Morning Meeting: Setting the Tone for the Day

A couple of years ago I set a goal that no matter what, everyday we would have a morning meeting in my classroom. I felt like it was always something that would get pushed to the side. We would have an assembly, students would be pulled out of the room for services, or we would be finishing up morning work and let time slip away.  It was an easy thing to pass by when other things came up.  So that year, we did. We had a morning meeting every. single. morning.
Morning meeting is a short meeting in the morning with the whole class where students are usually seated in a circle, on the floor, together.  My morning meetings are usually about 20 minutes long.  This time is meant for building a strong classroom community where students learn to respect and appreciate each other.  Students become comfortable and learn to communicate and promote kindness within the classroom.
It was truly amazing when we did our morning meeting every day. I feel like I really got to know each and every one of my students so well, and I really felt like they got to know me too. I learned so much from these morning meetings and I'm so glad that I stuck with it and didn't let other things push this time aside.
So what do we do during morning meetings?  Some days we may just do one activity, but some days we may do more than one.  Read below for some ideas and activities that I do during morning meetings...
I love starting the day with a good read aloud! And there are so many great character building books to read during this time!  You also have the opportunity to choose a book that may have a theme that you would like to discuss with the class.  Here are a few of my favorites that always evoke amazing discussions! 
I use this awesome pack of morning meeting activities from Brooke Brown-Teach Outside the Box. The kids LOVE when we do games like these, they get excited when they see my mini notebook of games come out!  They are fun team building games that involve thinking, talking, and working together. 
I give students the opportunity to share anything that is on their mind.  They can sign up to share if they have something on their mind.  Students share a variety of things and as you continue with morning meetings, you will see your students feel more comfortable sharing things that are personal to them.  Some of our best meetings may just be spent  sharing and discussing...students share their wins, challenges, problems, excitement.  And when you share and open up to your students, they will do the same to you!
I keep a small bucket (from the Target Dollar Spot) labeled "Happy Thoughts" and little "Happy Thoughts" slips so that students can fill one out and drop it in throughout the day, anytime they have a happy moment or have something that is worth sharing. At the beginning of our morning meetings, I share their happy thoughts and we celebrate with each other. They have the choice to leave it anonymous but if they'd like to put their name on it, they can. 
This is such a great way to start the day!  I love the positivity that it brings and I also love having students take a second to think about what they're proud of or what made them happy that day. 
If you would like to try out a "Happy Thoughts" jar, I have free labels and slips in my TpT store HERE.  There are also "Proud Moments" labels and slips for an alternative!

A few years ago, I heard growth mindset and thought it was another buzz word that we sometimes hear in education.  Then I decided to do some research and decided, this was more than a simple phrase that would get tossed around and forgotten...this was something that would change the way I teach and the way my students learn.  And morning meetings are the perfect time to introduce and discuss a growth mindset.  It is truly the best, most positive way to start the day! It helps remind students how they can change their mindset, right from the start of the day! 
You can check out the growth mindset activities that I love to use HERE.
Having a morning meeting starts your day out on the right foot.  No matter how your morning has been...maybe you were rushing, didn't have your coffee, you were late to work; a morning meeting can help brighten the otherwise gloomy start to your day. Your students may also be having a rough morning for so many different reasons and taking the time to have a morning meeting may help them share something on their mind or their feelings.  It can also lift them up when they're feeling down by teaching them how to change their mindset.  A morning meeting starts your school day on a positive note and truly helps build your classroom community!
I hope you found a few new ideas for your morning meeting time! What sort of activities do you usually like to do during morning meetings? 
Happy Teaching!





I also have a few free activities in my TpT store that align with morning meetings and building a culture of kindness in your classroom.
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