Last month, Swingle provided information about teachers validating students. At our October Student Engagement PD, we also discussed the importance of students validating each other. There are a number of ways this can be implemented in the classroom. Here are a few of the ways we discussed:
- Students can write positive notes to classmates. These notes can be given to the recipient directly or even placed somewhere to be collected later (like in their desk or in their lockers). I have seen second grade do "bucket fillers" at the beginning of the year. The students seem to enjoy that (and I enjoyed getting positive notes from my previous students as well :) ). I have also seen this at our school during the morning announcements when students' positive comments to one another and to teachers get shared.
- Students can nominate (not on any official level) classmates after an activity for their performance. Students can get something simple like an applause or even get an opportunity to clip up or get a small prize from a treasure chest. At our PD, we had to dance while music was playing. Once it stopped, the closest person became our partner. After the activity, people were nominated for having the “best dancing.” That was a silly and quick way to validate one another. Of course the nominations can be more academic if you wanted.
- Students can cheer for one another. We saw this at our PD in a couple of ways. The first way was a team cheer. The different groups had created team names and team cheers (we were the Cloudy Cats :) ). Whenever someone in your group did something you liked (for example, share an idea), you would perform your team chant. The second way was through general group praise. For example, if someone or the group did something someone liked, the class would cheer. For examples of some fun cheers, look at the "Nine Ways to Praise" document.