How Are We Feeling Today?
Doesn’t it feel nice when someone asks you how you’re doing?
A colleague of mine, Dana Wheeler, uses this simple Name-Magnet system in her third-grade classroom to help the students reflect upon their moods as part of their morning routines.
At first, Dana felt like it was a bit of a novelty, something to engage the students in the early hours. But she quickly realized the value of those magnets as a tool that gives all students a voice.
As the students enter the room, they place their own name magnet under the “smiley”, “not-so-smiley”, or “frowny” face:
One of the big rules of creating community in the classroom is to make sure that ALL students have a voice and can be figuratively heard. It’s very easy to let the “quiet” kids slip under the radar, and it’s hard to tell if they’re having a bad day. By using this tool, Dana can quickly gauge the demeanor of the class, convo with any students that may not be feeling “smiley”, and even bring up those issues during Morning Meeting. It has become as valuable of a morning tool as coffee (well, almost).
If you don’t have a magnetic surface close to the entryway, use a bulletin board, pocket chart, or sticky notes to convey the same idea. The beauty of this idea is that it can be easily adapted and used at any grade level.
Have a nice day!