Morning Meeting: Let’s Discuss

Morning Meeting

As long as I have been teaching I have had morning meeting guilt.  At first, it was because I didn’t know what it was and every other teacher on the planet just nodded knowingly when it came up in conversation.  I didn’t dare ask.  It was common knowledge and all.  ahem…but I missed that professional development.   And this was before the internet.  So there I was.
 I know right?  A brand new teacher in a portable with no internet invented. (to my knowledge)

One day I went into a teacher’s room and I saw a fun little letter she had written her students so I asked her about it.  She replied, “Oh don’t read that!  It’s just my morning message.”  That was the beginning of a world of fun morning messages! Or ahem…so I thought … after a week I was so over it.  Again, I didn’t get the purpose behind it.I was doing it for smelly markers and chart paper or maybe because I was keeping up with the teacher a mile away in the building.  Again with the guilt.

Over time I searched, (hooray internet!!) read, and asked about the morning meeting.  Once I understood it, I worked at making it great for my students.  But around year ten I decided I really didn’t like it.  I gave it up.  Just cold turkey.  No more writing the same four sentences that my students have already memorized and don’t read anyway.  I AM DONE!
I didn’t miss it.  But the guilt.  It stayed.  It nagged.  I ignored. Until I couldn’t anymore.  My class was definitely missing out but I had no idea how to make it better!  I tried different ideas but nothing really stuck for more than a few days.

Then I found a book online that looked promising.  The Morning Meeting.  Catchy no?  It changed my morning meeting feelings forever!  Click the book to check it out on Amazon.

If you are relating to these feelings at all I really recommend you get this book! This is a true story about a teacher finding her real morning meeting after years of searching. (Also this isn’t just for younger grades!  This book has examples for K-8)

Let me show you what it has done for our class!

There are actually four components to the morning meeting.  I didn’t know that before this. I thought it was about the morning message!  The components are:  Greeting, Sharing, Group Activity, and Morning Message.

Students carry their own experiences into our classroom.  There are so many things we can not control that enter our safe little classrooms. Thankfully we can control our classroom community.

It may be the most positive time of the day for some students with tough home lives.  Our morning meeting connects us together, gives students a sense of belonging, and sets them up for an academic day!

It starts with the greeting.  There are so many fun ways to greet!  There’s no time to get bored! I have my favorites and so do the students.  In the book you will find all sorts of ways to get your students talking and connecting.

This one below is something I named mix and mingle.  Some students have the answers and some students have the questions.  Students take a card on the way to the rug and then greet the student with their match.   I use already played game cards from math and literacy centers so the task is quick and independent.  It’s a stress free zone for students.


This one is called, it’s May and I am going to let you go around the circle and greet each other because it’s field day and I am super preoccupied right now.  What I love is that they answer each other, feel comfortable, and it’s a loving environment even on a crazy day in May.

After the greeting, it is time for sharing. Insert eye roll and heavy sigh.   This is where we lose them right?  One student gets up there and rambles on about a toy and we all either have it, want it, or don’t care.  I can’t take it.  I almost shut the book when I saw sharing.  Let me tell you about real sharing; structured intelligent sharing!!!!

Two days a week we have class pet sharing.  This one is not in the book, but it was happening in the mornings already so I made it the automatic share on those mornings.  When the class pet returns from his adventures we get to hear about it.

The kids name our class pet when he gets delivered to our class.  This year it was Buster the Bobcat.

Buster went home with everyone 4 times this year.  His notebook was bursting with adventures.

What about the days when Buster is gone?  No problem!  There are so many great ideas for sharing that truly develop student speaking and listening skills!

There are different groupings to try with your class that keep things fresh and fun.   Manipulatives play a big part in keeping students on track for sharing.

One of my favorites this year was what I named Bear Share!  A student holds up the yellow bear and gives an opening statement.  Next the student holds up a green bear and shares one detail about the opening sentence topic.  Then two more green bears and two more details about the same topic.  Finally, the student holds up the red bear and delivers a closing statement.  drop mic.  or bears.  Because you just blew me away.

You can vary the manipulatives.  Change up how many details…ANYTHING!  Sometimes I hold up the yellow bear and give the opening sentence and they have to turn to a partner and finish the story.  You name it you can try it!  We use buttons, blocks, any colored objects!

Following sharing is my student’s favorite part of the morning meeting.  The group activity.  It’s a fun game, song, chant, or warm-up.

I like to mix it up with learning games and fun or team-building games.  I was reluctant to play a non academic game so early in the morning for fear of never getting them back on track for the day’s work.  It was not the case at all.

I explained that it is important for us to work hard AND have fun together.  For some, I am sure it is what helped motivate them to come to school!  Be wary of competitive games that pit students against each other.  Stick to teamwork, fun, or learning games to ensure that you don’t accidentally upset students at the start of the day.  Also, explain that part of playing a game is learning how to cheer for your classmates when they need you.  We spend a lot of time sharing about how good it felt to be encouraged.  We point out great manners too.


