12 Days of Ideas #2: 3 Things I'm Grateful For
Friday 12/16 is the last day of school before winter break. And while it is the Ugly Sweater Day in our school, I hope to use the first 5 minutes of each class to help students reflect on the beauty in their lives.
If you're like me, you want to teach the whole child. You want to pay attention to your students' physical and emotional well being. You want to nourish their minds and spirits. But the reality is that content often takes precedence over social emotional learning. There's not enough time to do it. There's not enough time to consider it. Unless we're intentional and actually carve out class time to do it, we usually don't do it.
So on Friday, I'm doing it. I want to do something like it every Friday. But for now, it is Friday the 16th. Small, easily achievable goal I can build on. So here we go!
3 Things I'm Grateful For
- I will ask my students to reflect on and write down 3 things they are grateful for in their life. I will ask them to avoid talking about school from the standpoint of achievement or grades, but rather focus on the positive aspects of their life outside.
- I'll have them write their 3 things on a sheet of paper.
- I'll ask them to line up, walk toward the the camera on my Macbook, and hold the sign up to it for 3-4 seconds and walk off. I will project the screen so that students can see if they/their papers are visible. And I will participate as well.
- I will post the video to YouTube and email it to all parents so they can celebrate with their kids. Check out this video from Dean's recent Chicago workshop.
This is the holiday season right? For many, it is a time for rest, remembrance, and reflection. I believe that as a teacher, I should validate and encourage these things. For many students, school is stressful and provokes anxiety. It's okay to take a few minutes to slow down, look within, and just be. And maybe, just maybe, build an even tighter class community.
How do you incorporate social emotional learning in your classroom? Do you lead intentional activities to foster social emotional growth in your students? Please share in the comments below.
You have the power to change the world. Use it often.