If you’re a fellow teacher or a parent who homeschools your kindergartener, you may know how crucial morning meetings are for setting the day’s tone. But let’s be honest; getting those little ones engaged and excited about the day ahead can be challenging. That’s why I’m thrilled to share some fantastic morning meeting games for kindergarten in this blog post.
These games are not just about fun but also incredible tools for fostering a positive classroom environment, building social skills, and kickstarting the day with enthusiasm. While writing this blog post with my kindergarten grandson in mind, I’ve implemented this strategy with kids from Kindergarten to 4th grade.
So, grab your exercise clothes because you will want to explore some interactive and engaging morning meeting games that will make your mornings much brighter!
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The Importance of Morning Meetings
Before jumping into the games and activities, let’s discuss why morning meetings are valuable. These meetings set a positive tone for the day and help create a sense of community in the classroom. They’re a great opportunity to establish routines and develop social and academic skills.
Here are some key benefits of morning meetings:
1. Community Building – Morning meetings allow students to get to know each other, share, and build positive relationships. It’s the foundation of a positive classroom community.
2. Academic Skills – Morning meetings can be a great way to sneak in academic skills like sight words, vocabulary words, and even phonics skills through fun and interactive activities.
3. Consistency and Routine – A daily morning meeting routine can help kindergarteners feel secure and aware of what to expect daily.
4. Brain Breaks – Morning meetings offer opportunities for brain breaks, which are short, fun activities that help students refocus and get energized.
I love GoNoodle! GoNoodle is such a great tool to get students moving and using Brain Breaks, but did you know there is another side to GoNoodle? Try using GoNoodle during the morning meeting.
Every morning, I start the day the same way. I got the idea from a book called “The Morning Miracle” by Hal Elrod. Having a morning routine helps me start my day on the right foot. I am more productive, less stressed, and feel much better.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the importance of developing these habits and realized what a great gift this would be for our students. As educators, we teach our students reading, math, and science. We even teach students how to treat each other, but how much time do we spend discussing how students should treat themselves?
Morning Meeting Structure
I’ve shared a daily schedule perfect for the K-5 self-contained classroom. The first part of the morning is dedicated to the morning meeting. One of the hardest things about teaching is dealing with various behaviors exhibited by children in the classroom and how we, as teachers, deal with those behaviors. Students sometimes come to us with a lot of baggage. There is no way for us to know what students are dealing with at home, but there is a way to get students to start their day on the right foot.
So, when I saw the calming videos on GoNoodle, I immediately thought of my morning routine and how I could use this in the classroom. If you can access technology in your classroom, consider incorporating interactive whiteboards, Go Noodle, Google Slides, or digital morning meeting slides. These tools can make your morning meeting even more engaging. Here are some interactive morning meeting activities:
- Interactive Morning Message – Display the morning message on an interactive whiteboard or a screen. Students can take turns filling in the missing words.
- Digital Morning Meeting Slides – Create digital morning meeting slides with interactive elements like drag-and-drop activities, clickable answers, and animations. This is also a great way to add the links to any and all videos you might use that correlate with the structure I use for my morning meeting.
Here are the steps to start your day with your students on the right foot.
Start with Silence
The first part of the morning meeting is to have your students come to the carpet as a whole class for a moment of silence. Silence is a great time for students to clear their minds and prepare for the day. There are several excellent videos from GoNoodle to use during this time. Here is an example:
Affirmations are my favorite part of the morning meeting! Each week, I provide students with a daily affirmation that correlates with our character word for the week. Here is an excellent site to find affirmations appropriate for kids in a language they can understand.
Affirmations develop an atmosphere in the classroom where it is the norm to acknowledge positive behaviors, thoughts, and actions. It needs to be consistent to change teachers and students’ attitudes and actions. Here are the steps to teach the affirmation each week:
Write – Have students write the affirmation. Students can write their affirmations in a journal, or I like to have students color these cute affirmation bookmarks.
Teach – Discuss with students what the affirmation looks like and sounds like. Students need to understand how to do them effectively.
Acknowledge Behaviors – Publicly acknowledge when students are doing the desired behavior. Encourage students to recognize others, too. Be sure to send positive notes, use punch cards, or make calls to let parents know when students are doing well.
Our thoughts are creative forces and are constantly expressing themselves in our lives. We must teach our students how to rehearse to achieve their desired results.