Here we are playing the get the hula hoop around the circle without letting go of our hands game.  I time them and keep the fastest time on the board all year.  We play it about once a week.  Try different sizes of hula hoops!  The dollar store has them.

The fourth and final component of morning meeting is the morning message.  It can be so much better than 4 memorized sentences!

Contrary to popular trends, I choose to write a weekly morning message.  It’s a great way to lay out my objectives in kid friendly terms.  I also make sure to include vocabulary, while writing to the reading level of most of my readers.  My morning message changes over the year as my readers become more developed.

Each day we do something important to our morning message to keep it fresh.

Monday- Read it whole body
Tuesday- Find words we don’t know.  Discuss them using context clues and then give them special hand motions for the week.
Wednesday- Find Conventions that the teacher wants to highlight and discuss
Thursday- Sight word detective  Find words we know.  Give clues for finding words.
Friday– Last chance to read like a rockstar!  Reflect/Review

We read the morning message with our bodies.  I have no idea how or where I picked this up, but it is wonderful for teaching about conventions while also making everyone responsible for participating!

This picture was taken in May.  I give up the smelly markers and chart paper and let them write a message at this point.  They can’t wait for their turn to try it out.

This student is moving fast, so we are reading fast.  I model how to stay with the pointer.  I get really dramatic in my modeling.  It’s FUN!!  If I include something new in the MM, we just make up a hand motion to go with it!  Make up your own!

That concludes the morning meeting!  But not really!  I barely touched the ideas you will find in the book!  There’s so much more about the responsive classroom, classroom community, and engagement.  Let go of the teacher guilt and begin your day the way you have always wanted to!  (or maybe that’s just me!)

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hello from France Reagan! so funny you should write about morning meeting: I decided last week to make it my number 1 objective for next fall. I went through the same stages as you and found some answers on the internet too. And now….your post! I will definitely buy those books (and actually already saw one named "80 morning meetings ideas for K-2" which looks interesting. Thank you for a great post!

  2. I have read that book (and need to review it again)! I'm so excited to be attending a responsive classroom workshop this summer! Your ideas with the bears for sharing and weekly morning messages are great! I'm going to write them down in the margins of my book to help me remember!
    Teaching Special Kids

  3. Love. Love. Loved this. I especially loved the "Bear Share" this could be such a great tie-in to writing!! Love it. Now I gotta get some bears! (they're just more fun that my cubes, lol)

  4. Awesome! Thanks so much for all the details- do you have a time frame you like to fit this all into ? THanks!

  5. Loved that book! Have you read the others…Classroom Spaces that Work and Rules in School? I love your hand motions you put with the morning message. My kids love morning message, but I fizzled out too! I will have to try some of your suggestions. I always have kids greet each other as the attendance person takes roll. We do it in different languages or funny voices. They love it! They even put their own twist to it! Thanks for sharing!


  6. I love this! I'm about to go into my 3rd year of teaching and wanted to include true morning meetings to develop a classroom community but I was feeling so lost! I love these ideas–I'm just struggling with our time frame. About how long does it take you to go through it? I only have about 10-15 minutes with my students once morning jobs are done before they leave for specials (not my favorite schedule). Do you think this can be done later in the day or broken up??

    Kristin 🙂
    [email protected]

    1. Hi, Kristin! The book in this blog is the perfect resource for getting started with Morning Meeting. It explains exactly how to get it going and teach the routines for each part of the meeting with a rationale for each part. Once you get it going, you can effectively complete it in 15 minutes- it all depends on how well you pre-plan each component- which greeting you do, how many kids will share or what kind of sharing will you do, how simple or complicated the activity is, how much you need to discuss the interactive message, etc. A greeting can be as simple as "high-five" the person on your left and right! Sometimes you can combine the greeting and activity into one…you can do a quick partner share…etc. There are so many ideas and suggestions to make it work in the book. It all depends on how much you model and practice each part. Start out slowly at the beginning of the year with maybe just the greeting and message. Teach and practice 3-5 greetings and just read the morning message together. Then add in sharing, and then add the activity. After a few weeks, you will see how your kids react to different parts of the meeting and different activities for each part and can make adjustments on timing. Also, ALWAYS plan it out ahead of time. I find my MM runs so much more effectively when I am not stammering for a greeting or activity. You can plan for the week or plan out a couple of weeks and rotate a schedule. You will find some "favorites" that make it easy to choose greetings, activities, and sharing ideas. You can get more ideas from the Responsive Classroom website:

      It really is a great way to start the day!

  7. We are expanding our student's day by 90 minutes next year and I WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING to add a morning meeting back into my day. I used to feel the same way about MM 🙁 So HOW EXCITED AM I that you posted this!! LOVE LOVE LOVE reading it with the whole body! Thank you! Thank you!

  8. I am SO getting that book. I've been doing a more informal meeting situation but the structure of your meeting time sounds like it really benefits the whole kiddo in a variety of ways. I'm inspired! ♥

  9. I too am wondering if this can be included later in the day, as "afternoon meeting." My schedule next year is going to go: Intervention Class, Reading Class, Homeroom at 11, which is when we go to lunch. 🙁 Not my choice, and certainly not ideal! Having "morning" meeting at 11:30 might work, since it's the first time we are all together, except for the kids at lunch time. Thoughts, anyone?

