Easy Ways to Vary Morning Meeting Greetings
How can you keep the sense of comfortable routine while also varying Morning Meetings enough to keep students (and adults) interested and engaged? Greetings can set the tone for the whole meeting—and the whole day.
Question: Coming up with enough greetings to keep things varied and fun takes time—the one thing I don’t have! How can I keep up?
Answer: Variety is important, but that doesn’t mean you have to change the greeting every day. It’s more important to gauge students’ interest level: If they’re enjoying a greeting—perhaps even asking for it—keep using it!
But it’s also a good idea to continue building the class’s stock so you can switch things up when you need to. One way to gather new greetings is to ask colleagues to share ones their students enjoy.
And remember that students themselves are excellent resources. When you ask for their help adapting familiar greetings or even coming up with new ones, their enthusiasm is sure to rise. Here’s a greeting devised by a fourth grader. It can be adapted for all grade levels and is especially useful early in the year when students are learning one another’s names.
Say Your Name
- The whole class begins chanting the refrain: Say your name and when you do, we will say it back to you!
- The first child then says his or her name aloud: Melanie!
- In unison, the whole class repeats the name: Melanie!
- The whole class chants the refrain again as the greeting continues around the circle.
Say Your Name is an example of a greeting that can be easily varied to feel new. Each student can use a different voice—soft, deep, high-pitched, spooky, etc.—which the whole class then echoes. Students can sing the refrain in rap style, add hand-clapping and thigh tapping, or clap out the number of syllables in their names. To make the greeting livelier, students can add a movement to go with their names, which the class then mimics when they repeat the name.
Here’s another greeting that’s easy to vary. A bonus: it folds in sharing for those busy days when you have less time for Morning Meeting.
- Post a chart like this:
|Ways to move
|Ways to greet
|Topics to share
|How many kids in family
|Walk like a zombie
- Call out a direction from each category on the chart. For example, “Tiptoe, handshake, favorite book.”
- Students tiptoe around the room to find a partner and greet them with a handshake. Partners then tell each other their favorite book.
- Ring a bell to signal a new round. Call out three new directions. Students move, greet, and share in those designated ways.
- Continue for three or four rounds.