That’s my advice for the day. Make a survey and give it to them. It doesn’t matter how young they are, if you can read them the questions.
Make it about anything. Make it about the books they want available in the classroom library, the color of the paper on your next bulletin board, the music they want in the background at some point during the day if you use music, what they think will happen next to the character in their chapter book and whether they like it so far and what they think a character’s flaws and strengths are. Anything.
Make sure it has multiple-choice or circle-as-many-as-apply questions and not just open response. Even adults don’t always answer open-ended questions, let alone put effort into them.
Tell them it’s not a test. Tell them it’s because you want to know what they think.
If there were options to choose from, post the results somewhere. If it was for suggestions, list the suggestions somewhere. If you’re going to actually use those suggestions, more than one, maybe most, list them somewhere and cross them off as you go so they know that you’re listening.
Because when students feel like they have a say, even in the most miniscule thing, they’ll be that much more invested in the outcome. They’re know that you care what they think, what they need and want, even if some input will be inevitably silly or impossible (today I had three kids write that they want a pool in the program space - sorry guys).
They may even take initiative and say well, if this many people want or need or like this thing, does anyone know where else it’s available? Yes? Where? No? Why not? What can we do about it? What do we have to do in order to make this happen?
And it will give you a good feel for your students, on top of all that.