There are undoubtedly drawbacks and advantages to teaching via Zoom. When transitioning to Zoom as a classroom instructor, one of the major modifications you’ll need to make is how you greet your students at the beginning of the day.
Prior to implementing virtual learning, I always welcomed my students as they walked into the classroom with a handshake, hug, or high-five (whatever their preference). They then had time to introduce themselves and speak with each other after entering the classroom and emptying their bags before we officially started the day.
As you may expect, this arrangement didn’t perform well when we shifted to virtual learning using Zoom. I initially felt bewildered. I wanted to go right into my lessons without really doing any formal introductions.
However, it took some time before it was obvious that forgoing the morning greeting could have been a better idea. My kids seemed less interested in the lectures, and many were asking the other students about their morning or weekend activities.
They also seemed to need help to get through. It was obvious that I needed to find a solution right away. I realized that I had to attend the morning meeting greeting because it had become so ingrained in my overall classroom experience.
I would need to make some significant adjustments to accomplish this in a virtual classroom setting using Zoom.
I finally found the morning meeting opening that worked for my kids and had the outcomes I was looking for after some experimentation. More of my students were more attentive and genuinely cared about one another and their education.
But, I reasoned that this article would be even more successful if I were not the only person sharing my morning meeting greetings with you on Zoom. I spoke with a few seasoned educators to learn how they do their morning meetings using Zoom and what greetings they have discovered to be most helpful.
So, continue reading if you, too, need help with how to make your morning greetings on Zoom more exciting and captivating.
Here are some of the best Zoom virtual morning meeting greeting ideas:
Best Zoom Virtual Morning Meeting Greeting Ideas
· The Secret Class Wave
As I previously indicated, I had to go through a lot of trial and error until I found the perfect morning meeting greeting to share with my students via Zoom. I had to think of an alternative greeting as my usual hug, handshake, or high five wouldn’t transmit via the computer screen.
Are you interested in learning how I introduced myself at my morning meeting? I decided to add some humor to it and offer my pupils greater control over how we introduced ourselves to one another.
We once brainstormed ways to say hello to one another as a group. Virtual fist shakes, a “special” class wave, a little song we composed about the environment and the day of the week, and other concepts were some of the suggestions.
We made a list of suggestions and added them to a PowerPoint that I presented at the start of the morning meeting.
Every day, a new student picks the opening remarks and kicks off the meeting. They introduce themselves by wishing everyone a nice morning, mentioning the date, and describing the current weather. Students then select which greeting to utilize and take the class by hand.
· A Simple Good Morning
This welcome could be monotonous or overly straightforward, but it works for classrooms of any grade level and those with little morning meeting time. Even while we were virtual and hybrid, we used this approach.
All of the students give me the thumbs up, and I start by introducing myself to a student They return the favor. The kids then extends a greeting to whoever they want. Till every kid who has given the thumbs up has been greeted, students keep saying hello to one another.
Children make eye contact, grin, and address one other by name. The phrase resembles “Good Morning, Ryan,” “Greetings, Mrs. Schwarz,” “Peter, Good Morning” until every student has been welcomed.
The final student then extends a greeting to the teacher. This greeting can also be delivered in a plethora of ways.
Students can say “hello” by:
· Bow or give an air hug while waving (rather than a hug)
· Foreign language greeting (“Hola, Mrs. Hoffman”)
· Formal Introductions (Students introduce themselves to one another by using Ms. or Mr. after their last name)
I might include a ball (plastic or beach ball) or balloon for some movement and amusement because they are simple to clean up later. Students can toss the ball to the individual they wish well.
· A Snowball Fight
Even adults can become bored by spending a lot of time in front of a screen with little to no movement, and kids find it particularly challenging since they have so much energy. Your students need a little push to get them going and help them focus more during the Zoom morning meetings.
The Snowball Fight is a fun and quick activity I like to do as part of the morning greeting each day before the lecture begins. All of my students are instructed to tear off a piece of paper and write down the name of a classmate on it.
Each student must choose a random classmate and instruct them to grab the snowball once they have crumpled and thrown away the paper. The student who chose the classmate must welcome the person whose name is on the paper.
This keeps happening until every student has been admitted to the class. In the event of any repetitions, the student may then select a different classmate of their choosing to greet.
· The Greeting Race
The speed at which students can meet one another around the room will be timed. The teacher begins by greeting one kid by name and saying, “Good morning.” In response, the pupil greets the teacher by name. The kid then addresses a classmate by name and greets them.
Every student in the room says “good morning” to the individual who just greeted them before extending the welcome to a new person. The teacher should time the pace at which the kids can circle the room. The following day, they might try to defeat it. Continue doing this for a week!
· Give Away Compliments
Teachers will certainly enjoy this one. Ask children to extend a sincere compliment to their friends. Show children what an honest compliment looks like. For instance, Sam might greet Emma with, “Good morning! You put so much effort and perseverance into math!
Everyone is deserving of at least a few compliments each day! Alternatively, if students feel bashful, instruct them to write comments on post-it notes and present them to other students later in the class after greeting each other in the beginning.
· Play the 1,2,3 Look Game
You will have to ask your students to turn on their cameras for this one. As the teacher counts to three, the students should remain with their heads down. Students will raise their heads and gaze at one individual in the meeting when the word “look” is said.
Students then toast good morning to one another across the room if they engage in eye contact with one another.
Students simply put their heads back down if they don’t make eye contact with anyone. The teacher says “1, 2, 3, look” again until every child has made direct eye contact with anyone and has been addressed at least once.
· Greeting with Closed Eyes
Students shut their eyes and rest their heads on their tables. The teacher then chooses one pupil to greet each morning. The selected student then raises their head and greets another student, who rises and takes on the greeting position.
This keeps going until everybody has their heads up, eyes wide open, and has been acknowledged!
· The Emoji Introduction
One of the best online morning meeting greetings is an emoji introduction. To play, ask your students which emoji best represents them. Players should use Zoom’s chat feature to enter their desired emoji rather than speak.
Invite meeting participants to step up and present their choice with the group after all students have submitted their icons in the chat. Be careful to urge players to justify their emoji selection.
· Start with a Quote
I advise sharing inspirational quotes during your morning meeting greeting if you’re seeking strategies to motivate your students. Students are encouraged to share their personal favorite quotes with the class throughout this activity.
To make this more interesting, you can also mark one quote as the quote of the day and reward the student who presents it. This would give the students a fun competition to compete in so they would enthusiastically participate in this greeting ritual!
Morning meetings may be something that many students dread. I advise including enjoyable and engaging activities in the introductory portion of your meetings to help students get over any negativity and exhaustion that they may have.
Selecting the ideal virtual meeting greeting ideas might encourage students to have a good day and be more focused throughout the lecture.