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Be Good to One Another

Let's Cooperate!

For information on choosing students for cooperative groups, see the Education World article Let's Cooperate!-- Teachers Share Tips for Cooperative Learning.

Do you have a tip to share about grouping students? Send it to [email protected].
Catch the Compliments
Focus on the positive by creating a Compliment Door. Hang a large red paper heart on the door. Write a students name at the top of the heart. That week, any student can write and tape to the heart a compliment about the student whose name is on it. At the end of the week, send the heart home with the student whose name is on it and create a new heart for another student. This activity can help create a positive classroom atmosphere. By focusing on giving positive compliments, compliment-giving will become contagious -- a way of life in your classroom.

Shout-Out Friday
Plan a quiet Shout-Out Friday. Each Friday afternoon, provide slips of paper for students. Ask each student to write something positive about the week on a slip of paper and add it to a Shout-Out Friday bulletin board. Slips might compliment an individual, a group of students, or the entire class. The slips on the Shout-Out Friday bulletin board, which will change on a weekly basis, will serve as a constant visual reminder of all the positive things going on in the classroom each week.

Random Acts of Kindness
Kids do many kind things, and many go unrecognized. Setting aside time to emphasize those kind things can beget more kindnesses; kindness models kindness. Introduce to students a form on which they can submit the name of a student and a kind act that he or she did in class, in the lunchroom, on the bus, or on the playground. Each week, draw two of the random acts of kindness submissions from the stack and recognize those students in a special way. If the name of a student who was recognized in the previous month is drawn, you might get students to agree that someone else should be chosen in place of that individual. As a reward, a certificate is great; a simple reward token just adds to the honor. Post the certificate in the hallway or classroom. And watch how many kindnesses start to be done and nominated.

Hidden Helpers
This activity works on a weekly basis or from time to time. Write each students name on a slip of paper and place the papers in a hat or bowl. Have each student draw another students name from the hat/bowl. They become the hidden helper to the student whose name they selected. During the week, they must secretly do something positive or nice for the person whose name they drew.

Group Dynamics
If you seat students in small groups, consider rearranging the groupings on a monthly basis. On the day you plan to introduce new groupings, have each student write a thank-you note to each member of his or her current group. In those notes, students should share something positive about each person -- something they gained from being seated near that person, something they learned from the person, or something they really appreciated about the person.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
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