For example, if students want to make good grades, they must picture themselves doing what it takes to succeed. Have students create an image of doing whatever they need to do and repeat these images repeatedly in their minds.
Students need to understand that what they focus on becomes their reality. The same goes for teachers. If we tell ourselves our students never do their homework or are unprepared for class, that is precisely what happens. If students tell themselves they are not good at math, they will never be good at math.
GoNoodle has great videos called “Think About It.” Here is an example:
While exercise is on the GoNoodle morning meeting schedule once a week, I would encourage you to have time set in your day for students to exercise.
Movement can be added during transition time, at the end of the day, or when students need a brain break. Here are a few reasons why you need students to exercise.
- Exercise improves learning on three levels: Improves alertness, attention, and motivation
- Prepares and encourages the brain to log in with new information
- Helps make retaining information easier.
Students love GoNoodle exercise videos! Here is an example:
Students participate in an interactive read-aloud with the month’s character word weekly. It’s a great way to add literacy skills to the mix. You could even implement “Tuesday Tale” and share a short story or a picture book related to the week’s theme. Afterward, discuss the story or have a creative activity based on it.
I am developing specific questions for each book to help you plan for your weekly interactive read-aloud. Remember when I shared the importance of read-aloud to teaching students to read? The Science of Reading research shows students build listening comprehension and background knowledge when participating in interactive read-aloud. The goal is to go deeper and get students thinking and discussing the character word.
Students get to respond to the reading every week or develop ideas for integrating the character word into their lives. Writing allows students to organize their thoughts and extend their thinking.
Students have several writing options, whether by responding to their interactive notebook, using the digital notebook, or using the writing prompt paper provided in the lessons.
A great idea would be to implement Thursday’s Thankful Thoughts and have each student share one thing they’re thankful for. This encourages gratitude and a positive attitude.
Other Morning Meeting Games for Kindergarten
Now that I’ve highlighted the importance of morning meetings and their structure let’s explore some other fun morning meeting games for kindergarteners:
- Good Morning Welcome Song – Start your morning meeting with a catchy “Good Morning” song. Singing together is a great way to set a positive tone for the day.
- Question of the Day – Begin each morning with a “Question of the Day.” It could be as simple as, “What’s your favorite color?” or “What’s your favorite animal?” Students can take turns sharing their answers. Make it a
- Greeting Time – Have each student greet their neighbor with a friendly “Good morning!” This is a great way to practice social skills and create community.
- Calendar Time – During your morning meeting, you can go over the days of the week, the date, and the weather. This helps kindergarteners learn about time and seasons.
- Have a Wednesday Weather Reporter and choose a “weather reporter” for the day. They look out the window and share the weather conditions with the class.
Building a Positive Classroom Community
Morning meetings play a significant role in building a positive classroom community. Here are some tips to make your morning meetings effective:
- Use Morning Meetings as a Daily Routine – Consistency is key. Make morning meetings a daily part of your routine so students know what to expect.
- Include Everyone – Ensure every student can participate and share during the morning meeting. This builds a sense of belonging.
- Encourage Active Listening – Teach students to listen actively when others speak. It’s an essential social skill.
- Celebrate Special Events – Use morning meetings to celebrate special events or milestones. Birthdays, achievements, and holidays can be recognized and celebrated.
- Rotate Student Leaders – Allow students to take turns leading parts of the morning meeting, such as being the weather reporter or leading a game.
I hope you can see how morning meetings can set the tone for the day, build a positive classroom community, and help students develop important social and academic skills. With various games, activities, and special ideas, you can make your morning meetings a highlight of the school day.
So, I hope these suggestions have inspired you, whether starting the school year or looking for new ideas to freshen up your morning meeting routine. It’s all about creating a welcoming and engaging environment for our youngest learners. Have a great day, and enjoy your time with those amazing kindergarteners!
Try GoNoodle during Your Morning Meeting
Now that you know how to use GoNoodle for your morning meeting, it’s time to start.
If you want to check out my year-long curriculum to help you teach classroom community, mindfulness, and character education, click here.
Want a Morning Meeting Freebie?
An important component of building a classroom community is the environment. Hanging pictures of kids on the wall, displaying student-made work, and interactive bulletin boards are great ways to spruce up the environment. Here is a fun bulletin board idea you can try in your classroom. Sign-up below: