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    UEN Teacher Tips - Tips For Building a Supportive Classroom Culture

    UEN Teacher Tips - Tips For Building a Supportive Classroom Culture


    UEN Teacher Tips is a weekly series from the UEN Professional Development team. Every Tuesday, we'll share a new tip, how-to video and classroom resource. When life is busy and time is short, we hope these tips lead to bright ideas, just in time! 

    This week's tip is "Tips For Building a Supportive Classroom Culture" by Nicole Johnson.

    Teacher Tips

    UEN Teacher Tips - Bright Ideas, Just in Time!

    Tips For Building a Supportive Classroom Culture

    Quick Check-Ins to Cultivate Classroom Connection

    by Nicole Johnson

    Ensuring the well-being of our students is paramount. Classroom check-ins play a vital role in fostering a positive learning environment. These check-ins support three of the five Protective Factors that enhance student well-being. By implementing quick emotional check-ins with your students at the start of each class, you can effectively gauge your students’ emotional states. This immediate feedback allows you to be responsive to your class’ needs, strengthen your connection with your students and identify those who might be struggling and in need of additional support.

    Here are some engaging check-in methods for your classroom:

    • Mood Meter - Use a mood meter during attendance or warm-up time to assess how students are doing. Discuss how different colors represent various moods. Try this free mood meter Kahoot template to use with your students.

    • Thorns & Roses - Encourage students to share positives (roses) and challenges (thorns) in a quick classroom discussion or use this Nearpod collaboration board as a bell ringer at the beginning of class.

    • Music Playlist - Create a weekly or monthly class playlist to gauge the emotional climate of your students. Let students add songs or share song names with you. Be sure to explain the rules for selecting appropriate music. 

    • Fast Two-Minute Talks - Don’t forget a classic chat! Ask students to submit fun questions like “Which superhero would you like to go trick-or-treating with?” or “What Halloween candy is the worst?”  You can also ask AI (try Perplexity) to create a list of conversation starters. 

    For more ideas, check out this article on Edutopia, Yeas, Nays, and Hip Hip Hoorays. Remember, these check-ins are not only informative but also contribute to the positive atmosphere in your classroom.

    Watch & Learn

    Tips For Building a Supportive Classroom Culture | UEN Teacher Tips


    About the Author

    Nicole specializes in educational technology tools for school counselors and guides teachers pursuing the Educational Technology Endorsement. Holding a Master’s in Educational Psychology - School Counseling, she has extensive experience as an academic advisor, school counselor, and college and career advisor across all K-12 settings. Nicole is an outdoor enthusiast and can be found fly fishing or hunting with her partner and two dogs.Nicole Johnson


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