It’s no secret that I’m the #1 fan of morning meeting slides. Slides in general have transformed my classroom and I would turn everything into a slide if I could (in fact, I pretty much have). However, that doesn’t change the fact that I still want a tactile experience for our little learners. I’m all about convenience and tech to make the teacher’s life easier as long as we aren’t sacrificing student engagement and learning in the process. I’ve got good news for you, folks: it all fits inside one nice little box.
Of course, your toolbox will vary based on the slides or morning meeting style you prefer. After years of trying it all, this is by far the way that works best for me and my classroom (thank you, timesaving slides FTW praise hands)
I’ll even provide you with a handy dandy key for this list. One asterisk* equates to a basic recommendation. Two asterisks** are for our go the extra mile friends who are extra AF. In other words, not necessary but totally a possibility if that’s your thing. I’m more of a no-frills* person these days.
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #1: String
This is great for Sentence on a String (seen below). I like to keep a small ball of yarn and cut it into various lengths. Some days it will be super short, others it will be longer.
One of my favorite morning meeting slides is the activity seen below. Students love seeing how long or short the string is on any given day and this not only encourages oral storytelling but really boosts teambuilding in the classroom:
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #2: Stack of papers
**Go the extra mile: type out student names on the stack ahead of time so the “snowballs” are ready to crumple up.
This way, when your Snowball Fight morning meeting slide comes up, you are ready to roll (err…throw).
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #3: Sticky notes
Although I prefer to have students answer share questions vocally, it sometimes pays to switch things up and encourage them to answer via sticky note instead. You can simply have students write their answer and stick it to your whiteboard. If this isn’t an option, any surface in the classroom will do as long as students know where to find it.
As morning meeting slides include share questions, you might choose to display a question and have students answer via sticky notes.
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #4: Expo marker(s)
These thin black Expo markers are like Ticonderoga’s marker cousin: the must-have brand, make, and model for this year’s dry erase markers in the classroom. They write so smooth and dark, are about the same size as a pencil, and last quite a while. I keep one for myself when I write the morning message on the dry erase board (I like to shake it up every once in awhile!) or you might choose to keep a **class set of markers (see pro tip below!)
Go the extra mile: Keep an **entire class set of whiteboards on hand for morning meeting. Students can answer share questions on the boards, or participate in a more interactive morning message (for example: write the long vowel word you see in today’s message”)
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #5: Dice
Some greetings and activities have rules that are determined by the roll of a die or dice. I keep 2 dice on hand at all times.
**Go the extra mile: Use this virtual dice roll instead or invest in these large dice for an exciting twist!
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #6: Number or name sticks
There are definite name generators and random name choosing tools you can pick from these days, but sometimes it takes more time to do that and less time to reach for a good old-fashioned bag of craft sticks with names. This comes in handy when choosing a student to lead a morning meeting, choosing a student to answer the share topic, roll the dice, etc. It just eliminates the “pick me” frustration and skips right to the random, quick pick
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #7: Ball
Listen. Certain things are better with a ball. Trust me when I say a good ball can bring unexpected joy to a classroom. Trust me also when I say a ball can bring trouble, so when possible, I opt for a beach ball. The example above gives you a better idea of why you might need a ball, but I also keep a small ball for rolling too! (I’m partial to this one)
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #8: Bonus: microphones!
Okay, this one is super extra**. Used specifically for answering share questions, to lead a meeting (I’m known to hand this off to students later in the year #imnotaregularteacher), etc. Microphones give students a spark and confidence they might not have sans mic. I know, it sounds silly: but give mics a try and see what happens!
P.S. I never had one of these fun cool fancy mics that Vera made ever-so-popular, but I totally would rock one and you should too. Also, parents reading this: very cool gift idea!
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #9: Cube or small item (bonus points for a real bone**)
This one is specifically used for the activity seen below. You can choose to use something like a marker or go even smaller (and more challenging) with something like a snap cube. Like I said, bonus points if it’s a real bone if you happen to have fake bones floating around your house like me.
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #10: Rare bird jar
Okay friends, this one’s a personal favorite. You can read the directions on the slide below, but essentially you keep this jar of responses in your morning meeting toolkit so you can pick from it every time this slide comes up. It’s one of the most fun, engaging, interesting morning meeting ideas out there, in my opinion.
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #11: Notebook for you
This one’s great for jotting down things kids say during meetings to share with parents (or your teacher besties at lunch). In addition, things are bound to come up in your morning meeting that make you say, “I do NOT want to forget that!” and it pays to have a makeshift to-do list on hand–
just in case when that happens.
Morning Meeting Toolbox Item #12: Box of tokens (3 per student)
This is specifically for the activity below. There’s something about the use of “tokens”–no matter what they may *actually* be–that excites students. They can give their coveted tokens away and practice their social skills in the process. It’s fun, it’s different, it’s not a ton of work on your part. #winwinwin
**Go the extra extra mile: get *actual* tokens. I know. It’s a little much. But…tokens!
These ones look cool, and I think it would be a GREAT introduction to these if you had the students paint or decorate them together (But a bag of beads will do just fine).
And there you have it: my morning meeting toolkit–just add morning meeting slides.
If you’re interested in trying out morning meeting slides, you can sign up for a free week below!