Socio-Emotional learning is an important aspect of my classroom culture. Students cannot learn if they are not okay. Our students experience stress throughout their day, and they bring this into the classroom. With regular check-ins, we can show our students that we care about their emotional state as well as their academic performance.
The slide deck delow is one SEL check in that I do with my students. In the virtual classroom where I've been doing my student teaching, I have students engage with my slides through PearDeck. Teachers (parents and other youth workers) can modify this activity to use technology or not.
After students take a few deep breaths to start, students will use the drag-and-drop feature in PearDeck to place a heart on the word that indicated what mood they are currently in. The four quadrants represent calm (green), high energy (yellow), sad (blue), and angry (red). The next slide asks students to count down through the five senses with the teacher. I guide my students through this process.
Things they can see will be things around the room. Things they feel might be their emotions, their desk, their lungs will with air, and so on. Things they might hear will be my voice, their breathe, birds outside, or cars in the distance. This requires students to really stop and listen to hear three things around them. The sames goes for smell. If they need to, they can move around and find something, like a candle or book. This added movement can also help to recenter students' minds so they are focused on any stressors they carried with them into class. And lastly, if they aren't currently tasting anything, they can think of things they want to taste, like the lunch they will be eating or food at an upcoming family get together.
I would like to note that some students may not have all five senses, such as our students without sight or hearing. This activity should always be student-centered, so adjust as needed. Counting down from 4 or 3 is just as useful for helping our students clear their minds and prepare for the lesson you're about engage in.