14 Best Distance Learning Meeting Activities

Are you currently teaching your students remotely? So many school districts around the country have been doing distance learning all year long, and others are transitioning to it over health and safety concerns with the pandemic. We may like it or not, but this is now a new reality. Of course, distance learning has its pros and cons (you can read about them here), but now we need to adjust the learning process to the new distance format.

While distance learning certainly has its challenges, there are ways you can incorporate many of the same activities and strategies you implement when you’re in the classroom with your students.

14 Best Distance Learning Meeting Activities

One of these activities is a morning meeting. While it may seem like a morning meeting is one thing that can’t be done virtually, with some creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, you’ll find that you can successfully run a distance learning morning meeting with your students. Today, I’ve put together a list of 14 different activities that can be done during a virtual morning meeting. These will get your students engaged, excited, and ready for a full day of learning.

Distance learningPlanning for distance learning morning meetings is especially relevant right now with COVID-19 and the large number of school districts that are engaging in virtual instruction for some or all of their students. However, knowing how to run a virtual morning meeting can continue to be useful even after instruction returns to normal. Many schools engage in a blended learning approach where students are in the physical classroom some days and engaged in online learning other days.

Why Hold Morning Meetings

Morning meetings are important for a variety of reasons (). They provide a dedicated time each day where the teacher and his or her students can greet each other and share important or interesting things that are happening in their personal lives. Because of this, morning meetings can help create a classroom community.

As students begin to feel like they are an integral part of their classroom community, they will begin to feel more comfortable taking risks. Morning meetings can also help encourage students to have a positive attitude. It probably seems obvious, but having a positive attitude towards learning and feeling comfortable taking a risk can help students learn and achieve more in school.

While a virtual morning meeting will look different from a traditional morning meeting where the class is all gathered together in a circle, it can still deliver these same benefits to your students.

In some ways, morning meetings may even be more important during this age of distance learning. Normally, students would have lunch, recess, and other “free” times to chat with their classmates, learn more about each other, and forge friendships. However, now that they are engaging in learning from their home, these opportunities are gone.

Some students may still talk to some of their friends outside of the school day, but many may not.

A morning meeting is a chance to let your students form or deepen their bonds with the others in the class.

Holding Morning Meetings

  • When you’re holding your distance learning morning meeting, you can start with some fun music on as all of your students are joining the Zoom session. Leave everyone muted until the song is over and encourage them to move around and dance to the music.
  • After everyone has joined the Zoom session, unmute the students and take the time to greet each student by name, and allow the students to greet each other.
  • Then, you can move on to one of the morning meeting activities I’ve shared below. These will really engage your students and get them ready to participate and learn for the rest of the day.

Best Distance Learning Meeting Activities

Below you’ll find 14 great activities you can add to your distance learning morning meetings. These activities will help get your students ready for the day and will help you create a classroom community where your students feel like they are an important part of the group.

1. Name Picker

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • A generator wheel from ClassTools.net

When you’re planning out your activities, you can consider using a random name picker to select a few students to share each day, since there won’t always be time for the whole class to share. In this video, Matt Dochniak shares how you can create a random name generator wheel from ClassTools.net and share your screen so your students can see it too.

2. Scavenger Hunt

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Slides or info pages with what you want your students to find

How to Perform

A scavenger hunt is a fun and easy way to engage students. To do this activity during your virtual morning meeting, simply introduce the scavenger hunt to students by telling them you’re going to give them a list of items (or even a single item), and the first person to find the item and bring it back to their computer screen will get a point (or the first person can get two points and everyone else will get one point). You may choose to name specific items or something more general such as “something red” or “something used for cooking.”

Look at the example of this activity in this video:

3. Emoji Charades

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Emoji cards to show individual students

How to Perform

Emoji charades can help students learn more about emotions, which is a great thing to focus on during your morning meetings. To play this game, you can assign each student (or a few students each day) an emoji/emotion to act out using their facial expressions. If you want, you may choose to share an image of the emoji they’ll be acting out with them to help them know what to do. The rest of the class will then need to try to guess what the student is ‘feeling.’ Once someone guesses, you can show the entire class the emoji card and discuss times when they have felt that way.

Watch how it works in this video:

4. Play Would You Rather

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Slides with questions for students to answer/choose from

How to Perform

Play Would You RatherPlaying would you rather can help you and your students learn more about each other and everyone’s preferences. For this game, you will present students with two choices and ask them to select which one they’d rather do. For example, students may need to choose between spending the night at a friend’s house or going to see a movie in the theater with their family. You could have the entire class show one finger for the first option and two fingers for the second option so everyone will be able to see how their classmates answered. Then, you can call on a few students to explain their choices.

5. Show and Tell

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Only your good mood :)

How to Perform

Children love show and tell. They get to share something that is special and important to them with their classmates. To do Show and Tell during your morning meetings, you can select two or three students who will get to share each day. Let each student know when they’ll be sharing so they can prepare what they want to share with their classmates. After students share their items with the class, provide time for the other students to ask them questions about what they shared. Try to encourage students to ask deeper questions that will help them get to know more about their classmates.

