Hi, How are you today?
Does that sound like a familiar greeting? We hope so, because it is one of the most common ways to greet and check in with one another. Now we know that the past year has not been very predictable and anxiety inducing for many. We at SEL4CT wanted to take some time this month to provide our educators with some great tools on student check-ins.
- This article by PanoramaEd reminds educators the importance of frequent check-ins. The article also provides about 20 different questions to ask students during an SEL check-in. Some of these questions could be addressed to the entire class, while others might be best for a one-on-one discussion.
- This article by Social Emotional Workshop, Using Daily Feelings Check-In, provides some insights on the importance of emotional check-ins with students and some great ways to check in with students.
- One way educators can do check-ins with students is to provide them with a “How do I feel?” spinner, where they can spin the wheel to land on their current emotion. This article by Six Seconds explains what a check-in is and the importance of it in every classroom. The article also provides some great activities for whole class check-ins, such as using and creating their own emoji to represent their feelings or using book quotes to describe their emotional state. The article also provides new and unique check-in questions to ask students.
- Although many of our students are doing fully in-person learning we wanted to provide everyone with a few resources for virtual check-ins. The article, The Power of Student Check-Ins During Distant Learning and Hybrid Courses, by John Spencer, an educator and writer, discusses the importance of virtual student check-ins. Although his article focuses on virtual check-ins and virtual learning, the tips he provides can be applied to in-person learning too. Spencer discusses that without daily check-ins students can become disengaged and fall behind in their work, by checking in with students educators can make sure that they are providing the proper resources to students in need and creating a connection with their students.
- This article by Faculty Focus discusses the importance of virtual check-ins with students.
- This article is aimed at higher education models and focuses on the concept of virtual learning. However, the article discusses the idea of “bonus questions” on a quiz to help provide feedback to the educator – this idea can be used for in-person learning to provide many types of feedback.
- Another option that the article discusses is using Flipgrid for a way to stay connected to students. Flipgrid is a way to add audio to slideshows, lesson plans, and much more; it provides a way for the educator to verbally communicate with their students or a way that educators can provide feedback to others. Although this article is aimed at higher education, there are a few items that could be implemented for younger scholars.
- This article by Microsoft explains how to add reflections to their Teams app, how to incorporate reflections/check-ins to each part of your students day, and how important these reflections are for both student and educator. The article is limited in its data, but might be helpful for those who do still provide virtual learning or if we switch back to virtual learning in the future – but fingers crossed we do not need to.
- PanoramaEd provides some insight into creating student check-ins in this brief article discussing a few things to consider before creating a check-in, including the frequency of check-ins, what you are looking to learn from the student check-in, and how you might take action if the student asks for help. The article also provides a couple prefabricated templates for online check-ins and some great check-in questions to ask your students.
Along with all of the resources above that we have provided so far we also want to provide you with a few quick links to questions and activities for student check-ins:
- This resource from CASEL provides a list of questions to ask students. These questions are broken into sections based on SEL qualities such as self-awareness and social awareness. It also provides a brief description on how and when to implement these questions.
- This resource by We Are Teachers, provides an extensive list of SEL check-in questions for middle school and high school students. The questions include asking about describing oneself, how their school year is going, how their friendships are, and much more. These questions could be adapted for a younger audience as well.
- Centervention provides an extensive list of Social Emotional Learning activities. Some of these activities include affirmations, dealing with change, mindfulness activities, and much more.
- This article by Edutopia explains some classroom activities practiced by educators at Summit Preparatory Charter High School in Redwood City, California. These activities bring SEL check-ins to a large group setting. Some of these activities include mindfulness activities, group sharing and circle activities, and appreciation activities.
We hope that this information inspires you to check in with your students and yourself throughout this academic year! If you have any activities that you would like to share with us and other educators please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and through our social media, we would love to hear from you!