Anxious About Class Allocations
Following the announcement of class allocations for the year, a student learned they were being separated from their best friend, causing severe anxiety, to a point of getting physical hives. The Principal was able to reassure the parent that Switch4Schools was being used to help the student develop strategies for managing their anxiety while their class teacher monitors their emotional check-in data to ensure the strategies are helping.
Miranda (teacher of a grade 5/6 class) likes to use her iPad to facilitate the check in process each morning. Each table group takes turns to come to the front of the room to check in, giving her the opportunity to connect with them while also marking off the roll. While this is happening the remaining class members write or draw in their journal (a standard exercise book) reflecting on the previous day. She gave some thought starters to get them going but now they are self motivated. The students have the option to share their journal with her, which some have opted to do. She has found this to be a really effective way to settle the class to begin learning for the day.
Daily Mindfulness Activity
For the students in one of the year 5 classes in Canberra who had been in lock down for some time, the switches became a much needed break from the norm. The teacher set a daily switch challenge for the students each day, in addition to their usual curriculum. Once the activity was completed the students took a photo of the completed activity and shared it in their online group chat channel. The teacher commented that this was homework she actually enjoyed marking!
Homeschooling has been a stressful transition for a lot of classes, but for Claire (grade 6 teacher) she has found the Switch4Schools program has made it so much easier to check in on the student’s health and well being from such a significant distance. The students had reported they missed being able to check in when not at school, so now being able to check in from home has been great.
We all know the students can get a bit rowdy after lunch. A grade 6 teacher uses the check in process to calm the room and assess if there has been an issue during the lunch break in the playground. As the students then undertake a quiet activity she follows up with flagged students to make sure they are okay.
Creating a Communication Bridge
Shelly reports that the students in her 2/3 class absolutely love the check-in each morning. They use the one iPad and even has one student who double checks that everyone has signed in so that class time is not interrupted. During their morning routine, she will have a quick look to see where the students are at and if there is anyone that she needs to have a quick chat to. Sometimes she may not get to a student straight away, but she lets them know that she noticed how they were feeling and will check in with them as soon as she can. She reports to have learned a lot about her students and their emotions through the app but especially in the check-in conversations. She has found the app such a good bridge for communication and for students to identify what is going on for them that day, reflecting that without it, a lot of children would not have the ability or confidence to do this.