National Educators for Restorative Practices

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Relationship Meters

Relationship Meters are used as tools to strengthen our students Social Emotional Intelligence and promote greater self awareness.  When implemented with consistency and fidelity in the classroom, we can help our students:

  • Identify how they are feeling and track the changes throughout the day;
  • Gain greater understanding as to why or what caused them to feel that way;
  • Differentiate and express each emotion correctly;
  • Self-regulate.

Examples:

Mood Meters

The Mood Meter helps students and adults develop RULER skills: recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions (RULER, 2013).  Developed by the Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence, the Mood Meter has four colored quadrants.  Upon further investigation you will see that Pleasantness is coordinated along the x-axis, and Energy runs along the y-axis.  The more energy a student associates with the feeling they are experiencing they would follow the x-axis up, less energy would result in moving down.  Next, the more pleasant a feeling is would move the student to the right along the x-axis, a less pleasant feeling would move the student to the left of the x-axis.  For example, if a student feels high energy and a low degree of pleasantness, the student may arrive on Furious or Livid.   

EMOJI METERS

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Text messages are the new phone call.  There is a great chance you have sent a message today that ended with a winking smiley face emoji or LOL emoji.  There are hundreds of different emojis, and each one communicates an entirely different emotion.  Some students may struggle with verbally expressing how they feel, but they all speak Emoji.  Like a Mood Meter, an Emoji Meter is a physical Relational Meter.  These can be found online or created by you and your students (see below).  Using them is easy!  Students select which emoji best relates to how they are feeling at the moment.  Students of all ages, especially primary, love using emoji meters.  You could simply ask them to identify the emoji that best describes how they feel or have them choose the emoji and explain why they feel that way.

THUMB METERS

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This one is pretty simple.  Ask students how they are feeling.  Students can give up thumbs up if they are feeling excited, a thumb to the side if they are feeling calm, a thumb down if they are sad, and a thumb tucked into their fingers if they are feeling angry.  

Extension Activity:  Have students track their Thumbs Meter for a week in a tally chart or another type of organizer.  

Fist to Five

This is another simple activity.  Ask the students to show you how they are feeling using one hand.  

  • If they show you a fist, they are at a zero and are having the worst day ever.
  • One finger represents that they are having a really bad day.
  • Two fingers represents a difficult day, but far from the worse day.
  • Three fingers represents a normal day.  Not overly great, but definitely not bad.
  • Four fingers is a good day.  Things are going well.
  • Five fingers is a great or fantastic day.  Everything is going perfectly!

Weather Report

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The Weather Report is a NEDRP favorite.  When asking students to identify their moods, have them liken it to a type of weather.  If one is feeling great, they could say they are sunny.  If someone is sad they could be cloudy or rainy.  Angry could be characterized by a thunderstorm.  At a training a few years ago we had a teacher say she was a, “Category 5 hurricane!”  Watch out!  Another creative one was shared with us by a 4th grader in Binghamton, New York.  The student reported that they were a rainbow.  The student was asked to explain why she chose that and she responded, “Earlier in the day, I was having a bad day.  I was stormy.  The day got so much better and the sun came out.  A rainbow appeared!”  How creative!

Stephen Murray