What This Year 3 Teacher Is Doing To Create Classroom Harmony
At the beginning of the school year my son Will came home with these little notes tied together in his school bag. On reading them I found they were lovely comments about him from his classmates. What a nice classroom exercise I thought, but… they kept coming and coming and coming… and they are still coming! When I asked Miss Piccolo, a first year out teacher to tell me a little more about these precious classroom notes she calls Affirmations, she replied…
All About Affirmations
Playing with each other is one thing however, taking the time to reflect on someones strengths is the key to deep understanding. In class S2P, students take the time to write a positive affirmation to a student in their class. Each afternoon, students choose a person who is beyond their immediate friendship group. With this person in mind, they write a positive message to them highlighting a strength they appreciate in them or an act of kindness they have demonstrated. When finished, they place the message in the felt pocket of the student they chose. On Fridays, students collect their affirmations from their pocket, and they are tied together to take home. To read them, students find a quiet place in the classroom to go and read what others have acknowledged about them and are then encouraged to thank the people who wrote them a message.
I strongly believe affirmations are an important activity to include within the busy classroom. Firstly, it builds a sense of cohesion in the classroom where students feel welcome, appreciated and noticed as being important. It allows students to think of others beyond the surface level and to really highlight qualities they value. This deepens the understanding students have of each other and to recognise their importance. It challenges students to believe they have amazing things to offer to others which are highly valued in our classroom.
A little message can go a long way.
Miss Piccolo (Upper North Shore NSW)
If this is the kind of teacher that has our children in their hands, I think we can all relax a little more. She understands that to truly teach children respect for each other as unique individuals, that it is a continual process rather than an isolated lesson plan. Kudos to you Miss Piccolo!