Morning meeting is SO important because it can set the tone for your entire day! But what do you include in your morning meeting routine to make sure that you get the most out of your time?
Today, I am going to walk you through our morning meeting routine and how I structure it to set our day up for success.
At the beginning of the year, morning meeting may take your class a little longer to get through as they learn the routine. But once they get it down? Believe it or not, you can fit all this in 20 minutes!
Morning Meeting Greetings
After we get settled at the carpet, we always start off our morning meeting routine with a greeting.
Greetings are a great way to build community, give students with social anxiety a nonthreatening way to interact, and to incorporate movement.
As much as possible, I try to choose greetings that will allow us to cross the midline.
This is important because, if students are unable to cross the midline, they may have more difficulty in both reading and writing which require them to track left to right.
This resource full of fun morning meeting ideas is a freebie for you!
I have also included pages that explain each greeting. These would be perfect to stick in a substitute binder. Then they can keep the morning meeting routine going even when you are not there.
Deep Breathing Exercises
I get students’ attention again by saying “3-2-1 and done.” By the time I get to 1 they should be back in listening position and quiet.
Of course, greetings are going to get us revved up! We calm back down again by doing a deep breathing exercise.
I let a student choose one exercise (from my calm down kit) and we do it three times.
This helps the brain reset. You can read more about our calm down kit here.
Sharing In Our Morning Meeting Routine
I have a dedicated time during our morning meeting routine when students can share.
To me, this is important because it gives students a time to connect and it also gives them practice with speaking and listening.
This sharing time looks different each year depending on how big my class is.
If my class is smaller (24 students or less), we have a circle share time. We all sit around the perimeter of the carpet in a big circle. Students pass around a talking piece. Whoever is holding the talking piece gets to share.
I try to use talking pieces that allow students to fidget. If you have students who take f o r e v e r to talk, you can try using a timer talking piece. I’ve never had a student upset when their time is up because they understand timers!
Most of the year, they can just share anything they want – what they did last night, something exciting to them, whatever is on their heart.
At the beginning of the year, I will ask a simple question for them to answer to get them used to the routine. What is your favorite toy? Where do you like to eat?
If I have a larger class (this year I had 30 students!) and this isn’t possible, we start with a turn and talk. Then students still get to share every day.
I use these visuals when teaching my students how to turn and talk. You can grab them as a freebie here.
After students turn and talk with their partner, then I choose a few to share to the whole class. Not everyone gets to share to the whole group every day. We just don’t have time with that many kids, but they all will get a chance during the week.
Morning Message in Kindergarten
After we share, we read our morning message together. This message stays the same all year.
Forgetful teacher hack: I laminate my morning message each month and just fill in the information with a dry erase marker! I can’t tell you how many mornings I would forget to write a morning message before this.
As the months progress, I will leave out letters or words for students to solve. In later months, I will also add quick problems for them to solve.
Alphabet Chart and Sight Words Routine
Our alphabet chart routine is the same every single day and it is such an easy way to build letter intervention into your day quickly!
The alphabet chart is from my phonics curriculum and it matches the real photo alphabet posters we have in our room.
For this morning meeting routine, I point to a letter and say the name, then picture, then sound (A, apple, /a/). Students then repeat after me. We do this for the entire chart.
Once students get used to this routine, I can have an alphabet chart helper lead the routine.
We then introduce or review our weekly sight words. I love these visual and kinesthetic sight word cards from Eyewords!
Youtube Videos and a Brain Break
We end our morning meeting with an alphabet song for review and then a brain break dance to get us up and moving before our reading lesson!
Some of my favorite alphabet songs for this time are:
–What Do the Letters Say?
–Watch the Letters Get Down
–Act Out the Alphabet