Besides starting my school year with the Selfie Mini-Project, another practice in my classroom is the daily check-in. I begin class each day by asking students how they are doing as they enter the room. I start off the year with a mood meter, but then shift to “How do you feel on a scale of…” memes. Initially I use animal themed ones, and then add seasonal or holiday themed ones. There are hundreds of these pics on the internet so you can choose one that suits your students.
Each day I project a Google Slide with the weekly meme as students enter class. With the short, middle school class periods I do not always have time to personally greet every student each day, but start the period off by having them check in with their neighbor before our warmup question.
This simple checkin builds community and culture. The natural next step is that students start suggesting themes, and I then I tell them to make their own meme in Slides. My first request this year was for axolotls (the student had to explain to me what those were, but all of the kids knew). After all of the students saw the axolotl slide, then they started making their own: pandas, cats, “cookies” (anime characters), and giraffes. Students are proud to see their slides shown for the week. It brings out their interests and allows them to show off some art/tech skills in math class.
I have a “How do you feel on a scale of Kaechele?” slide that I am saving for later in the year. I can’t wait to see their reaction to it!
- How are checking in daily with students?
- How are you building culture in your classroom?
- What ways can students express themselves in your class?
Interested in more SEL and PBL tips? I will continue to offer virtual and in person coaching and workshops throughout the school year outside of my teaching commitments.