- Seaford Union Free School District
Middle School Students Are Mindful of Mood Meter
Seaford Middle School students now have another tool as they strive to become emotionally intelligent young adults. During ASK sessions at the end of the day on Dec. 15, students learned about the mood meter, an evidenced-based, color-coded map that helps people label and identify their feelings.
The mood meter lessons were created by the school Pupil Personnel Services team, which included guidance counselors Sarah Busch and Stacey Ranzie, psychologists Laura Amitrano and Joanna Schroeder, and social worker Amanda Smith. Teachers introduced students to the mood meter during small-group sessions and showed how it can help them manage their emotions.
The blue, green, red and yellow quadrants represent different emotions based on energy and pleasantness levels. During the sessions, students made their own mood meter and filled each zone with different emotions from a word bank.
“This helps them to develop their emotional vocabulary,” Ms. Amitrano said.
Added Ms. Smith, “When students better understand how they’re feeling, they’re able to better manage it.”
ASK sessions – Advice and Support for Kids – are held at the end of the day every other Wednesday for 18 minutes. Students are randomly assigned to a teacher and the activities and discussions typically focus on social and emotional well-being. For the lesson on the mood meter, the PPS staff created a PowerPoint presentation that was shared with all students, along with talking points.
“The students were participating and very engaged,” noted Ms. Amitrano, who stopped into several classrooms during the mood meter lessons. Future ASK sessions will focus on each quadrant.
This year, the district has partnered with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to enhance its social and emotional learning program. The mood meter is a staple of the RULER program – Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulation emotions – which was introduced to administrators and teachers during Superintendent’s Conference Day in August in a presentation by Dr. Marc Brackett. Now, students at Seaford Middle School have a greater understanding of a resource that can support their emotional health.
“Your actions can change with what kind of emotion you are feeling,” sixth grader Henry Brock said. “The RULER technique is very good. I like that the school is teaching us how to have a more positive mindset.”
Seventh grader Sophia Sampson said she likes how the mood meter can help her put a label on her emotions, and the color-coded design helps with that. Dylan Johnston added that it’s a good tool to help him be calm and move to more positive emotions.