I’ll be totally honest, I hate writing morning messages. It is such a seemingly easy task that can actually get quite cumbersome. Over time, I learned ways to make writing those morning messages much more bearable, and I’d love to share that with you. There’s no complicated formula: It all boils down to writing them ahead of time. (I prefer a week at a time so I write them all every Friday for the upcoming week.) In order to write them in one batch, it helps to then have a go-to list of types of morning messages to choose from.
Now, a caveat: at the beginning of the year in first grade, I keep it as simple as possible for fluency’s sake or I will go with one of the other ideas listed below and read the message aloud to them. Adjusting student involvement is one of the many ways to tailor your morning meeting to work for you.
Integrate math into your message by giving students a “real-life” story problem.
True Life Tuesday
Weave an interesting fact into your morning message so students leave your classroom at the end of the year armed with useful facts.
Teach a new vocabulary word to your class every week and encourage them to use it in conversations.
Think About It Thursday
Asking student opinions is one of the best ways to build a strong classroom community. It lets students know their voices matter.
End the week with a laugh–do a quick Google search for “kid-friendly jokes” or “jokes for first graders” to find jokes to use in your morning messages.
Involve the Student
Students fill in the blank
Feature a student
Choose one day a week where you feature 1 student on the morning message slide or paper. You can do a simple list of the student’s favorite things, or you can give the class information about the featured student’s family, interests, etc. Bonus points if you include a photo of the student!
Connect to Student interests
What are your students into right now? There is no better way to connect than by taking the time to know what they like. Pay attention to what your students are talking about and use it inside your messages. Maybe you’ll create a word problem about Pokemon, or perhaps you’ll include a Knock-Knock joke that incorporates their current TV show.
Choose a pair of students to write the morning message together. This is one best used in the second half of the year (at least for the younger students) once they have had plenty of time to see what a morning message is. Watching the students put their heads together in the morning to craft the perfect message for their peers is priceless.
In today’s age where it feels like there is no time for anything, integrating subjects is my jam—and morning messages are no exception. Use this time to ask a question about the current math topic, pose an opinion question about your social studies focus, etc. The most important thing to note here is that the morning message is not a place to teach new content–review only.
Make it visual
Use pictures—not just words. Replace various words with drawings, or create an entire message out of pictures. Incorportaing images is important for early readers but can also appeal to a wide variety of learning styles in the older grades.
Ask the audience
- Ask for advice
- Get an opinion
- Take a poll
Share news or an announcement
You can actually get all 30 of these morning messages in slide format or printable format here. For free! I know it sounds too good to be true but I can promise you it’s not.