I am so excited to continue my blog series all about Morning Meetings! Our next stop is Morning Meeting Greetings! Morning Meeting Greetings are always so fun and in my classroom, we keep things fun and interactive. I always begin our Greeting with “Good Morning, Mrs. Garrett’s Gang. My class is my gang and I have had many parents over the years tell me just how much their Littles love being part of Mrs. Garrett’s Gang! If you can give your class their own special name, do it! It really does make them feel so special and like they belong to something special. In this blog post, I will explore the importance of Morning Meeting Greetings and give you some creative ideas to make them even more engaging.
Why Morning Meeting Greetings Matter
Remember, one of the reasons for holding Morning Meeting in the first place is to allow students to come to school and start their day off right, feeling accepted, safe, and secure. Morning Greetings are just an extension of that. Morning Meeting Greetings help Littles feel seen, heard, and known.
Morning Meeting Greetings provide an opportunity for teachers and students to connect daily. Addressing students by name in greetings creates a sense of belonging and significance. This one simple component of Morning Meeting really works to build mutual respect and trust, which then just paves the way for a day full of learning. Just think… when Littles feel part of a classroom family, just how much they can relax and open up their little brains for all the learning they will do! Starting the day with a friendly greeting can set a positive tone for the entire class. It creates an atmosphere of warmth and inclusivity, making students more comfortable and open to learning.
Setting a Positive Atmosphere
A vibrant “Good Morning, Good Morning!” or a cheery “Hello, I’m so glad you’re here!” can instill excitement for the day. Such positivity radiates, encouraging students to start the day with an optimistic mindset.
I love to see the smiles on their faces when it is time to send them off to say “Good Morning, _____.” to each other. It seems to perk them up, even more than our Dance Party to kickstart Morning Meeting. There’s just something about someone taking the time to say hello and to actually say your name!
Morning Meeting Greeting Procedures
There are so many ways to execute and manage Morning Meeting Greetings. I usually keep things super simple and give students two choices for how they will greet their friends. I let them get up and walk around the room as they greet their friends. The one rule we have… they must greet at least one person. The person who they greet reciprocates and has to greet back using one of the two choices. I like giving them choices so that they feel some type of ownership over it, while also keeping things fresh and manageable. The element of walking around also gives their little bodies the opportunity to move and get some wiggles out.
After about two minutes of greeting each other, I count down by saying, “Three, two, one, and…” and then they respond with “Done!” Once they hear “Three,” they know it’s time to finish up our greetings and start forming our circle so that we can move right into the next component of the Morning Meeting. Everyone is in the circle, sitting criss-cross applesauce by the time they respond with “Done!”
Creative Morning Meeting Greetings
There are two main types of greetings: individual greetings and all call and response greetings. In my classroom, we do both! I begin with an all call and response, then I send them off to do their individual greetings with each other. I also participate in this! There are many ways to keep things fun and creative, but here are just a few!
Let students choose a short song or jingle to greet their classmates with. Singing together adds an element of fun and togetherness.
Allow students to create secret handshakes with each other and share them during the morning meeting. This adds an element of excitement and personalization to the greeting.
Question of the Day
Pose a thought-provoking or fun question each morning for students to discuss during greetings. This encourages critical thinking and builds conversational skills.
Have students express something about their friend that they are thankful for as they greet their classmates. Fostering gratitude promotes a positive mindset.
Morning Meeting Greetings are a powerful tool for creating a positive classroom environment and fostering meaningful connections among Littles. By incorporating creative greetings and emphasizing the importance of building relationships, teachers can enhance the overall classroom experience. These moments of connection can have a lasting impact on students, promoting empathy, kindness, and a love of learning. As I shared, I keep things simple and choose two greeting styles, per day. They are always different, until I need to start at the top of the rotation.
If you’d like to use some of the greetings that I use, check out this freebie I have created. It is full of Morning Meeting Greeting ideas for you! Click here or on the picture below!