RULER: The Mood Meter


Last week I shared some information about STEM’s implementation of RULER, an evidence-based socio-emotional curriculum that teaches vital self-regulation, empathy, and social skills.  Last week I wrote about the Charter, an agreement made in each classroom that reflects how students want to feel in class, what needs to happen to support those feelings, and guidelines for handling conflict.  This week I want to highlight the Mood Meter, a tool for recognizing and labeling feelings. By the end of October, all of our STEM students should have been introduced to the Mood Meter. Some of you may remember information about the Mood Meter from last year, when we began use it as a teaching tool with students for the first time.  You can click on to the SPS Family Ruler Website to learn more about other RULER strategies. Below is information about the Mood Meter.

The Mood Meter is a tool used to recognize and understand our own and other peoples’ emotions. It’s divided into four color quadrants – red, blue, green, and yellow – each representing a different set of feelings. Feelings are grouped together on the mood meter based on their pleasantness and energy level.

Mood Meter

Red feelings: High in energy and more unpleasant (e.g., angry, scared, and anxious)
Blue feelings: Low in energy and more unpleasant (e.g., sad, disappointed, and lonely)
Green feelings: Low in energy and more pleasant (e.g., calm, tranquil, and relaxed)
Yellow feelings: High in energy and  more pleasant (e.g., happy, excited, and curious)

Here’s a Mood Meter Introduction Video to learn more.

Why recognize feelings?

Helping students recognize feelings helps them understand how feelings impact decisions and behaviors. It’s also the first step in helping students develop empathy, the ability to understand the feelings of another person.

Once the Mood Meter is understood, it can be used as a guide through the

RULER skills, by asking:

o Recognize: What are you feeling? How pleasant? How much energy do

you have? Where would you plot yourself?

o Understand: What caused you to feel that way?

o Label: What word best describes where you plotted yourself?

o Express: How are you expressing that feeling? Is your expression

appropriate to the context in which you are?

o Regulate: Is where you are on the Mood Meter the place you want to be?

If so, what strategies will you use to stay there? If you would like to shift,

what strategies will you use?

Below is a list of family activities to put the Mood Meter into practice at home!

Don’t forget to support the STEM K-8 Direct Give if like me you’ve been too busy. It’s easy and convenient to submit submit a donation online.  Any size contribution is appreciated! Direct Give supports enriched STEM learning experiences and materials.




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