It is important to help children talk about their emotions. One quick way of getting children to talk about how they are feeling is to ask them to answer by giving a number between one and 10 when the morning register is called. The higher the number, the happier the child.
Encourage the children to listen out for the scores and to support their peers who are feeling unhappy.
Make a mental note of any child with a low score and try to find the time to talk to them. At the end of the day repeat the exercise and see how the ratings have changed.
If you would rather rate happiness at a class level, place a bowl of two differently coloured pebbles and two empty bowls at the classroom entrance. Allocate one colour as the happy colour and one as sad. As the children enter they should take a pebble to represent their mood and place it in one of the containers.
At a glance you will be able to gauge the children's moods. You could use the same method to get children to assess other things, such as how much they feel they have learnt that day.
Elizabeth Smith teaches at Badsworth C of E Primary in West Yorkshire.