Making Greeting More Engaging

Photograph by Jeff Woodward.Do you often wonder how to keep the sense of comfortable routine while also varying Morning Meetings enough to keep students (and adults) interested and engaged? Greetings can be especially important because they set the tone for the whole meeting—and the whole day. Here is an answer to a question teachers frequently ask. Over the next week, we’ll share two more frequently asked questions about greetings.

Question: Students are not showing enthusiasm for greeting the way they did earlier in the year. What can I do?

Answer: First of all, consider why students may be losing enthusiasm. Possibly they’ve turned a developmental corner. For example, greetings that felt safe and right for mostly seven-year-olds might be feeling too narrow for eight-year-olds, who crave sanctioned ways to vent their boisterous side. Look for greetings that fit students developmentally and you’ll likely see a revival of enthusiasm.

Or perhaps you simply need more variety in your greetings. Take a look at the week as a whole and then find ways to vary the greetings from day to day. One day, pass a greeting around the circle; another day, do a group chant as a greeting; another day, do a greeting that gets children up and moving around the room or gives them a choice of whom to greet. Next week, switch to other greetings of the same types.

Here’s a greeting that gets students up and moving while also practicing their math facts.

Match Card Greeting
  1. Give each student a card on which you’ve written part of an equation. For example, one student gets a card that says “50 – 35”; another student gets one that says “= 15.”
  2. Students move around trying to find the match for their card.
  3. When students find their match, they greet each other. A simple “Hello” or “Good morning” is fine.
  4. Students sit with their matching partner in the order of an equation, visible to the rest of the circle. For example, the student with the “50 – 35” card sits to the right of the student with the “= 15 card.”
  5. Going around the circle, students announce their equation while holding up their cards so all can see.
Tags: Classroom Meetings

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