
  • problems they have noticed with students or around the classroom
Morning Message

I plan on writing a short note or letter to my students every morning on our easel. The message will have writing errors or blanks that the students will have to fix. I might also write word problems or ask discussion questions that students will need to respond to. We will always read the message together as a class to help with fluency before solving. I am very big on accountability (I have had students who have perfected looking busy while actually doing nothing and not even paying attention) so I plan to have students record the morning message in the spelling notebook as morning work every day.

Students will not bring their notebook with them to the carpet, my students are easily distracted by anything extra. Instead, they will just bring their bodies and we will talk about/review the message orally while we make change to the message on the easel. After the morning meeting I will give students a couple of minutes to fix the message in their notebooks. At this time I will walk around to make sure every student has at least written down the message. I may even have random checks if I feel as though some students are getting lax.


I found a really cute pledge on Mrs. Gold's website. I might even have students come up with a new pledge as we create our class mission and vision at the beginning of the year.

I pledge today to do my best,
in reading, math, and all the rest.
I promise to obey the rules,
in my class and in my school.
I'll respect myself and others too,
I'll expect the best in all I do.
I am here to learn all I can,
to try my best and be all I am.

I don't think I will start the year with adding activities to our morning meeting. I know they can be wonderful at team building, but I know I am already pushing my time limit with everything I plan to incorporate already. I might do activities on Friday instead of reading big ideas. Below are some resources for morning meeting activities:

Establishing Expectations

I plan on establishing morning meeting expectations as soon as the first day of school as the expectations will be the same for any whole group or discussion time. The students will come up with the rules while I gently "guide" them to the ones below.
  • Students will sit next to someone new every time
  • Students will look at the speaker
  • Students will listen quietly
  • Students will speak loudly when it is their turn to speak
  • Students will make appropriate and on topic comments
Morning Meetings Across the Blogs


  1. It was great to be connected to your site through Pinterest. I saw my morning meeting poster so I clicked :) I love how you have brought together ideas that different teachers are using. I think I want to adopt the pledge - what a positive way to start the day! Thanks for sharing!!

    Blackboard and Beyond

  2. One activity, or game, that my kids LOVE is called Alibi. Here's the gist of it. I get a detective to go into the hallway for just a second, meanwhile a culprit is in the room messing something up. Then I call the detective back in and he has to solve the crime. He asks all the children where they were when the crime happened. They all answer. He asks them all a second time and everyone keeps the same answer except the culprit. He changes his alibi. This is great for listening skills!!!!!!