Blog Posts

Feelings Check

It’s just the simplest form; the kids complete it about once a month. All I do is put it on their tables one morning, so they can fill it out after they put their things away. The students know the routine. They can bring it to me and share what they wrote or put it in the finished work bin.

I watch the choices students make as they work. Some fold it – carefully sealing their private thoughts. Others come to sit next to me and tell me more. What I know is that these little slips of paper, written in just a few moments, tell me things that my eyes and ears have missed:

“I’m sad because Jo Jo died.” – This pet died over a month ago. I had no idea this was on this student’s mind.

“I’m sometimes okay and sometimes not because kids don’t always play with me.” – When I watch, I see this student engaged with others.

“I’m happy because I like school.” – I wouldn’t have expected this student to answer this question this way.

Over this break, I have thought about ways to make my teaching more effective and more joyful. There will be new ways to connect with families, new books to excite readers, and new structures to give more choice during writing workshop. But the Feelings Check – these little slips of paper give me windows. They will remain the same.

Happy New Year and Happy Teaching!


Leave a Reply