    1. It would work. Our whole school does some form of morning meeting. When the students go to specials they do another "abbreviated" morning meeting with a greeting and reading her daily message. Some of the goals for the morning meeting is to get the kids ready for the day's work and to build a culture of teamwork and community in your classroom …so if this is the first time everyone is together, it gets them interacting in a positive way. You can incorporate academic skills into any of the components as well so it can also work as your "anticipatory set" to lead into any of your lessons for the day!

  10. I love this! Your videos were super helpful and I am absolutely going to read the book. How long does your typical morning routine last? Thank you for the inspirational post! 🙂

  11. Thank you for this post! I have never used morning messages or meetings.. I feel like there's not enough time in the day to do so! This post really opened my eyes to the importance of meeting with students and helping develop oral language through these conversations. I am definitely purchasing this book. (I also LOVEEE your class pet idea! Would love to learn more about it)

  12. My main goal for the upcoming school year is to learn how to use Morning Meeting effectively and properly in my classroom. I have purchased the books The Morning Meeting Book K-8 by Roxann Kriete & Carol Davis and 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for grades K-2 by Susan Lattanzi Roser. I LOVE these books! I have sticky notes all over the books for reference!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your blog! I enjoy reading it!

  13. Thanks for the details and " keeping it real" 🙂 I love your honesty! It does nag! I am on year 15 and still don't like this part of the day. It's hard to keep active engagement when you as the teacher would rather chuck that giant notepad into the parking lot!
    I look forward to reading the book rec!

  14. Yes! Yes! Yes!! I am talking about the importance of morning meeting during one of my sessions in Vegas, and I swear you read my mind 😉 This post is fantastic!

  15. Great post, Reagan! I like the part about letting go and just doing it! We need a logo for that teacher saying….Frozens Let it Go and the Nike Just Do It swoosh! I'll work on it!

  16. You see, this is why I adore you … the transparency … the honesty … the authenticity … the passion and purpose! WoW. I am totally sharing this on my book's FB page. And Pinterest. And Twitter. Like right now!

    Thank you, thank you!

  17. I am reading this from an Android tablet and the videos just say that the plug in is not supported. Is this something that I should be able to fix? Any ideas? I really liked this post and want to watch them!

  18. I love the Bear Share idea! I always have some of those "Stage-Hams" that want to steal the show and just ramble on and on and on without ever getting to a point. They have the whole class rolling on the floor (either rolling with laughter or boredom). I think I will make a little anchor chart for a reminder and use it to connect to our writing as well!


  19. THANK YOU for this post! I will be starting my third year of teacing and I have been thinking and searching on what I can improve this year. My sister just purchased "The First Six Weeks of School" for me. I will be adding the book you mentioned to my summer reading list too. Our school schedule has been revamped for next year and this is exactly what I want to do.

  20. Wow! I don't usually comment on blogs, but all I can say is THANK YOU for taking the time to share this FABULOUS post! I've always struggled with morning meeting (since before the internet too!) and this just blew me away. I'm totally implementing 'Bear Share' with my first graders next year. Genius!

  21. I stopped morning meeting for the same reasons, I just didn't get it, and it got old fast. You're inspiring me to try it again next year. Thanks for the wonderful post!
    Becky @ Bright Ideas for Teaching

  22. I just got the book in the mail Saturday morning and I am super pumped to start it in the fall! Thanks for all the great ideas! 🙂

  23. Loved the post:) A question not related to Morning Meetings…in some of the photos under your sharing section, it shows a poster on your black pocket chart. It says "Our Week's Goal". Then is lists whisper voices and days of the week. Is this poster available on Teachers Pay Teachers? If so, what is it called? Thanks for sharing all of your ideas!

  24. Tee hee hee "talky marks" 🙂

    Great ideas (as always) – have been eyeing up this book for– too long now. Guess it's time.
    Ps. Too much cuteness in one place with your kiddos! 🙂

  25. I am a second year kindergarten teacher and love Morning Meeting and all other Responsive Classroom techniques. I am looking for a fellow kindergarten teacher to share some examples of Morning Message, incorporating an academic task, they use in their classroom especially from the beginning of the year when many of our kindergarten students are not yet reading. Thanks in advance for the help! 🙂

  26. I really enjoyed reading this post. While I don't do 'Morning Meeting' in Scotland (where I teach), there are some great ideas I think I'll try to incorporate into our day (I teach the equivalent of 2nd grade at the moment). But I LOVE your Bear Share Idea – we are doing paragraph structure at the moment, and that is such a great way of practising some of our writing targets during Show and Tell – so thank you! I've just started blogging myself, so I shared this post on my blog-associated FB page ( Thanks again!

  27. i am late to the morning meeting arena, but started this year with my second graders! We are loving how this starts are morning off feeling connected! I am interested in doing one morning message per week as you do…..and i would love to see the video of how it to read the message whole body, but it appears the link is no longer working. I have tried on three different computers too! any ideas on how I could view this?