I have grown to love the rituals our class has developed for our morning meetings. During distance learning and hybrid, they have looked different, but we have been able to adapt them to make the best of the situation. Morning meetings are a great way to build community and strengthen relationships. Today I would love to share my favorite activities. While there are plenty of cute things you can purchase for your morning meetings, you can easily do it for free and have just as much fun.
Students are always able to watch the morning announcements. When we are in person, the announcements are led by fifth graders. During distance learning, the announcements were led by our very tech-savvy and good-humored music teacher.
I have a daily helper who chooses our morning greeting. They have come up with some super fun handshakes. During distance learning, this looks more like a dance, and it looks very similar in hybrid as we honor social distancing.
After reviewing the schedule, we have a theme for each day.
This is a chance for students to share whatever they wish. Most students will share what they did over the weekend, but we always get some rebels who like to share random facts about themselves. This type of sharing works in any learning model. I do have to keep a strict rule about a one sentence share. Otherwise, it could take all morning. Students get used to it though and come up with creative ways to get in what they want to say.
This is where we ask a question for all students to answer. The questions range from, “What is your favorite place?” to “If you were going to an island, what three things would you bring?” In a pinch, students can draw or write their answer on a dry erase board. However, I usually let all students provide a verbal answer. The questions are submitted by students on a Google Doc. Now that we are in hybrid, and I only see students every other day, they answer the class question at home. I share the link to a Google Doc like the one below, and students type in a response next to their name. Part of my Monday Message is to share the results with the class.
I put these questions on a Slide to share with kids virtually or in person. I get a lot of my questions from this site. Just type and go. If you are interested in purchasing something, you can easily find one for sale. However, I’m all about fun and free.
When students were at school full time, sometimes we took turns sharing our answers. When we were short on time, I had students draw or write their responses on dry erase boards. They would show their responses, and we would tally them up.
During hybrid, I have this for an at-home activity. I put a question on Pear Deck, and send the link as a student-paced activity. You can see an example below. (My images are from Adobe Stock. However, you could easily find images for personal use by using a Google search.)
My district has invested in the premium version of Pear Deck. However, the free version should work just fine for this simple activity. I share the results of the question as part of my “Monday Message”.
Every Thursday, students share a special item. They can bring it to school or share it virtually depending on the situation. Items vary from stuffed animals to trophies to cool rocks. It’s a great way to learn more about the students.
This one is definitely my favorite! Students share a joke with the class. Their sense of humor almost always aligns with mine. This can easily be done virtually or in person.
Now that we are in hybrid, I still use the same activities. However, the schedule looks a little different.
Hybrid Morning Meeting Schedule
Monday, All Distance – Monday Messages
Tuesday, At home – Students complete the class question.
Tuesday, At School – Students bring in an item to share.
*Students switch on Wednesday.
Thursday, At home – Students complete “Would you rather?”
Thursday, At school – Students bring a joke to share.
*Students switch on Friday.
I would love it if you would leave a comment sharing one of your favorite things to do for morning meetings.