Give each student (and yourself) a card that has a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other. Each student keeps his card visible on the corner of his desk. Each student selects which side to display, and she can change it at anytime. The happy face means that everything is pretty much okay…not perfect, but basically fine. The sad face means that something is not okay. Hopefully, most of the time, you will see happy faces, but when there is a sad face, depending on the student, you may want to:
- Give the kid a break. Maybe today you just shouldn’t call on her.
- Ask what is wrong.
- Offer a few extra smiles, a hug, an encouraging word or two.
- Make sure she has had enough to eat.
What could be more interesting is to see how your students react to a sad face on a classmate’s desk. You may be surprised at how caring and kind your students can be. And remember, you have a card too…because it’s good for kids to see that even teachers have hard days sometimes.I would love to know if you have done something similar or if you do try this, how it goes.
Next up is Lynda Morgart for Curls and a Smile, who has tips on transitioning from primary to intermediate!