A simple tool to measure how much energy, capacity, and enthusiasm you have and open a dialogue about what you need.
Whilst I was spinning the learning and working at home plates, I’d often come up with ideas about what I would do to support my Year 4 daughter’s learning. My daughter loves learning, is an avid reader and generally keen to do stuff. However, I often found that what I’d planned (only vaguely in my head I might add) went right out the window depending on how she was feeling each day (or how I was feeling).
I’d find myself getting frustrated that I’d planned some exciting maths opportunities, only to find my daughter unable to get herself motivated, interested or even willing to have a go. No amount of huge paper, felt tip pens, Sylvanian families or other props worked.
This started me thinking about three things that we need in order to tackle any task or challenge.
One day, in exasperation and seeking to understand what was going on for my daughter, I hastily drew some dials on the back on a cereal box, and asked my daughter to rate her energy, space (the amount of space in her brain for learning) and enthusiasm. She got the idea really quickly, and was able to articulate how she was feeling without having to speak or search for the right word. As you can see, she had little energy, some space, and a bit of enthusiasm. I knew then that I wasn’t really going to be to do much learning with her, and decided to tackle the energy issue by going out for a walk in the fresh air. When we returned, she was in a much better place, and so was I.
Since then, I’ve made the dials using PowerPoint (at which I’m a dab hand thanks to lockdown) and hope that other children and staff may benefit from them. Click on the image below to download a PDF of the ‘How are you today?’ tool.
What’s the point of this tool?
- To quickly gauge how you are feeling – in terms of energy, space and enthusiasm
- To open up a dialogue with someone about how they are feeling and what they might need
Who can use it?
- Anyone! You could even use it to check in with yourself
- Children could use it at home or at school to explain how they are feeling and what they might need to a parent or teacher
How do I use the ‘How are you today’ tool?
- Use it any time, any place, anywhere
- Simply laminate it and use a whiteboard pen to draw a needle to indicate where you are on each dial. Or if you prefer, place a button or similar small object on the section of the arch that most represents where you are.
- Once you have gauged where you are, consider what you need to do next to be in the right place for tackling the task you are facing.
- For example, if you have low energy or too high energy you might need to do some exercise. Can you go for walk? Have a 5 minute workout with Joe Wicks? Do you need a quick stand up and a stretch? If you have no space in your brain, could you have a rest? Do you need to ‘download’ your ideas onto paper?
Let me know what you think of the ‘How are you today’ tool – I’d love to hear from you.