Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I think we can all agree that check-in has really worked with our students. However, I'd like to know what are some of the ways you have checked in with your students. Check-in seems to work better, with my students at least, if there's some sort of "gimmick." I have used checking in as colors, cars, a weather report, and food.

Any ideas?

(By the way today's check-in was ice cream flavors. My favorite response? Strawberry ice-cream with cinnmon candies :)


At 10:30 AM, Blogger Shakespeare Teacher said...

Sorry for not signing my name, I was the one who posted. -mel

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Shakespeare Teacher said...

My kids don't take to the gimmicky check-in. I've noticed that a lot of them really look forward to that time as a time where they get to share something and will be heard. Most days I have to move it along because they will talk forever. Yesterday, I told them that I still wanted to hear what they had to share, but that they only had 5 words to summarize highlight their thoughts. They enjoyed that, the responses were fascinating, and I got through check-in without taking 20 min (yes, somedays it takes 20 min....) But most days it's my favorite part of class.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Emily said...

My young ones like it. I've done books, plays, tv shows, movies, colors, shapes, colors and shapes, one word, two words, three words, coolest thing you did this weekend, a goal for today. Stuff like that. When I can, I relate it to the day's content.

I still do "traditional" check in at least twice a week. That's important. My students often come in with ideas for a theme, and my sixth graders will often ask to go first - sometimes it's the first thing they say to me in the day.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Shakespeare Teacher said...

Mel, here are a few that have worked well: Spy Talk (in which the kids talk in a code of their own devising, i.e. "the swallows are flying north"), Why did she really leave the room? (when a student is called to the office just before check-in), blank on a blank (inspired by "Snakes on a Plane"), and, quite surprisingly, What I hate about school desks.

I hope these help.


At 9:04 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

I have an 11th grade English class that loves one-word check-ins. I like to keep it positive and personal, and I will probably try some of the creative ideas others have listed. Some I have liked:
-One word for how you hope you will be able to describe your day.
-In one word, how you hope someone would describe you to a person you've never met. (I did this today--the answers were really sweet)

At 10:19 PM, Blogger chitarita said...

I haven't done the "gimmicks", but I'm liking your suggestions, Emily, Michael, and Jess. I think I'll try a few of those this week!

My check-ins have followed the ones from our summer - "How do you feel?" Just this week, we made words like "good" and "bad" verboten. The kids are struggling ("Is 'excellent' an emotion, Waterhouse?), but they are also craving new vocabulary - go figure! A purpose for learning new words!

I'll also guide their check-ins at times, usually using the lesson plan for the day ("Deliver one line from your scene today" or "Say your favorite word from the sonnet we're reading"). Other times, it' a chance to express your reaction to things - the recent shootings lead to a tenser check-in than usual a few days ago. That wasn't the first time I was glad for the chance to let students speak. And it won't be the last.


At 7:00 AM, Blogger Holbrook said...

I'd say 50% of my check-ins every day are "tired" or "hungry." Anyone else have kids just phoning it in like this?

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Shakespeare Teacher said...

Thank everyone! It's not that the kids don't take check-in seriously, but they are having a really hard time opening up.

The drama students, of course, don't have a problem sharing, but my regular classes are not opening up as much.

So, I appreciate the suggestions...I too try to do "regular" check-in as much as possible, but for the rest of the time, it's good to have some options. Thank you!-mel


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