One way we can check in with our students every day is by simply talking to them. Another thing I like to do is provide a way for our young learners to check in with themselves. Our brains learn best when we feel calm and safe. I believe that little kids are capable of self regulating and monitoring their feelings at school if we show them how.
I give students a binder and I place this sheet on the inside of a sheet protector. I provide a cup of dry erase markers. This allows them to erase and repeat everyday without using a new piece of paper. After the students complete their activities, they leave this page open on their desk so that I can walk through and see it. This allows me to check in with students who say that they are sad, angry, etc…
The next page is NOT in a sheet protector because I want them to keep track of how they are feeling across a period of time. This is good for them to see but also good for me AND their parents! I once convinced a parent to put their child to bed earlier because I showed her her own son’s data that said he was sleepy a lot of the time.
Later in the school year, I ask students to think of a focus goal for the day. This could be behavior based or just something they are working on- like showing kindness. This is really helpful when a student is struggling. I can remind them that they set a goal that they really wanted to reach for the day.