Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Morning Meeting Part 1: Greetings

In a previous post, I talked briefly about morning meeting: the different components and how I create my morning messages.  To read more, click here.  Today let's focus on the first part of a morning meeting, the greeting.  Research shows that certain parts of the brain are activated more when kids hear their own names aloud than when they hear someone else's name.  And, I can't find the exact stat, but the percentage of children who go an entire day without hearing their name said aloud is alarming.  Why should we care?  The greeting in a morning meeting allows children who could otherwise go unnoticed to feel important and hear their name said aloud at least once that day.  Children who don't get the attention at home that they so desperately need and want are able to feel a sense of belonging because someone greets them by name.

Ok sorry...that's just my little plug for greetings during morning meeting and for paying close attention to those kiddos that often can fly under the radar.

One book that I have found lots of helpful greetings in is 99 Activities and Greetings. It includes ideas for grades K-5 and even organizes them by what time of year it would be best to introduce them (beginning, middle, end).  Click on the picture to check it out!

So, here are a few of my students favorite greetings that we use throughout the year.  And, each year I switch up which greetings I introduce to them to keep things interesting.  We always start morning meeting sitting in a circle.

1.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom -
       Many kids have been exposed to this book by second grade, and if not, I read it aloud to give them a context.  The greeting goes to a rhythm we create with claps and slaps.  So, sitting criss-cross in a circle, we begin by gently and quietly slapping our legs 2x and then clapping 2x (slap, slap, clap, clap). While repeating this pattern, we chant:
Chicka chicka boom boom,
(slap)    (slap)   (clap)  (clap)

Look who's here, in our room
(slap)       (slap)   (clap)   (clap)

__________ (child says his/her first name)
(slap)    (slap)   (clap)  

"Good morning, ________"
(clap)  (slap)   (slap)  (clap)  (clap)

      This continues all the way around the circle until everyone has had a turn.  We often end this greeting by saying, "Chicka chicka boom boom, look who's here, in our room, we are!"

2.  Choice Greeting-
      There are different versions of this greeting that I have used.  The only difference is that the choices are different.  Sometimes I use handshake or high-five for the choices and sometimes I use a "butterfly shake" or "salmon shake" for the choices.

      How it goes-  Child 1 turns to the kid next to him/her in the circle and says, "Good morning, _____ (be sure they say each other's names).  Child 2 says good morning, ___ back.  Child 1 asks, "Would you like a salmon shake or a butterfly shake?"  Child 2 responds and that's what they do.  This continues all the way around the circle.

      Butterfly shake: Students both use their right hands.  Spreading the thumb away from other fingers, they interlock hands by thumbs and wiggle the other fingers like butterfly wings.  Sorry I don't have a pic right now.
     Salmon shake:  Students put their right fore-arms on each others' arms side by side and flop their hands on the other person's arm, like a fish tail flopping back and forth.

3.  Knock-knock-
Child 1: turns to his/her neighbor and gently "knocks" on Child 2's shoulder saying, "Knock knock." 
Child 2: "Who's there?"
Child 1: says his/her first name (i.e. Jack)
Child 2: asks, "Jack who?"
Child 1: Jack ____ (says last name i.e. Smith)
whole class: "Good morning, Jack Smith"

Continue around circle until everyone has had a turn.  Last year was the first year I used this greeting and my students absolutely loved it!  Who doesn't love a good knock knock joke? ;)

I would love for you to share a favorite greeting you use with your students in the comments!!

More to come on morning up: activities.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. We actually have the job of a Greeter. The Greeter stands at the door every morning and greets each person. We learn a variety of ways to greet and rotate those throughout the year. We have another time to greet and make connection during our Family Circle time.

    I am happy to be your newest follower. I would love for you to hop over and visit me when you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart