One thing that I love about teaching is that no matter how my morning starts at home (wahhh… spilled coffee!), on my way to school (argggghh…terrible traffic!) or in the school building before the students arrive (seriously, the copier is broken AGAIN?!), when my students arrive to my classroom it feels like it’s the start of something positive and new, our day together.
I want my students to feel that same sense of “fresh start” when they walk into my class each morning. One way to help build this feeling is to implement a special morning greeting. You’ve probably recently seen online videos of students doing them like the one below.
The greeting can be done at the door as the students enter the classroom, or during a morning meeting when you are first gathered together on the carpet.
Why a Morning Greeting?
I know mornings in the classroom can be hectic. Some days it feels like quite an accomplishment to get the attendance taken and sent down to the office on time! So then why would I suggest adding one more thing to the busy morning buzz? Because it’s a simple thing that can have a tremendously positive impact on the rest of day for both you and your students.
A special morning greeting starts the day on a positive note. Smiles appear when students get to choose a greeting that allows their individual personality shine through. It serves as a chance to restart a day that may have gotten off to a rough start. A greeting allows every student the opportunity to hear their name spoken with warmth and respect, maybe for the first time that day.
Morning greetings are also a wonderful way to build strong relationships with your students. They allow students to feel seen by you. Hearing their name makes them feel that someone cares about speaking to them as an individual and makes them feel valued. This sense of belonging is key to ensuring students feel safe and are ready to learn.
Finally, a morning greeting routine provides students the opportunity to practice communication skills such as looking at each other, using a friendly voice and body language, speaking clearly and audibly, listening and waiting one’s turn.
How do I start Morning Greetings?
While the start of the year is probably ideal, I believe a morning greeting is a routine that can be implemented at any point throughout the year, as long as it is introduced and taught properly. As with all new classroom routines it is something that must be modeled and practiced many times over before we can expect students to do it properly.
If I were introducing it to my class I would act as the greeter for the first few weeks until students fully understood the procedure. I would then turn it over to the students and allow them to take turns being the greeter. It would no doubt become a coveted classroom job!
To help you get started I have created a few different resources help make the implementation of this routine simple and stress free!
The first is a this “How to Greet a Friend” FREEBIE! The download includes two versions (with/without eye contact) of a colored classroom poster, as well as black and white student versions. It’s a great FREE resource I am happy to share to get you started!
If you are looking for something a little more you’ll definitely want to check my morning greeting resource. This resource allows you lots of options! It includes printable choice posters in color and black and white. You can choose to print greeting choices in circles or squares. Circles could be hung with magnets or tied together with a ribbon and the squares could be turned into a choice board or put onto a ring to hang. Finally, it includes a slide that can be projected at the classroom meeting area. This resource is the full package. It’s colorful, cute and appropriate for kids of all ages!
I hope this resource will motivate you to begin morning greetings with your class. It’s a fun and simple routine which sets a positive tone for the day. It has the potential to brighten days, deepen relationships and build our students’ confidence and communication skills. That seems like a whole lot of good for one simple routine!