3 Morning Meeting Activities Your Students Will Love

Make your Morning Meeting more engaging with 3 activities your students will love! By A Word On Third

Hi, Teachers!

Today marks the beginning of week 3 of the month of love. Every week this month, in honor of Valentine's Day and the month of LOVE, I have been hosting a link party about my favorite Responsive Classroom practice: Morning Meeting! This week we'll focus on the activity component of morning meeting. Next Monday will be about morning messages, and it will be the last Monday of the link party. If you want to read more about what morning meeting is and why you should use it in your room, check out the first post I wrote for the Month of Love link up here.

3 Morning Meeting Activities Your Students Will Love by A Word On Third

When I plan my morning meetings (and YES, I actually do plan them and recommend that you do too), I consider the big picture. Movement and time limitations are the first two things I consider. Have my kids just played baggage claim for their greeting? If so, maybe they don't need to move around, and I can do an activity that lets kids stay seated. Baggage Claim can also take a while, so I might plan a quick activity. If they have been sitting, I try to choose something more active. I try to always follow the rule of 10 for elementary students. During student teaching, my amazingly talented cooperating teacher told me once that I should aim to have kids move every ten minutes. If my mini-lesson is long and I can't let them work on independent work soon, I might have them enjoy a quick stretch break. I use this rule in my Morning Meetings.

Here are my current favorite activities to use during Morning Meeting (or maybe I should say my STUDENT'S current favorites).

1. Giants, Wizards, & Elves

My students' latest favorite is a game called "Giants, Wizards, and Elves," and it's a lot like "Rock, Paper, Scissors." Giants, wizards, and elves all have their own hand motions. Below you can see me acting them out.

Make your Morning Meeting more engaging with 3 activities your students will love! By A Word On Third

Giants beat wizards by stomping on them (Don't worry. Your kids won't be stomping on each other!). Wizards beat elves by using magic on them (hence their hand symbol looks like someone pointing a wand). Elves beat giants by running around their feet and making them fall (their hand symbol is supposed to be their little elf hat). Now this is exactly like a normal game of "Rock Paper Scissors" except you split the class into halves. The kids must work in teams to decide which symbol they will use ahead of time. This builds the skill of cooperation for obvious reasons. Everyone needs to communicate and agree on their team's symbol. Students must use assertion to speak up if they're unsure of what symbol has been decided upon or to suggest an idea. They must also use self-control. If they yell about their ideas, the other team will hear and adjust their symbol accordingly. My kids love this! They have been asking to play it every day for the past few weeks.

2. Go Bananas

I used this song/chant with my first graders, and I did NOT expect my third graders to like it. I thought it would be too baby-ish for them. BOY was I wrong! I think they like it even more than my first graders did. It's definitely better if you ham it up for them.

I suggest modeling the song and movements before you let the kids try. You might also want to talk about how to stay safe while playing. During the banana split part at the end, the kids always want to go crazy. Make sure to use reminding language to ask kids how they can be safe as they play.

3. People To People

This is another one of my class favorites, probably because it's so active! Here's another video of adults at a Responsive Classroom training playing. You can call out any body parts you want. Instead of always calling out "head to head" or something with similar body parts, my kids always seem more excited when I call out different body parts, like "head to knee." Get creative, but use your best judgement about what is safe and what's not. Also... don't pick heads as body parts if there's a lice outbreak! Sorry... I don't want to be gross, but you don't need to learn that lesson the hard way! (I haven't either by the way... I just get ridiculous phantom itches when someone so much as whispers the word lice.)

So these are my 3 favorite activities as of late! You can do these during Morning Meeting, but they are also great brain breaks during transitions if you need one. You can also search "Energizers!" on youtube and find a TON of amazing Responsive Classroom videos if you want more ideas. Some of my other favorites on there are Robot Rap, Double This, Button Factory, and Popcorn's in the Popper. There's also an AMAZING book with tons of awesome brain breaks, broken down by what age they are best for and what social-emotional skills they reinforce.

I keep this at school because I take it out so often! I recommend checking it out by clicking the picture. (No, I promise I don't work for Responsive Classroom. I just love them THAT much!)

Now it's your turn to share your ideas! The only rules of the linkup are that you must:
  • Include the above image and a link back to my blog.
  • Be a good blogger and leave feedback on at least 1 other blog post.
  • Share your strategy for the component of Morning Meeting that the week focuses on.
I invite you to add your link below. :) No blog? No problem! Share your ideas in the comments then! Other teachers will benefit from your ideas. And if you like my ideas, make sure you enter your email on the side bar where it says "Don't miss a post!" so my blog posts will go straight to your email.

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