Morning meeting is the best time of the day in any classroom to build classroom community. Children are all welcomed into the classroom and everyone starts their day feeling valued, special, and having some fun! After a while doing the same morning meeting greetings, the morning meeting greeting can start to feel stale. So I hope to give you some simple and easy greetings that you can use in your classroom right away! You can get all of these activities and more in my Morning Meeting Greetings product!
Rules for greetings
Students are taught from the first day of school how important the morning meeting greeting is to start our day. Everyone should get a turn to be greeted. We talk a lot about having a welcoming voice and face when we greet someone. We look at them in the eye, we smile, we speak loud and proud. Students also learn that if they forget the student’s name, they can always ask, “What is your name again?”. These are the simple principles that we use in my classroom when we do our morning meeting greetings. How we do the greeting changes every day, but these principles remain.
Songs are a simple and engaging way to start your day. When singing a song, everyone can participate and everyone can get a turn to hear their name in the song. I like to have students stand up when it is their turn to be greeted and invite them to do a dance if they like. These are some of my favorites. My go-to song is more of a chant than a song. We say, “2, 4, 6, 8, Who do we appreciate? Name, name, Go… name!” This goes around until everyone has had a turn to be appreciated and chanted! I use songs a lot more in the beginning of the year when students are still learning each other’s names and are getting used to the morning meeting routine. It is a lot more comfortable for my shy students and my students learning English to join in singing, instead of being the only one talking and greeting their neighbors.
Simple Morning Meeting Greeting
When you are first introducing the idea of greeting each other around the circle, I like to start with simpler greetings. Have everyone give a handshake to the person next to them and say, “Good morning, name”. Practicing shaking someone’s hand, looking them in the eye, and greeting them with a welcoming smile and voice is a lot to practice. So I make sure my students are successful with this greeting before I introduce more complicated greetings. Other simple greetings are showing a thumbs up to the person next to them and saying, “Good morning, name”. Similarly, students can give a wave, high five, peace sign, or move their hand in an arc like a rainbow.
Rushed for Time Morning Meeting Greeting
We’ve all had mornings where we are running out of time to do our morning meeting before some other obligation is happening. When this is the case, I still think it is extremely important to do our greeting, even if we don’t do any other part of the morning meeting. When we are pressed for time, I do a one-minute greeting. Students get one minute to greet as many students as they can. Before sending them off to do this, I remind them and model for them how, even though we only have 1 minute, we still are calm and welcoming, and once we greet someone we move on to someone else. Otherwise, they will greet their best friends over and over again. I see it all the time. The other quick greeting that I do is a non-verbal greeting. In this greeting, students wave, give a thumbs up, high five, or handshake, to their neighbor. They don’t say anything. They just do their signal and smile and then the greeting passes around the circle. It saves a lot of time to take out the speaking part of the greeting.
Greeting and Activity in One
I love doing the Beanbag Greeting as both my greeting and my activity or the day. In this greeting, students stand in a circle and take turns gently tossing a beanbag to another student. But they have to remember who they tossed the beanbag too. We have a rule in my class that only the person whose name was called can get the beanbag, even if it lands somewhere else. After everyone has been greeted, then the first greeter tosses their beanbag to the person they greeted, without greeting them this time. The goal is for everyone to be looking at the person tossing to them and be ready to catch at any moment, because the beanbags come quickly! Start with two at a time and then as the students succeed, you can add more beanbags until you have up to 5 or 6 going at once! It can get very confusing, and very fun, with all the beanbags, which is why students need to be looking at the person who tosses to them and be ready to catch at any moment!
All classrooms should start their day with a greeting. It makes everyone feel welcomed and valued. Morning meeting greeting can be quick, simple, fun, and engaging! There are so many different kinds of greetings to choose from. Never be bored again with a morning meeting greeting! I have all these greetings and so much more included in my Morning Meeting: Greetings product!
Let me know in the comments which is your favorite greeting to do in your classroom!