Are you looking for some new, fun morning greetings for students? These 10 greetings are the perfect addition to your morning meeting!
“Good morning, Cody.” “Good morning, Aleah. Good morning, Micah.” “Good morning, Aleah. Good morning, Manuel.” These are the welcoming sounds of students engaged in the greeting for a morning meeting. It warms my heart to hear it daily. The morning greeting sets the tone for our school day.
In this blog post I will describe the purpose for a greeting and share some fun morning greetings for students in kindergarten and first grade. But first, let me briefly introduce you to the morning meeting in general. (Feel free to skip ahead if you are familiar with the routine.)
What do you do at a morning meeting?
A morning meeting is an intentional routine to start your school day, while building a strong classroom community. The most common structure was developed by Responsive Classroom and has four components:
- Group Activity
- Morning Message
You can read more about the various components of morning meeting in this blog post.
Why do you do a whole class greeting?
One key part of a morning meeting is the greeting. In this brief, but important, activity, each student is greeted by at least one other member of the group. Frequently, morning meeting greetings are done by going around the circle, but there are many other fun greetings to use.
A whole class greeting sets the tone for the morning meeting, which is why it is the first component in the meeting. During the greeting, each student is positively acknowledged and recognized by a classmate. This adds to the sense of belonging in the classroom.
The morning meeting greeting does not replace an individual greeting from the teacher or friends when a child arrives in the room. It simply adds one more quick and routine way for all students to feel welcomed.
How do you teach a kindergarten or first grade greeting?
Like most things with beginning learners, you need to model how a morning greeting works. During the first weeks of school, you will want to start with a simple greeting.
One of my favorite morning greeting in the first week greetings is a name song. Students are engaged singing the song and you get a turn to sing about every child. But… the song needs to be SHORT. These kids have short attention spans during the first few weeks.
My favorite greeting song is sung to the tune of the alphabet song/Twinkle Twinkle:
Nathan came to school today.
We’re so glad we shout hooray!
It’s only the first half of the song – but it does get long when you do it 20 times in a row. Keep it fast-paced.
Another simple greeting is a handshake or wave around the circle. On the first day, you would demonstrate for students (“See how I look Josie in the eye when I greet her. And I five her hand a gentle shake. I also make sure I smile at her so she knows I’m happy to see her.”)
Next have the first child greet the second child, reminding her how to do it in a friendly way. Pick up the pace and decrease the reminders after the first 2-3 students, but pause periodically to point out how children are being friendly and carefully in their greetings.
What are some fun morning greetings for students?
There are so many morning greetings out there (including the two I shared above.) But how do you choose the right greeting for your class?
First, the greeting needs to seem enjoyable to you. The teacher sets the tone for the class and if you are afraid a particular greeting will be boring or too wild, your students will sense that and respond accordingly.
Second, you need to think about the mood you want to set for your class. Some groups of kids need to be energized a bit in the morning. You will want a more active or energetic greeting for them.
Other groups enter the room with all the energy they need, and will benefit from a calmer morning greeting help calm their bodies. As much fun as an energetic morning meeting is, you don’t want it to overstimulate students. Remember, the morning meeting sets the tone for the day.
Here are a few of my favorite fun morning greetings for students in kindergarten and first grade:
NOTE: When going around the circle, the teacher chooses the student who starts (or the teacher begins.) That child greets the child to their right, then turns and greets the child to their left. The students continue “passing” the greeting around the circle until it gets back to the first child.
Going around the circle, students make a funny face, then cheerfully say “Good morning, ____” to the children to their right and left.
Instead of going around the circle, use a small ball (a Koosh ball is perfect!) The first child passes the ball to someone across the circle and greets them. Then that child tosses the ball to another child. This continues until all children have been greeted. Near the end, you will likely need to pause and ask children to raise their hand if they have not been greeted. This will help the child with the ball choose a classmate who needs a turn.
Find a Friend:
The teacher announces a challenge, such as “find a friend who has the same color of shoes as you.” Children get up and move around, creating partners based on the challenge. Allow students to greet their partner before announcing another challenge. This allow students to greet several different students.
Set a timer for one minute. All students walk around the room, greeting others until the timer stops.
Smile and Wave:
Going around the circle, students smile and wave to the children to their left and right, calmly saying “Good morning, ____.”
Going around the circle, each child thinks of a way to say “good morning” without using their voice. Some examples include: a wave, a peace sign, a thumbs up, a smile or a salute.
Instead of using a handshake, hook your thumbs together to make a butterfly. Wave the butterfly wings as you go around the circle greeting others.
Pinky Shake Greeting:
Instead of a handshake, have students join pinkies as they go around the circle with this greeting.
Looking for more greetings? These morning greeting cards have over 40 different morning greeting ideas!
You might also like:
- 45 Morning Meeting Activities
- Quick and Easy Morning Meeting Games
- Start Your School Day with a Soft Start