Morning Meeting

In order to develop social skills and a classroom community, we will be having a daily "Morning Meeting". This is a time when we come together to learn, celebrate our classroom family, and cheer one another on during learning activities.   

Here is our meeting area.  We sit in a circle... it's tough to squeeze 26 3rd graders in, but we make room for everyone!

Our Morning Meetings will follow the same format each day. Providing a predictable routine is one of the ways to develop a feeling of safety for students in the beginning of the year.

We begin by gathering on our rug and sitting in a circle. We choose a greeting and each student greets the person next to them (or whatever the greeting requires). To make remembering the steps to greetings easier, I compiled them into a set of cards that I laminated, hole punched, and put on a ring. I keep this with our easel and other meeting materials. 

In the beginning of the year, we spend time doing a "normal" handshake greeting. Students learn how to look the person they are speaking to in the eye, speak clearly, and give a firm handshake. They also learn how to politely ask a person's name if they have forgotten. After students are comfortable with the "normal" greeting, we move on to other greetings.

After the greeting, we participate in an activity. I also have a ring of activity cards that stay with our materials for easy access.  I don't stick to just those activities.  Often the activity reviews a grammar or math skill we are learning.  We also do trivia, Mad Libs, comprehension activities, and task cards.  However, the activity should not take longer than 5 minutes. I love doing the activity each day.  Kids get really good at laughing at each other and this is a great opportunity for students to laugh with one another in a non-threatening way.  

When I taught 1st and 2nd grades, after the activity, I moved from being a part of the circle to a chair so that I could facilitate shared writing during our "News of the Day" {click here to check out a blog post on news of the day}. This was an interactive writing time where the leader of the day got to share something that we then wrote down together.  This was a great opportunity for me to model spelling strategies and sneak in our grammar skill for the week!  At the end, the kid who gave the news got to lead us in reading the message using a fun pointer!  During this time I always incorporated the grammar skill that our reading series was focusing on for the week. We ended with a read-aloud of a picture book that focused on whichever writing trait we were studying.  This lead naturally into writing, as students would leave to practice the skill we had just talked about during grammar and studying author's craft.

Now that I teach 3rd grade, I use Morning Meeting only as a community building time.  I do not teach a mini-lesson with news of the day {although as I type this, I'm wondering if they wouldn't enjoy it too...?}.  In 3rd grade, we do a greeting and activity and that is usually the end of our meeting.  Sometimes we talk about "housekeeping" issues that arise in our classroom.

This shows off some of the things we do during morning meeting.  We do a vocabulary word each day (you can find them HERE on Amazon and they seem really cheap right now!).  We do a Common Core ELA review.  I have these reviews for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades on TpT.  The other things are all of the quick games, task cards, and other activities I have collected to use during this time.

Here's our easel and the box that I sit on (it holds all my bulletin board stuff inside!). You can see my bins of "stuff" on the bottom of the easel. The table below gives more information about my PM Meeting essentials- that's what you see on the bottom of the easel.

This is one of my favorite times of the day and my students love it too. It is a great way to build community and work together as a group.

 PM Meeting Essentials
*Easel and paper
I love my easel from Teacher Direct!

*Markers in various colors to make things stand out- smelly markers or the Sharpie markers for chart paper work wonderfully!

*Fun pointers for students to use as they read the message!

Tubs with supplies for different activities:

I store these under my easel- see picture below!

*Soft ball (ball toss greeting- sit in a circle and students say hello by tossing a ball to a friend)

*Picture books to use for quick activities

*Student name cards for various activities

*Some type of word cards (sight words, antonyms and synonyms, vocabulary, etc...) for students to pair up, find matches, etc...

*Sometimes I use the comprehension beach balls to tie our activity in to our reading

 Professional Books:

*Morning Meeting & Afternoon Wrap-up by Donna Whyte

*The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete

*99 Greetings and Activities by Melissa Correa- Connelly

*Here are some of our activities- comprehension balls, Mad Libs, and trivia cards.  These are stored on the bottom of my easel.  (This is an old picture from the first year I did Morning Meeting... I'm amazed at how much more STUFF I've collected for this over the years!)

*More activities and mini-lesson materials- comprehension wands, task cards to do as a group, "I have, Who has" games, and other group activities to review grammar, math, and reading skills.  (Again- old picture!  See the pic above for my current collection!)

Morning Meeting was created by Responsive Classroom.  They are not affilated with this page of my website and do not endorse it.  This page is here to share how morning meeting works for me and I am hopeful it can work for you too!  Please check out their books for greeting and activity ideas!


Christina Bainbridge 

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