Many teachers use morning meetings to start the day to build a sense of community. Typically, a morning meeting is used to greet students, allow students to share, and then discuss anything coming up during the day.

Just because students and teachers aren’t in the same room, doesn’t mean morning meeting can’t happen! Consider a virtual morning meeting. This can be done by sending out the time of the meeting and asking students to log in to the video chat program. Be sure to give families enough notice so they can schedule for it and be sure to let families know exactly what the video call is for. You might say something like, “In our classroom, we start each day with a morning meeting. We’ll be continuing this practice from home. We’ll meet (daily/Monday-Wednesday-Friday/every Monday, etc.) at (time). The meeting will last (number of minutes – keep it short!). In these meetings, students will have an opportunity to connect with their classmates and with me. This time gives us the chance to continue building our classroom family. Please let me know if you have any questions!”

The format of a virtual morning meeting should be short – remember, young children have a short attention span, and virtual meetings can be chaotic and can cause kids to “check out” even sooner than they would in a classroom circle. Consider the following format.

1. Greeting

In this brief section, you’ll welcome students to the morning meeting and show them that you’re happy to see them virtually. Consider a class greeting such as asking everyone to wave or do an air high-five.

2. Sharing

In this section, students are asked to share a response to a certain prompt. Consider prompts that do not highlight any inequities among the class and can be answered by every student. For example, instead of asking students to share about material possessions or their bedroom or home, consider asking about routines, interests, or hobbies. Prompts might include:

  • Who is your favorite book character and why?
  • What did you have for dinner last night?
  • Where is your favorite place?
  • What is your favorite thing to do outside?
  • If you could have any pet in the world, what would you choose?

In a virtual setting, you shouldn’t expect that you will have time for every student to answer. Consider a system for determining who shares, and keep track of who has not yet had a turn. Be sure to allow every student the opportunity to share before moving on to a new question and starting over again. Spend no more than 5 minutes on this section or students will likely lose interest. Be sure you control the mute and unmuting of students in this process as well.

3. Breathing

Finally, lead students in a quick breathing exercise.

After the morning meeting, you can give students an overview of what to expect during their day of virtual learning or end the meeting. The point of this meeting is connection, not content. These brief exchanges will help students and teachers feel connected to each other during this time apart.

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