Last year, Kathleen Tranquillo developed a way to keep her students on their toes from the moment they walk into the classroom. Entering her class every morning, students complete “The Question of the Day.” The Question of the Day is a random question given to the students about themselves and isn’t always related to the current topic in health. Tranquillo started this during hybrid learning, so she would be able to take more time to appreciate the little in person time she got to spend with the students.
The secret to the Question of the Day is in a little book that Tranquillo takes with her every day. It contains a different question each day for five years. The best thing about the book is all of the enjoyable questions that are on every page. A few examples of the questions include, “When was the last time you went swimming?” “Who motivates you?” “What makes you a good friend?” “What are you chasing at this moment?” “What expression do you overuse?”
Jenna Chicano, one of Tranquillos former students, really enjoys participating in The Question of the Day.
“It makes me feel better about school,” Chicano said. “And it helps spark my thinking for the rest of the day.”
After the students type their answers on a Google Doc, they can choose to share their answers with the rest of the class. One of Tranquillo’s favorite parts of class is hearing the student’s answers.
“It’s a fun way to spark a conversation,” Tranquillo said. “And it influences students to learn more about themselves too.”
Learning at home was one of the major conflicts that many teachers were struggling with last year, and after the long break during 2020, teachers were encouraged to focus more on student’s Social-Emotional Learning. The Question of the Day is still work for students and is graded towards participation, but this activity is enjoyable and a good way to start the day.
“Learning at home definitely was a struggle at times,” Tranquillo said. “But everyone, every day participates. I haven’t had one student who didn’t follow through on the question.”
Tranquillo plans to continue keeping the Question of the Day for years to come because of how beneficial it has been to all her students. They have all said how influential and beneficial The Question of the Day has been to their mornings.
“Mrs. Tranquillo gets to learn a lot about each of us,” Bryce Clark, another one of her former students, said. “And [The Question of the Day] helps start the day off on the right foot.”
“It’s really great because they are still learning,” Tranquillo said. “But rather than just learning about health, they are now learning about themselves and their peers, gaining new perspectives every day.”