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What's Your High and Low?

I have a little tradition in my classroom that I've been doing for years at the end of the day. It's called "High/ Low". (In some circles, it can be called "Rose and Thorn.") It's when we reflect on our day and decide what was the best part of the day and what was the most challenging part of our day. 

What's Your High and Low? This blog post is about a little tradition I've been doing at the end of the day in my classroom and it's always a big hit. It helps me learn about my students and build relationships with them.

I got the idea from an old romantic comedy starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer called The Story of Us.

 It was a cute movie about a married couple with two children who were struggling with their marriage. Every evening at dinner the family would share their high of the day and their low of the day. That got me thinking about ending the day in the classroom the same way. I tried it, and it worked out better than expected!

Sometimes people ask me why I let the kids focus on their low of the day... don't I want them to be positive? Well, yes, of course I want them to be positive, but sometimes they have something that is bugging them, and it makes them feel better to get it out. (Just like the rest of us!) Besides, it helps me know what's going on in the classroom. (And even though they don't mention names, I usually know exactly who they're talking about, and can address it privately later!)

In the beginning, there's usually plenty of modeling on my part. My high might be about a success the class had that day, "I was proud when the class got a good report from the art teacher," or "Everyone caught on to adding hundreds today!"  Sometimes, it's an individual success, "John turned 8 years old today," or "Mary has a brand new baby brother."

I'm particularly careful to model what a low would sound like, since I don't want this to be the focus, and I want them to know I care about them. It might sound something like this, "Fred was out sick today," or "Fran got hurt on the playground today," or maybe "Someone hurt George's feelings." More than anything, it's important to model positive feelings. This is when you learn about your students and build those important relationships.

High/ Low of the Day usually works best at the end of the day. However, it can be used in the morning for special events, such as High/ Low of the month, High/ Low of vacation, High/ Low of a holiday, High/ Low of a test, and so on!

Here's another blog post about how I do High/ Low by having the children hold a Beanie Baby when it's their turn, then tossing the Beanie to the next person: How to Have Them Happy When They Walk Out of the Classroom.

What's Your High and Low? This blog post is about a little tradition I've been doing at the end of the day in my classroom and it's always a big hit. It helps me learn about my students and build relationships with them.


  1. I really like this idea, Sally!!

    What was your high for the last month?
    Starting to read "Wonder" with my class : )

    What was your low for the last month?
    My car wreck.

    What are you grateful for in your life?
    That I learned "things" aren't important.

    Hokie Teach

  2. We do a similar activity in my class - I call it a "pow-wow" - you share your low (a pow) and a high (a wow!)
    It's a great reflective tool for my kiddos.

    My high:
    Going to South Carolina for a teaching conference

    My low:
    Stepping on my glasses - they are now slightly bent :(

    What I'm grateful for:
    renewed energy and focus from my last PD

    Joy in the Journey

  3. High:
    Wonderful co-workers

    Organizing my teacher evaluation evidence binder

    Grateful for:
    Long walk in the warmer weather

  4. My high: Seeing my brother's face on a video from his last week of boot camp! I leave to see his graduation in a week!

    My low: Finding out I'm losing my job.

    What I'm grateful for: I'm grateful for TpT. I'm not having a coronary about losing my job because I know that if I don't find one, I can make it work thanks to TpT. Yes, my lifestyle will change, yes, I'll go further into debt, but I won't lost my car or my house and will be able to almost support myself.

    I love this idea Sally! Do you have every kid that wants to participate do it every day?

  5. Sally this is a Linky party I do. The post is up for March. Please Come and link up with me :o)

    Katie Knight


  6. I just linked up with Katie on her blog!
    My high this month is coming to the beach.
    My low was doing my taxes because it is literately SO boring.
    I am grateful for my family and my fabulous job :)
    Glad I found ya!
    Kickin’ it in Kindergarten

  7. Sally, I am so glad that you linked up with me!!! I love this linky and loved reading your blog post! Thank you!!!!

    I am grateful for faith and hope...without which the "lows" would be REALLY low!


  8. I love this idea!!! I think I will use it next year with my kiddos.
    My high this month began a few hours ago...Spring break started!!!!
    My low this month has been dealing with a student's challenging behavior
    I am grateful for my family, a wonderful student teacher, a supportive administration team and my teaching partner..they have all kept me sane this month!!
    Tales from a 4th (and 5th) Grade Teacher


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