This year Hudson started school and the first thing that stood out to me was that when I asked him how his day was, I wasn’t getting much feedback. Can You relate?
It was just Hudson either. I wasn’t finding out as much as I wanted about any of my kid’s day.
Partly, I think it was hard for the kids to remember anything about their day and a general, how was your day? did not make it any easier.
I developed a set of specific questions that forces the kids to think about their emotions and specifically a time they felt that way. The five questions I ask, not necessarily in this order are:
- Tell me about a time you felt proud today.
- Tell me about something new you learned or did today.
- Tell me about time you felt happy today.
- Tell me about a time you laughed or something funny happened today.
- Tell me about a time you felt frustrated today. (Sometimes I like to keep things positive so I don’t ask this one)
Literally as I am writing this post and Quinn is finishing his homework, Ross asks, “How was your day?”
To which I responded, “Clearly you need to read my post!”
So Ross leaned over and asked Quinn a question from my post and I proceeded to document the conversation below.
What Asking Specific, Intentional Questions Looks Like
Tell me about a time you felt proud today.
I finished two questions on my research.
What are you researching?
Where do you find the information?
In the Library. I find the books by myself.
Is everyone researching Neptune?
No, We all got to pick our own.
What is Ry doing?
The king of the planets! Saturn.
Is anyone doing the sun?
No, it isn’t a planet.
What is it?
You know my planet takes 165 earth years to go around the sun.
That is because it is the last planet.
No, there is another one, but they haven’t figured it out yet.
Tell me about something new you learned or did today.
Flat bead frame
What is the flat bead frame?
It is like a checkerboard. There are beads with metal lines.
What is the point of it?
It is for big number multiplication.
So it is new and you’ve never done it before? Did the teacher introduce it to you.
She introduced it and we did some problems together.
All the second graders.
Tell me about time you felt happy today.
At reading club.
What about reading club.
When I got a lot of stuff done and got one vocabulary sentence done.
What was your word?
Queasy. Want to know what I wrote? My dad feels Queasy after a rollercoaster.
….digress with discussion about trip to Great America
Tell me about a time you laughed or something funny happened today.
My friend told me a joke.
What was the joke?
What does the spider say to the mosquit0? You better not suck my blood or I will web you.
And that made you laugh?
Tell me about a time you felt frustrated today.
When I didn’t get my mini math done
Why didn’t you get it done.
Because we were late. (I locked my keys in the car)
That is heck of alot more information then you would ever get from a, how was your day? I have found that my kids are able to remember specific emotions, which they can then attach to an action. By asking these specific questions, I feel like I get a highlight reel from their day. As you can see, when you engage, the simple question turns into a very insightful and meaningful conversation.
I often ask these questions on the car ride or during dinner and we literally just go around the table. Everyone gets a chance to share and a chance to listen. They all love having their turn and love being heard.
These questions even manage to pull information out of a the black hole that is a three year old’s day school.
Try them out, let me know how it goes!
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