As teachers, we bring our students into our classroom to learn basic skills and concepts that will carry on with them as they grow. But it is just as important that we provide a safe, comforting environment for them as well. Part of our job is to help them develop friendships, manage emotions, make responsible decisions and create goals. Social emotional learning is just as important for our student's well-being as their academic learning.
What is Social Emotional Learning?
Social emotional learning goes beyond academics and dives deeper into students well being and emotional health. It also teaches them lessons that they will need to thrive as they get older and move through school. It is an important part of our jobs as teachers, to incorporate social-emotional learning into our classrooms.
Social emotional learning is fundamental in creating a safe space for students to express themselves and their feelings. It teaches students to look inward and provides them with tools to identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as struggles and successes. As students learn to identify things in themselves they also tend to become more compassionate with others. All of these things help to create a positive learning atmosphere in the classroom.
Teaching students how to reflect on their feelings or current well-being in an honest way is a great skill they can use for the rest of their life. Based on this self-reflection students can learn to ask for support as needed or identify triggers or circumstances that positively or negatively affect their mental health.
Using a daily social emotional check-in is one way that I use to teach these skills to my students.
Why are Daily Social Emotional Check-Ins Important?
Social emotional learning check-ins are one way we can keep in touch with our student's emotional needs. A daily check-in gives students an opportunity to reflect on their feelings and also learn how this reflection can have an impact on their day. This provides a great way to track how students are doing to make sure we are meeting specific needs in the classroom.
It's also a quick and easy way to develop a relationship with students and get to know them at a deeper level. Through a check-in students are more likely to give you an honest answer than if they are doing an in-person check-in or question. These check-ins allow you to teach a variety of social emotional learning skills and concepts too.
Quick and Easy Daily Check-ins
To make incorporating a daily social emotional check-in into your routine it needs to be something easy that students can do on their own. That's why I love using Google Forms. If you aren't familiar with Google Forms, it is a great way to collect information in a survey-like fashion. (It's great for so many other things too – but we will leave that for another post).
These are simple, ready-to-go Google Forms that have the daily check-in questions built in to the forms. The forms are already prepared and ready to share with your students. These no prep check-ins are easy to add to your morning routine. Students know that when they arrive this one of the tasks they will complete.
There are 5 forms, one for each day of the week. Each form has five questions that give students an opportunity to share information and ask questions.
While these daily check-in forms are ready to use right away, they are easy to edit too! You can add or edit questions to meet your student's needs and then share! It's a great way to personalize the daily check-in and connect with students based on lessons, events or activities in your classroom or school.
Sharing is simple! You can share through email or through a link, which doesn't require an email at all. You can also assign to students through Google Classroom if you use that online learning platform.
Finally, you can go in and check all student responses in one place. You just select the response tab on the main copy of the form. Responses of simply shown in charts and graphs which make it easy to view quickly. As students reply, their answers are automatically sent to a Google spreadsheet for you. Everything in one place that you can easily review. In fact, you can watch their answers come in as they are completing their daily check-in.
Add Some Seasonal Fun!
In addition to the general “everyday” themed check-ins, I also created some seasonal and holiday themed check-in forms. The students absolutely LOVE themed questions and images. It's a great way connect daily classroom activities to real life.
The fun themes provide a little bit of excitement to the daily check-ins! It's also a great way to acknowledge the seasons and holidays and the excitement that comes with them.
Similar to the general themes, each of the holiday or seasonal themes includes 5 forms, one for each day of the week. There are also 5 different questions on each form allowing students opportunities to reflect on their feelings, share something they did well, share what they can improve on and how they can succeed that day.
Finally, each form provides students with a place they ask the teacher questions. I like to leave this open-ended so that students know there is always a safe and private way to ask me questions or communicate with me.
Grab Your Social Emotional Check-In Forms
You can add a daily check-in to your classroom routine too! These Daily check-in bundles are easy to use and ready to go so that you can begin incorporating this in your classroom today! The Year Bundle includes a variety of “everyday” themes that you can use with your students all year long. It also includes seasonal forms for each season. The Holiday Bundle includes a variety of holiday-themed check-in forms to help you incorporate holidays into your classroom all year long.
Save These Social Emotional Learning Ideas for Later!
Save these daily social emotional learning check-in bundles to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can quickly and easily find them later!