It has been a busy couple of weeks for myself and my students as we undertake our mental health learning journey. Our initial weeks have been filled with understanding our emotions. As I had mentioned before, the students in our grade 3/4 classroom check in using the Microsoft Teams Reflect App every morning. When they sign in to their account, this is what they are met with:
Students click on an emoticon and are brought to another screen with more selections:
We, as teachers, have live access to each students submission and can see a variety of ‘insightful’ graphs giving us a snapshot of our students that day. If you can relate to the Zones of Regulations, we can see how many students are in a green, yellow, or red zone. We can also see a class list of the exact emotions chosen. Furthermore, you can track each students history looking back over a number of days.
This is the feature I have used the most. It gives you an instant snapshot of how everyone is doing each day and allows you to identify who is not in a good headspace. This lets me know who I need to touch base with to see what is happening and how I can help prepare them for the day.
I have also been working with our students to do their own check-ins with each other. They have been asking each other questions to see how each other are doing and to learn how to support each other in the classroom, particularly when they are feeling out of sorts. I believe these are important skills to learn and they have been doing so great with it.
This past week we examined the Zones of Regulation in detail. Our students are familiar with them as they are commonly used in our classrooms. I used it as an intro. to emotions, as this upcoming week will involve some deeper studying of emotion. We are going to look at the difference between similar emotions (i.e. afraid vs. scared), and are going to study some in more depth (depression, anxiety).
In the coming weeks I will also be administering some surveys throughout our school and community. Myself and some other teachers are putting together three different surveys to dig deeper into the OurSchool Survery results we received earlier in the year. We are going to have surveys for our grade 1-3s, 4-8s, and parents. I look forward to sharing the questions with you when they are finalized this week!
I believe my project fits well with one element of Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship: Digital Health and Welfare.
- Digital Health and Welfare refers to the physical and psychological well-being in a digital world. Technology provides many opportunities and enjoyment, but knowing how to segment use with the needs of ourselves and others is key to a healthy, balanced life. Educators, especially in 1:1 schools or classrooms need to ask the question of how much screen time is appropriate for students.
Part of my project is to teach kids how to use technology in a positive way – in a way that can actually improve their mental health. We are using technology as one of our main modes of identifying our mental health state, and in the future we will explore some digital resources that can help us improve our mental health. It is a reality that kids of are going to use technology more than we would probably like them to. Hopefully as part of this journey they will learn that it can be used in positive ways that can improve their, and others, health and welfare.