fbpx Top
GRAB THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SEL

Morning Meeting in Your Upper Elementary Classroom

Every day, our kids come bounding into our classroom with a million things: some are happy, some are sad, some are tired, some are mad. And let’s be honest, some kids come in with a ton of emotions going on! I needed a way to handle all of this in a calm and trauma-informed way. That’s where Morning Meeting comes in.

What is Morning Meeting?

Morning Meeting is a time in our classroom when we put the academics on pause and we come together as a classroom. We talk about the things that are on our minds – what’s going well, what could be improved, and how we can make our classroom a better place.

How To Incorporate Morning Meeting into Your Day

One question I get asked a TON is “Mikey, how do you work SEL into your day?”

I am lucky in the sense that I work in a self-contained situation, so making time for SEL and Morning Meeting is a little easier for me. I literally asked my administration team if we could use the first 15-20 minutes of class for this Morning Meeting time, and I found out that not only was the answer YES, but that other classrooms had already established something similar.

Step #1: Morning Meeting Needs Time

I can’t tell you how many times I hear teachers say, “I’m not doing Morning Meeting. I have to do {insert any subject area}!” Trust me, I get it. However, I also know that studies have shown that when you address social-emotional needs (think Maslow), your academic scores go up because students are ready to learn. It’s worth the time investment.

I recommend doing this each day, but if you can’t, once a week is the minimum I’d recommend. Like I said earlier, I literally carve out the first 15-20 minutes each day for this. School starts at 8:55am, and no academics happen until 9:20am.

morning meeting schedule

Tip #2: Use a Structure

In my classroom, we use a Four Quadrant structure. This means that we spend about five minutes each on each quadrant. The quadrants are pictured below (and are available as a free download at the end of the blog). The first month takes some getting used to, but by October we are in a routine and making things happen!

Extra Bonus Tip: Use something to designate who’s talking. We have an awesome Qball that students throw to each other. You can’t talk unless you have the Qball in hand. It can be anything – even a stress ball!

morning meeting quadrants

Tip #3: Be As Quiet As You Can

The idea behind Morning Meeting is that the kids eventually run the show. You should be an active listener and be in the circle with the kids, but as the year goes on, you really shouldn’t talk much. Not only does this help build trust and community between the students, but it also provides meaningful practice in having discussions with one another.

Tip #4: Take Notes

Often, your kids will come up with AMAZING ideas that you might want to implement in your classroom. Be ready to take notes as the kids talk so you don’t forget their awesome ideas! I also take notes if there are repetitive concerns because, well, 5th graders DO need me every once in a while to step in. 😉

morning meeting notes

Tip #5: Keep The Routine

It’s easy for educators – including me – to say, “Oh man, I’m way behind in Social Studies! Where can I pull time from?” and have the idea to pull Morning Meeting. I highly encourage you NOT to do this, though I know sometimes it just will happen.

If I can’t do it in the morning, we try and reschedule it for some other point in the day. It’s worth it!

Remember…

  • Explicitly teach the four quadrants and what kids can talk about in each quadrant. (Available as a free download at the bottom of this blog).
  • Stay in a routine as often as you can.
  • Reduce your active participance in Morning Meeting to active listener as the year goes along.
  • Not much is off-limits, but I do ask that if we have a student concern that we don’t use the student’s name as we talk. (That can cause a TON of trauma!)

You Can Do This!

Morning Meeting is a necessary time in your classroom to process all of the things that are on Maslow’s hierarchy. As we regulate our students and bring them into a healthy brain space, we reduce the effects of trauma and increase academic retention! It’s a win-win.

Need Some Guidance?

I have included a free download of the Quadrants I’ve spoken about throughout the blog post so you can get an idea of what Morning Meeting looks like. I hope it helps!

Check out my other blog posts on Social-Emotional Learning!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Happy Teachers


"I just bought your Insignificant Events Novel Study and I wanted to give you about two billion trillion thank yous. You saved me an EXTENSIVE amount of work and energy and probably about 12000 calories from snacking and typing. So, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!"

Ashley R.

Mikey D Teach
2020-10-13T17:08:57-04:00

Ashley R.

"I just bought your Insignificant Events Novel Study and I wanted to give you about two billion trillion thank yous. You saved me an EXTENSIVE amount of work and energy and probably about 12000 calories from snacking and typing. So, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!"


"I cannot say enough how much I LOVE this product!! It was a fantastic way to show my students that I cared about them and wanted them to succeed.  It was super easy for them to fill out each day and they were honest with their needs which gave me a way to help assess how the day needed to go."

Megan H.

Mikey D Teach
2020-10-14T14:59:05-04:00

Megan H.

"I cannot say enough how much I LOVE this product!! It was a fantastic way to show my students that I cared about them and wanted them to succeed.  It was super easy for them to fill out each day and they were honest with their needs which gave me a way to help assess how the day needed to go."


"I was looking for ways to incorporate some things that would make [Morning Meeting] feel older to 5th graders. This is a great resource for that! I love your ideas, especially how you structure your time with the quadrants and your cues. Very creative."

Hope B.

Mikey D Teach
2020-10-14T14:59:36-04:00

Hope B.

"I was looking for ways to incorporate some things that would make [Morning Meeting] feel older to 5th graders. This is a great resource for that! I love your ideas, especially how you structure your time with the quadrants and your cues. Very creative."


"One of the best purchases I have made. I love how the first part of this kit is so in depth and gives valuable tips for incorporating SEL into the classroom. This is especially useful for those beginning SEL or their teaching career. I can see myself using some of these resources to help train other teachers in SEL. Highly recommend Mikey's website as well. Very comprehensive and helpful. I'm following for sure!"

Janis T.

Mikey D Teach
2020-10-14T15:00:06-04:00

Janis T.

"One of the best purchases I have made. I love how the first part of this kit is so in depth and gives valuable tips for incorporating SEL into the classroom. This is especially useful for those beginning SEL or their teaching career. I can see myself using some of these resources to help train other teachers in SEL. Highly recommend Mikey's website as well. Very comprehensive and helpful. I'm following for sure!"
0
0
Mikey D Teach