Monday Morning Check-In

Recently I saw a viral post by a teacher named Erin Castillo. She has her students write their name on the back of a Post-it and place it on a chart each Monday. The chart had headings such as “I’m Great,” “I’m Okay,” and “I’m Meh.” After students placed their sticky notes on the board, the teacher can check in with them as necessary.

First, let me say, thank you Erin Castillo. This is such a wonderful idea. The social-emotional aspect of a student’s life has an enormous impact on their academic life. (You can’t get to Bloom unless you’ve taken care of Maslow.) This was such a powerful idea, I wanted to use it with my students. My only concern was a room full of 26 fourth graders all going up to the board in the morning to place their Post-its. Would they be completely honest when their peers were watching? (I don’t know that I would with my peers watching me.) Would students place their sticky note in the category where the majority of the other students did? I might follow the pack in such a situation.

The way I addressed this possible issue was to create a digital version of the chart. On this Google Form, I have a consistent eight questions students answer every Monday morning when they enter the classroom:

  • Name – This is a dropdown menu with students’ names already entered. (I’ve changed their names in the linked Google Form for privacy purposes.)
  • How was your weekend? (It was wonderful. It was okay. It was difficult.)
  • Today I am… (Great, Okay, Hanging in there, Struggling, I’m having a tough time and wouldn’t mind a check-in)
  • Is there anything you want me to know?
  • One thing you’re excited about this week.
  • What book are you reading right now?
  • Would you recommend this book to a friend?
  • What is the next book you’re going to read?

A QR code is projected on the board, so students can grab an iPad and get started right away. They usually complete the form in less than five minutes, and I can easily view all their responses in a Google Sheet or Excel document. It has worked really well so far, and it gives me a great insight into how my students feel when they walk in the door, how their weekend was, and their overall outlook.

I’ve also found this to be a conversation starter with my students. Here’s some of what they’ve shared the last few weeks:

  • I almost made it up the warped wall. (We have an American Warrior gym near our school.)
  • My stomach hurts.
  • I baked cookies with my grandma this weekend.
  • I went to my dad’s house yesterday.
  • I got 2nd all around at my gymnastic meet.
  • I love school.
  • My team won our basketball game 30-4.

Nothing is better to build relationships than asking a question about one of these responses when we are lining up for lunch, transitioning between subjects, or at another point throughout the day.

Feel fee to use, adapt, and make this work for you classroom.

Happy Monday!