Cultivating Connections to Learning Through Dynamic Morning Messages

Student at the board during Morning Message

If you have been following along with this blog series I hope you have been able to pick up on how much I truly believe that the Morning Meeting serves as a cornerstone for establishing a positive and supportive learning environment for all students. Among its various elements (Greeting, Activity, and Sharing), Morning Messages stands out for offering students connection, communication, and community with their learning. It comes after the Sharing component of Morning Meeting and is usually the final component, but wait…  I added another component this year! Don’t worry, I got you… we’ll talk about that in the next blog post. 😉

Understanding the Importance of Morning Messages

The Message component of Morning Meeting serves multiple purposes. 

  1. Delivers important announcements, shares reminders, and even celebrates achievements.  This promotes transparency and accountability within the classroom.  Remember, changes bring some students lots of anxiety.  By talking about the changes in the day and just sharing the basic structure of what the day will look like can help alleviate that anxiety from the jump.
  2. Academic Integration: The Message offers endless possibilities for integrating academic content into the morning meeting routine. Incorporate literacy skills by focusing on phonics patterns, sight words, or comprehension strategies, just to name a few. Math concepts, such as number recognition, patterns, or problem-solving, can also be seamlessly woven into the Morning Message.
  3. Language Development: For young learners, the Message provides valuable opportunities for language development. Reading and discussing the message helps build vocabulary, comprehension skills, and fluency. It exposes students to written language in meaningful contexts and encourages them to communicate verbally.

Implementing the Message Component

Implementing the Message effectively means just a little bit of planning, some creativity, and… you guessed it, flexibility. Varying the format and content of the Message can keep students engaged and motivated, however sticking to the same format can offer students (especially the Littles) with consistency, which can build fluency and confidence.Photo of Morning Message slide on Smartboard.

In our kindergarten classroom, I have found that sticking to a consistent format works best.  Our Message is done on our Smartboard, however it can just as easily be implemented using something as simple as chart paper.  We always begin with a simple greeting – “Good Morning, Mrs. Garrett’s Gang!”  Then, we move on to the date, written out and in code.  Reviewing the date gives us time to go over the days of the week, months of the year, the year, and allows us to work with numbers.  Winning!  🙂 Next, we talk about what our day will look like – what’s for lunch, what Specials we have, any changes or additions to our schedule, like Convocations or guest readers. 

Finally, I close the Message with a simple “Love, Mrs. Garrett”

The Message is always interactive and always has academics. Once our routine is established, and we’ve got some learning under our belt, I alternate between an ELA and Math focus – Mondays and Wednesdays we hit ELA, on Tuesdays and Thursdays we focus on Math, and on Fridays we flip flop between Social Studies and Science. The Message is led more by me in the beginning of the year and as students learn and grow, they begin taking over little by little, until they can do it all on their own and I am there to just monitor.  

Student at the board answering a question for Morning Message.

By the middle of the year, my ‘Star of the Week Student’ usually takes the lead and fills in the blanks and/or asks the questions that I might have.  We do all student responses, so everyone feels included and it gives me a chance to gauge who knows what, without putting any one student on the spot.

Maximizing the Potential of Engaging Morning Messages

The good news is, there are so many ways to approach Morning Messages; there is no one size fits all!  Find what works for you and your students and then hit the ground running!  Once you find your groove, the rest is history!  Here are some helpful tips to get the most out of your Messages!

Graphic showing tips for engaging Morning Messages.

Engaging Visuals: Use colorful visuals, drawings, or photos to enhance the appeal of the Message component, especially for visual learners.

Interactive Elements: Incorporate interactive elements into the message, such as fill-in-the-blank sentences, puzzles, or response cards, to actively engage students during morning meetings. Have student volunteers come up to the board (or chart paper) and plug in answers!  They love that!

Differentiation: Tailor the message to meet the diverse needs of students in your classroom. Provide support for emerging readers and challenge advanced learners with extension activities related to the message content.

Reflective Practice: Take time to reflect on the effectiveness of the Message component in your morning meetings. Gather feedback from students and colleagues to continuously refine and improve your approach.

Have Fun:  Since Morning Meeting can be one of the more laid back parts of a day full of instruction, don’t forget to just have fun with your kids! Be clever with how concepts and topics of the day are introduced or reviewed.

For more information on Morning Meetings, check out related blog posts from this blog series:

Students sitting in a Morning Meeting circle      A boy and a girl giving a high five to greet each other.

      Blog post title with image of students playing dice game during Morning Meeting Activity.

Blog featured image showing students during reflection time.

Need some Morning Message ideas for your classroom? 

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