For me, it is challenging to check in with each student and have the meaningful conversations I need to have every day with them. One strategy that many teachers use is to stand at the classroom door and greet every student as they enter the room. I think this is a great approach , but speaking from experience the brief "hello" or "hola" as a group of 5 students enters (en masse!) does not net me that deep, meaningful feedback about the student as a person.
That is why I am suggesting that we move to something quick, efficient and more private so that students can check in, tell you how they are feeling, indicate if they need help or just want to talk about their day. Since most students have their smartphone on them at all times, how about placing a poster outside the classroom with a Google Form link or QR code that students access as they pass into the classroom? Students use their phones to give you that valuable feedback and they can discretely tell you how they are feeling and why! Other alternatives to using phones would be to access the form off of the Internet by typing in the link or by creating the Google Forms and sharing/placing it in a shared folder where they can access it when they need to.
Using Google Forms in this way allows students share their thoughts with you before class, during class and even outside of class, whatever your preference or school allows. You as the teacher can access their responses anytime/anywhere and can continue the conversation with students and get them the help they need or talk with them about things that are going in their lives.
Here is my Google Link for the Student Check-In Google Form: http://goo.gl/yWfWu9
Here is the link for the Poster to hang outside your door: http://goo.gl/na4m4F
Feel free to use!
It is important for teachers to not only know how our students are doing academically, but also emotionally and physically- it signals to us if a student needs encouragement, intervention, a word of praise or a shoulder to lean on and those relationships that we have with our students are crucial to their success in school.
If you incorporate this idea into your teaching, please visit my blog again or contact me via Twitter to let me know how it went or any suggestions you may have!
Here's to gathering feedback on the whole child!