So you get what all the fuss is about when it comes to morning meetings. You understand that morning meetings build strong class community which leads to strong healthy student-student relationships and teacher-student relationships. Are you left wondering how morning meetings will look with the bigger kids? How to successfully roll out morning meetings in upper elementary? Below, I’m going to give you some simple ways to tweak morning meetings for upper elementary.
1. Age Appropriate
Keep your greeting, sharing prompts, group activities and morning messages age-appropriate to engage upper elementary students, especially at the beginning of the year. This will help students buy into morning meetings. As you get to know your kids, you may learn that they enjoy participating in fun, silly activities that may be geared more towards younger students. This may take time, though.
2. Encourage Participation
This tip is two-fold. I always encourage my students to try to participate in morning meetings every day. I encourage them to participate especially if they chose to pass the day before. My reasoning is, I don’t want students to make a habit of saying pass instead of making an effort to participate.
The flip side to this, is I always honour students’ right to pass. I do not want morning meetings to become an adverse time in their day since the whole point of them is to make students feel comfortable and loved to start their day.
3. Respect the Speaker
Along with encouraging students to participate is to ensure that students are respecting the speaker. This is incredibly important to build an environment where students feel safe to share.
I stress the importance of actively listening as someone is speaking which involves eye contact and thinking about what the person is saying. I work hard to model active listening by always keeping my eyes on the speaker and refraining from commenting after students share.
4. Keep It Fresh
Using the same morning meetings ideas time and time again can get boring, especially for upper elementary students. Keep it fresh by mixing up your greetings, sharing, group activities and morning messages.
My morning meeting slides are perfect for keeping your students engaged in morning meetings in upper elementary as they include lots of different ideas (and the planning is done for you)!
5. Provide Leadership Opportunities
Help students “buy-in” to morning meetings in upper elementary by having them take on a leadership role. There are a few ways to do student-led morning meetings.
First, they can help in facilitating morning meetings. Second, they can help in the planning of morning meetings by contributing ideas or creating slides from scratch. Check out my student-led morning meeting resource to help give students meaningful leadership opportunities through morning meeting.
Not Just For “The Little Kids”
Upper elementary students benefit greatly from morning meetings. They aren’t just for “the little kids”! By keeping your meetings age-appropriate, encouraging participation and respect, keeping ideas fresh and providing leadership opportunities, you can make sure that those “big kids” get all the community building goodness out of your meetings.
A Few Helpful Resources
I’ve created a few resources that can help you feel successful in morning meetings with upper elementary students.
I’ve planned two weeks of morning meetings for you. Get your copy of my morning meeting slides freebie.
If you’d like students to take on a leadership role in morning meetings in upper elementary, check out my student-led morning meeting resource.