You can send this hilarious video to your students, and it will definitely help them:

6. Pictionary

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • List of items/topics for students to draw

How to Perform

Playing Pictionary will allow students to tap into their artistic sides as they have fun with their peers. To play this game, you’ll want to prepare a list of different items, places, movies, songs, or other things that your students will all be familiar with. Choose one student who will be drawing and share one of the items with them privately over chat. They will need to draw that item and try to get everyone else to guess what it is. You could give students the option to use a drawing program on their computer and share their screen or to draw on a piece of paper on a clipboard so everyone can see. To make things more exciting, you could split the class into two teams and keep score.

Watch how to play Pictionary online:

7. Mystery Bag

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • A bag with a special item for your students to guess

How to Perform

Tell students that they are going to play a guessing game. Explain that you have a secret item in your bag and that they will need to ask yes or no questions to guess what it is. If you work with younger students, you may choose to give a small hint to get things started. As students ask questions, remind them that they must be yes or no questions and that they should send you a message over chat when they think they know what is in your bag.

8. Talent Show

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Sharable certificates or participation ribbons (optional)

How to Perform

Talent ShowA few weeks before you plan to hold your talent show, share the idea with your class. Tell them that they will have X amount of time to come up with an act to share with the class. Let them know that they can sing, dance, read a monologue, read a writing piece they’re proud of, or even share and discuss a piece of art they made. You may choose to stretch the talent show over a few morning meetings to keep your meeting from running too long. After each student has shared, provide time for a few of their classmates to offer compliments or ask them questions about their act.

9. Daily Goal

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Slides to introduce the activity

How to Perform

Daily GoalDaily goals is a great way for your students to get ready for a successful day. In this activity, each student will set a personal goal for their day. You can encourage students to pick something that is realistic while also being something they know they need to work on. Goals may be behavior-related, academic, or something else. You can have your students send their goal to you over chat or share it with the whole class if they are comfortable doing so. At the end of the day, have students take a few minutes to reflect on whether they met their goal and why they did or did not meet it.

10. Lead with Puppets

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Hand puppet

How to Perform

One day, take a break from leading your morning meeting and let a puppet take over for the day. Find a hand puppet and talk to your students as the hand puppet. Many children, especially younger children, who are more hesitant to share with adults may be more likely to open up to a puppet. You can have the puppet greet the children, lead discussions, or set goals with the class. Having a puppet step in to fill your shoes every now and then will also be exciting and engaging for your students.

Watch how it works in this video:

11. Schedule Dress-up Days

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Outfit for yourself that matches your dress-up day theme

How to Perform

Schedule Dress-up DaysGetting to dress up for a special theme is exciting for students. Have your students select different dress-up days and pick some themes together. For example, students might pick pajama day, superhero day, twin day, favorite book character day, or something else. The day before your dress up day, remind students to wear their special outfit for the following day.

During your virtual morning meeting, you can have students share something special about their outfit or how they are feeling about getting to dress up.

12. Do Science Experiments

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Materials to demonstrate the science experiment you choose

How to Perform

Do Science ExperimentsSeeing a volcano erupt, making predictions about what will sink or float, or watch a magnet attract or repel different items is very interesting for children. Engage and excite your children during your morning meeting by doing a science experiment together. You may choose to demonstrate the experiment for your class, or you may want to find a simple experiment that can be done with common household items so your students can participate along with you.

After you’re done with the experiment, be sure to leave time for students to share their learning and reactions to what they just watched.

13. Keep the Quote

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Blank slides to display student-shared quotes

How to Perform

Keep the QuoteKeep the Quote is designed to help get students more invested in their learning. For this activity, ask your students to find a quote that could be useful to the students in the class. During your Monday morning meeting, have a few students share their quotes. Record them on a slide so all students can see them. Then, have the class vote on which quote they like best and think will help them be successful throughout the week. After a quote is selected, have the student who originally shared it say what they think it means. You can then have a class discussion about the quote and how the students can apply it to be more successful in school.

14. Directed Drawings

What You Will Need to Prepare

  • Decide on the object you’ll be drawing
  • Plan out the steps you’ll be using to model drawing the object.

How to Perform

Directed DrawingsStudents will enjoy completing a directed drawing since they’ll end up with a final product that they can be proud of. To do a directed drawing with your students, you will first need to decide what you will be drawing together (you can choose to tell or not to tell your students what the finished product will be). Then, you will model drawing the object one step at a time, giving directions for the students to follow along with you and draw what you are drawing. After you have completed the picture, you can ask students to share their drawings. You can also ask them to reflect on the process and share which parts were easier or more challenging to draw.

Closing Thoughts

Morning meetings are an important part of the school day, and they are just as important with distance learning. I hope the various activities I’ve shared above have helped you see how you can incorporate morning meetings into your distance learning instruction.

Take out your planner and start laying out which activities you want to try with your upcoming morning meetings. Don’t have a planner you love? Check out this post on the Best Teacher Planners. If you’re looking for other ways to help yourself stay organized this school year, this post on the Best Backpacks for Teachers should also be helpful.

Last Updated on April 28, 2021 by Emily

Emily/ author of the article

Emily is an active mother of two and a dedicated elementary school teacher. She believes the latest technology has made a huge impact on the quality of early learning and has worked hard to upgrade her classroom and her own children’s learning experience through technology.
She created this blog to make it easier for other teachers to take advantage of some of the best devices out there to upgrade their classrooms without having to do the research themselves. She loves to hear your tech-based problems and share her extensive experience :)

MyTechClassroom.com
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: