Last week I decided to have my students stop what we were working on and reflect on what we all appreciated. First I had them generate a list (in their notebooks) of what they were grateful for. I gave them about 5 minutes to generate their ideas.
Then, I had them choose 3-5 items from their lists to display on the board. While students were writing on the board, I noticed that some of them could not limit themselves to just 3-5 items, and I was ok with that.
Eventually I stopped them and had them go to their peers’ lists and comment on the good. The students could put a symbol or phrase to show they agreed. Before I knew it, the entire board was filled with hearts, checks, “Amens,” and more. It was clear that the students felt they had a lot to be grateful for and were receptive to see even more gratitude.
After we were all finished at the board, I had my students tell me why they think I did this activity. [I wanted them to have a little different mindset because they seemed to be dragging at the beginning of class]. Their responses were more insightful and deeper than what I had hoped they would get out of this activity. It was clear that taking some time out of our regularly scheduled program to reflect on the surrounding good was what we all needed. Enjoy the photographs of their gratitude!