Create or download one or more worksheets from the Resources tab.
Choose an appropriate time to distribute the worksheets to your group, ie at the beginning, middle or end of a task/day/week/etc.
Instruct your group to complete their worksheets as best as they can.
When ready, and if applicable, gather your group (in small or large groups) to discuss and share.
Conclude with a motivational thought.
How To Play Narrative
The process of inviting your group to check in and monitor their emotional wellbeing can be very powerful. It can help people feel seen and heard and it may also inform the direction you may need to take with your program.
There are so many ways to set up a check-in, so I’ll simply describe a generic process and then invite you to adapt as required.
First, you need to create your check-in sheet. To get you started, take a look at the sample we share in the Resources tab.
Think about what attribute(s) you would like your group to identify and monitor, and create the scale accordingly. Use words, pictures or both to help with comprehension.
Then decide when you would like to distribute this check-in sheet. Typically, you will pick a time either at the beginning and/or end of the period (task/hour/week/etc) to reflect and discuss the week ahead or how the week progressed.
For example, let your group know that the beginning of the week worksheet will help them create more focus for the period ahead, whereas the end of the period worksheet will help create a sense of accomplishment.
Once distributed, provide ample time for your group to complete their worksheets, ie 5-10 minutes.
If you consider it useful to invite your group to be more articulate, you could ask some further questions such as:
What would make this coming week better?
How did you feel this past week?
What goals did you set for yourself that you accomplished?
Once ready, and if appropriate, invite the group to gather and discuss their check-ins. This process can be useful because it adds a level of accountability to the task. To this end, ask your group if there is anything that they would like to share. It can be as simple as “How would you rate your week on a scale of 1-10?”
Closeout with an inspiring thought to let them know that they have the chance to make this next week even better and that they’re doing awesome!
Practical Leadership Tips
Include some scales when discussing the worksheets, eg “On a scale of 1-5, how was your week?” This facilitates discussion and participation without forcing people to share too much detail. It can help them get more comfortable.
To make the group feel more comfortable sharing, start with the less personal questions. Consider this like a “warm-up.”
For those not comfortable with sharing, encourage them to share something small or encourage sharing with a partner or a small group. You can also include study buddies or peer partners.
Validate that you are creating a safe space to both communicate and listen.
You could integrate Inspiring Check-Ins as part of a well-designed SEL program to help your group identify and understand their emotions, thoughts and values and how these influence their behaviour.
Specifically, this activity offers ample opportunities to explore and practice the following social & interpersonal skills:
Linking Feelings, Values & Thoughts
Identifying Personal, Cultural & Linguistic Assets
You can learn more about SEL and how it can support character education here.
Health & Wellness Programming
The simple act of checking in with your group can be enough to diffuse or influence certain negative thoughts and behaviours. Sometimes, just being acknowledged and heard is enough to set some people on a more affirming path. At a minimum, you will have intentionally checked in with your group to monitor their emotional health and readiness for whatever task you may have planned for them.
To this end, instituting check-ins is a form of goal-setting as much as practising a mindfulness routine. And when you invite your group to identify their check-in on a scale of emotions, you are building their emotional intelligence or literacy, too.
Note, that when working with younger people, images or icons may work better for some people to identify what they are feeling, than using words or phrases.
Be Specific: You can use Check-In sheets for specific projects and goals.
DIY Check-Ins: Experiment with different categories and questions to create your own Check-In sheets. If appropriate, share these in the Comments section at the base of this page.
Take a look at Solo Time and Journalling as two alternative forms of self check-ins that achieve similar outcomes.
Open the Virtual Adaptation tab to learn how to present this activity online.
Share a Google Doc or other digital resource (eg PDF) with your group, and then follow the instructions as above. When ready, use your video conferencing platform to discuss and share the results of the sheets as a group.
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Useful Framing Ideas
In this next exercise, you can write down as much or as little as you’d like – don’t feel pressured to write long answers…
You will have all heard of the notion of going with your gut feeling, right? It’s very much akin to trusting yourself and going with your first instincts. This is what I want you to keep in mind for what we are about to do…
Reflecting on your week can help you better understand your feelings and how you can improve things for the coming week. The tool I am about to hand out will guide you in this process…
When we communicate our thoughts with others, we can feel less alone and open the space for meaningful conversations and friendships…
Reflection Tips & Strategies
Coupled with one or more reflection strategies, here are some sample questions you could use to process your group’s experience after introducing this simple reflection tool:
Did you find it easy or difficult to complete your check-in sheet?
Was it helpful to write down your thoughts and feelings?
How did you feel after discussing your thoughts with the group?
What was the most difficult part about this exercise?
What do you find fun or inspiring about the worksheets?
The inspiration for Inspiring Check-Ins was sourced from Lisa Hughes, a playmeo team member and experienced creative coaching consultant.