What Is Morning Meeting?

Photograph by Jeff Woodward.

Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting is an engaging way to start each day, build a strong sense of community, and set children up for success socially and academically. Each morning, students and teachers gather together in a circle for twenty to thirty minutes and interact with one another during four purposeful components:

  1. Greeting: Students and teachers greet one another by name.
  2. Sharing: Students share information about important events in their lives. Listeners often offer empathetic comments or ask clarifying questions.
  3. Group Activity: Everyone participates in a brief, lively activity that fosters group cohesion and helps students practice social and academic skills (for example, reciting a poem, dancing, singing, or playing a game).
  4. Morning Message: Students read and interact with a short message written by their teacher. The message is crafted to help students focus on the work they’ll do in school that day.

For more on the key principles and practices behind Responsive Classroom, visit the About Responsive Classroom section of our website! We also have dozens of articles on Morning Meeting, including:

  • Keeping Morning Meeting Greetings Fresh and Fun – After doing many Morning Meetings, teachers often wonder how to keep the sense of comfortable routine while also varying the meetings enough to keep students (and adults) interested and engaged.
  • The Power of Morning Meeting – The earnest fourth grade girl straightened up tall and looked around the circle, drew a deep breath and began: “Our greeting today will go like this. First you say your name, then you say when you would like to have lived. Then we’ll all greet you back by saying ‘Hello’ and your name. I’ll go first so you can see how it’s done.” I noticed her hands folding and unfolding in her lap—perhaps she was a bit nervous—but her eyes sparkled.
  • Morning Meeting is for Everyone – Welcome to Morning Meeting in my full inclusion classroom. Twenty-one first graders sit in a large circle on a brightly colored rug. I’m in a small rocking chair, my hand lightly touching one child’s back. Another adult sits behind a child, supporting him as he sits with his legs, encased in blue braces, stretched out. Wiggling beside him, another child sits on a sissel seat that encourages balance and provides tactile input.

Morning Meeting Book K-8 3rd Ed

See more Morning Meeting resources in our store, or check out our Morning Meeting for Beginners board on Pinterest!


Tags: Getting Started with RC

66 Replies to “What Is Morning Meeting?”

  • As a student I can inform teachers to not do this. In the mornings when we can normally do homework or talk with our friends, we are forced to socialize and practice this ritual. I could see how morning meeting could help kids 6th grade and under, but morning meeting has no place in middle school.

    • Jacob, what a great insight. You’re right, it shouldn’t be called “morning meeting” in middle school, and it shouldn’t be structured the same. You guys are old enough to start your day with something more grown-up, like an advisory session where you prepare for your day and connect briefly with your classmates & teachers. :)

      • We actually do have a middle school version we call Responsive Advisory Meeting! The structure is slightly different from Morning Meetings because we recognize that older students have different needs developmentally as well as middle schools themselves having different structures (separate rooms/teachers for each subject and less time for students with each of those teachers). You can learn more about Responsive Advisory Meeting here: https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/responsive-advisory-meeting/

    • I disagree, respectfully. I know many businesses that have morning meetings where they talk about the business, share something new or a celebration in their personal life and include some type of team building activity. Many sports teams do as well. I’m a teacher, we have these type of activities during staff meetings and trainings. Relationships, face to face interactions and getting to know each other is much needed in today’s society, especially middle school. You used the word ritual, that’s probably why it’s not effective in your class. It has to be authentic with a teacher that truly wants to learn about his/her students. A good idea would be to share your concerns with the teacher to help him/her improve it and make it age/middle school appropriate.

      • I agree. We need to know what is going on in each other’s lives to better understand mood, etc. I am a teacher, but I worked part time at Marriott. They are a phenomenal company and I always felt cared about. Whether it is in school or work place – a very important part of the day.

      • J. Gonzales, I agree! I used to hate our staff morning meetings because often they were not authentic. When I began implementing them with my students, I could model authenticity and invite students to participate on that level. What we all experienced was amazing! Some days, you need to take and others you need to give, and that’s ok.

  • Giving each member of a group a chance to connect prior to working all day together is a good idea. In this ‘forced’ way, people wind up surprising you and eventually sharing some interesting, important information. Your views and perspectives change and grow as you get to know one another in a way you wouldn’t normally, if you were to simply sit and chat and wait for the school or work day (meeting) to begin. I did Check-In with my Drama students every single class and at first they were shy but eventually they absolutely loved it and we had a blast getting to know one another and supporting each other during difficult times. An exceptional practice!

  • While I understand the premise of Morning Meeting, I personally struggle with follow through. In my opinion it works very well with children that are younger, but as personalities begin to develop and change it can be a source of tension because students want to interact in a way that feels normal and natural to them, not in a way that benefits someone else. I am working on being better at conducting the Morning Meeting but I have to find what is natural for me and pair it with what is the expectation of my school.

  • I can see how kids in middle school would be “turned off” by meetings that are designed more for preschool through 6th grade. I also see how beneficial it is to do morning meetings. It’s a positive start to each day that promotes inclusion, social and emotional skills, and a look at what is going on for the day. Middle school kids can still have a morning meeting, just framed in a more “grown up” way.

  • I love morning meetings. It’s a time to connect with and get to know students outside of academic stuff. I also love the opportunity to work together to solve issues in the classroom and allowing the students the opportunity to be a part of the solution.

  • I have used all the wonderful ideas you sent for virtual morning meetings. Are you coming up with more? Dying in Georgia doing virtual kindergarten.

    • Good morning from Hakeem and his family so excited about going kindergarten .
      Will.we receive information from his class teacher

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