Finger Check In

So we do this thing that I brought with me from remote learning where we check in during morning meeting using our fingers (so I’ll say “show me, don’t tell me”). I share a graphic where

1 = angry

2 = sad

3 = tired

4 = happy

5 = excited

I brought this finger check in over with me from Remote Teaching World, as a way to gauge the day in a nonverbal way, and so I can assess what tone to set for the rest of the day. 

After a five second countdown, the Penguins raise their hand(s) in the air with the number of fingers they feel, and I ask them if they are comfortable sharing. The responses are often hilarious, and range from “I’m a 1 because I wanted to eat my ice cream for breakfast and my mom said no” and “I’m a 3 because my mommy woke me up TOO early this morning” to “I’m a 5 because I get to see my gramma this weekend.”

At or around October, friends were sharing that they were happy to be at school, or excited to spend the day with me. But since winter break, they’ve been 4 and 5 about being in school and seeing their *friends* and me. They’ll say things like “I’m a 5 because I get to spend time with (insert student name here)” or “I’m a 5 because I get to have fun with my friends.”

Listen. This has never been about me. NEVER 👏🏾 EVER 👏🏾

But to know that we are building a community, nay, a FAMILY of learners is just….. 💋chefs kiss💋

Don’t mind me, just reflecting on my role as a #WorldChanger 

#teachingpastcurriculum #teachinglife

By DontBotherOrtizMe

Random musings from a random homosapien. Just trying to enjoy what I can of this ride called life.


  1. I love the check in method you use in your classroom! It has a lot of power. I also love that it is a sharing moment in the classroom. Those moments where our students start to branch out from themselves, sharing their feelings about school and their teacher, Are the best! We are world changers on the big moments of school and the small moments of school!

    Thanks for sharing this moment!


  2. I absolutely love this check in. I use something similar with older grades. So important to check in on kid’s feelings. I think they often have a LOT of feelings but don’t know what they mean or know how to examine/resolve them. This ‘check in’ lets some pressure out and provides some practice for kids to look inside and validate/learn what they are feeling. (a practice of reflection that I feel will make kids healthier beings!) BRAVO!


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