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5 minutes


Multiple times daily




To assist students in checking in and identifying their emotions

  • When students arrive in class, ask them to identify their emotional state by using a thumbs up/middle/down strategy.
  • This can provide an “at a glance” measure of students.
  • Based on the overall mood of the class, practices can be proposed to help the group manage their emotions. For example, a breathing practice can be used (see “Deep belly breathing” practice) or a five minutes movement activity (see “Let go and stretch” practice) could be beneficial.

NOTE: If you notice a student is struggling, reach out individually to discuss with them if they would like additional support.

The extent to which students understand emotions in themselves and others, is highly related to the quality of their peer interactions, and their propensity to engage in prosocial behaviours (Caputi et al., 2012). Using group activities to recognize and manage emotions engages students in beneficial social interaction, normalizes experiences of emotions, and provides students with a structured opportunity to share and work with others to improve their self-regulation abilities (Domitrovich et al., 2007; Success for all Foundation, 2010). Embry & Biglan (2008) state that using visual cues, like emojis, to frame classroom discussions about identifying and managing emotions is an effective self-modeling strategy which has been linked to improvements in behaviour and increases in attention, recall, long term memory and social competence amongst adolescents.

Caputi, M., Lecce, S., Pagnin, A., & Banerjee, R. (2012). Longitudinal effects of theory of mind on later peer relations: The role of prosocial behavior. Developmental Psychology, 48(1), 257.

Domitrovich, C. E., Cortes, R. C., & Greenberg, M. T. (2007). Improving Young Children’s Social and Emotional Competence: A Randomized Trial of the Preschool “PATHS” Curriculum. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 28(2), 67-91. doi:10.1007/s10935-007-0081-0

Embry, D. D., & Biglan, A. (2008). Evidence-based kernels: fundamental units of behavioral influence. Clinical child and family psychology review, 11(3), 75–113. doi:10.1007/s10567-008-0036-x

Success for all Foundation. (2010). Power Teaching Cooperative Learning Handbook. Retrieved from www.successforall.org