7 Ways to Build Strong Connections With Your Students Using Check-Ins

7 Ways to Build Strong Connections With Your Students Using Emotion Check-Ins

Are you looking for a way to connect with ALL of your students each day? Making sure their mental health is in check…see what’s going on at home…and get to know them even better? Daily emotion check-ins are the way to go!

Building strong connections and relationships with my students is SUPER important to me, which is why I implement daily check-ins into our classroom routine. WHY do I love emotion check-ins so much? Here are 7 reasons why I believe using emotion check-ins in your classroom allows you to build even stronger connections with your students.


Why Should I Use Daily Emotion Check-Ins With My Students?

One of the social-emotional learning competencies is self-awareness. This is the idea that humans know how they are feeling, what they need to be successful, what goals they have for themselves, etc. The most crucial component of this competency is being able to understand HOW you are feeling and WHY. This drives our abilities to regulate emotions, set goals, label emotions, and so much more.

Using daily emotion check-ins with your students (along with explicit lessons on how to label emotions and expanding emotional vocabulary) is going to help them instrumentally with their self-awareness abilities.

1. You get a sense of how your students are doing.

Using emotion check-ins gives you a sense of how your individual students are doing, as well as your class as a whole.

2. You reach ALL of your students (not only the talkative ones).

Teachers have a LOT to do, and it is hard to sit down and ask each student how they are feeling every day. On top of that, some students don’t like to (or know how to) express their emotions verbally. This gives ALL of your students an opportunity to share how they are feeling and what is happening in their lives outside of school.

3. SEL Daily Check-Ins can allow you to elicit student responses that can be used in morning meetings or during SEL Lessons.

Often times on my daily check-ins, I will ask students quick discussion questions regarding social-emotional learning topics that I want to cover with my class. This gives students time to process the question, which makes more of my students comfortable sharing their thoughts when we have our whole class discussion. Similarly, I can tell them that on some of their answers, I will be anonymously sharing their answers with the class to spark discussion. Either way, it is a super helpful way to build that strong classroom community!

4. Emotion Check-Ins can help STUDENTS identify their emotions.

Using emotion check-ins is also having students practice identifying their emotions each day. I like to practice with my students using words besides happy, sad, good, bad, and mad so that they can continue narrowing down how they are feeling with a matching emotion word.

5. Emotion Check-Ins can encourage students to expand their emotional vocabulary.

It can be challenging to know how you are feeling right away, especially when your emotional vocabulary is limited. Taking time to explain a variety of emotion words, and then allowing students to practice using those words to identify their emotions is such an important skill! Happy isn’t the same as excited isn’t the same as joyful or grateful or content; Giving students the skills to really narrow down how they are feeling is crucial!

6. Google Forms Emotion Check-Ins are QUICK and easy to keep track of (so you can spend time doing more important things).

Using google forms to check in with your students is a quick and easy way to hear from all of your students. They are low prep, quick, and easy for students and teachers to use. Plus, there are SO many options! Digital check-ins just not your jam? I also have printable versions that my students love. They do take some prep time, but once they are prepped, they are ready for quite some time.


7. Daily check-ins allow you to learn about your students interest and what is happening in their day to day lives.

You’d be surprised what students are willing to share through a device that they aren’t comfortable sharing with their voice. Using digital or paper daily check-ins with students will help you learn even more about them so you can connect with them on an even deeper level.

Overall, I can’t recommend enough incorporating daily check-ins into your everyday classroom routine. Students love them, they give ALL of your students a voice, and they will help create a strong classroom community between you and your kiddos.

Related Articles: 5 Steps for a Daily Emotion Check-In

Daily Feelings Check-Ins