Students recognize the good deeds their peers do.
- learn to recognize what makes a good deed.
- look for ways in which classmates do good deeds.
- fill out forms to document good deeds.
- receive rewards for good deeds that are done.
self-esteem, behavior, reward, classroom management, morale
- a simple form students can fill out to document classmates' good deeds
- a colorful gift bag full of small prizes, such as stickers, pencils, and other trinkets
- construction paper
- t-shirt transfer packet and light colored t-shirts for each student
- color printer (optional)
- digital camera (optional)
Children light up when they know people recognize their great deeds. This activity offers one way to reward and promote positive behavior and increase self-esteem.
Introduce the activity with this explanation: "Have you seen anyone in your class doing something nice for another student today? Keep a watchful eye, then reward him or her by filling out the good deed form. Be sure to include the date, the name of student you 'caught' doing something good, and the deed you want him or her rewarded for. Each week I will also be watchful for thoughtful deeds; if I see you being thoughtful, I will fill out a form. At the end of the week, I will choose three forms. Those three students will get to pick a prize. Good luck, and remember to say thank you to anyone who helps you in any way -- and then write out a form for him or her."
- With younger students, the teacher might be the only person who fills out forms for the first couple weeks of school. That way, the teacher models what kinds of deeds might be recognized and how to fill out the form.
- Forms that are not drawn at random might be kept in the running for the whole year. If you prefer to increase the odds that students will be recognized for positive behaviors and good deeds recently performed, you might let the good deed forms remain in the running for a prize for just two or three weeks. To keep track of when a form was submitted, you might create forms in three colors and change the form color each week.
- Do not destroy forms. You might share them with parents during conference time or give them to students at the end of the year.
- You might keep a bag of gemstones or other "special" prizes for students who go above and beyond expectations. For example, two students might have organized a checker championship for recess fun so each child took home a gem. Give each student an opportunity to tell how he or she felt about organizing the game and what was learned from the experience; in that way, others will see that good deeds make everybody -- including the doers -- feel good.
- Have each student go to the front of the classroom as you read about his or her good deeds.
The only assessment is the general sense of pride and great morale in my classroom. Comments from students and parents are also welcomed.
Pauline Finlay, Holy Trinity Elementary School, Torbay, Newfoundland, Canada
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