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gr 3/4/5

I have just recently moved to

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I have just recently moved to a northern remote hamlet and am looking at building an "attitude of gratitude" with the students at my school. I want to set up a service learning club, but by the nature of the community, I must start slow. I really enjoyed Anne's article about building a caring community and as she stated along with the quote by Covey "First things first!" She reminded me that I do need to first set the tone and establish a positive climate, where the students ( I am looking at opening the club up for students in grades 3-8) feel safe and where they feel I am open to their thoughts, suggestions and input. One of the first projects I would like to undertake is to have the kids collect food for the local food bank.., so I am going to kick off the club with these two great ice breakers... I want them to know that service learning is not only helpful to others but highly rewarding and fun for those leading the projects. Thanksgiving is on the horizon in Canada and what better time to discuss an attitude of gratitude by giving back with donations to a food bank. Our display will be entitled Happy Helping Hands of XXX School. Thanks ladies for the great inspiration and the link Jill re gratitude!

Kinder teacher CA

I may try this modification

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I may try this modification for my kinder class. Thanks!

Kinder teacher CA

I know how important

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I know how important community building is...as I am usually the child's first teacher. About half of my class may have gone to pre-school. I think this tp activity is terrific...but I need to modify for kinders. They are not all proficient about social norms so I can get one kiddo who will talk for a very long time, and many who will not speak at all. The tp will get them very, very silly. How do I do this with modifications?

Its wonderful activity. I am

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Its wonderful activity. I am taking life skill activities and your activities are helping me a lot.
Thanks.

Community Manager at Edutopia

There's a variation called 2

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There's a variation called 2 Truths and a Wish. In some ways it's not as much fun as the original version, but it can reveal some interesting aspirations.

6th, 7th and 8th Grade Dual Language (Spanish/English) Math Teacher

My first year teaching was

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My first year teaching was the most stressful time of my life. I was teaching at an extremely challenging middle school in the South Bronx where 75% of the teachers were in their first year. In addition to teaching math, I had been assigned to teach Spanish to four different classes, which I only saw twice a week. I had trouble building a strong class culture because I had so many students and was not able to develop continuity due to not having a lot of time together. I was not the only teacher struggling. The principal invited Anne Shaw to our school to help use create the learning culture that we were striving to build. She demonstrated the “take what you need” strategy with the teachers and it gave us the opportunity to get to know each other while making us smile and laugh, something that was not happening under stressful conditions. I came to school the next day with a pack of toilet paper. I carried out “take what you need” with my Spanish classes, encouraging them to use Spanish, of course, to share something about themselves. It was a hit! The kids were engaged and it gave them a meaningful opportunity to use their Spanish. The strategy helped us build a strong community. Four years later, I am still teaching at the same school in the South Bronx and I always begin the school year with the “take what you need” strategy. Thank you Anne!

6th, 7th & 8th grade Humanities teacher in Boston, MA area

I love this activity. I have

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I love this activity. I have always loved the activity 2 truths and a lie. Students love figuring out which is which and they learn about each other but it does not set the tone I am looking for in my class this year. This is much better!

art teacher san antonio,texas

wonderful ideas

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wonderful ideas

Education Consultant

This is a great activity,

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This is a great activity, Anne. Thanks for sharing! I also love that you continue this type of emotional learning throughout the year. I always liked to reemphasize the importance of relationships and building a community.

Here's another activity to try:
Students interview each other and then share what they learned. You can pair up different students once a week or once a month, and do peer interviews and group shares. I always start each session with a whole group brainstorm. We come up with 5 or 6 interview questions like, "what's your favorite ice cream flavor" or "do you have any pets". I also allowed students to come up with one or two unique questions with their partner. It's a great way to get different students interacting, practice working in pairs, and sharing.

Marriage Family Therapist Intern; Contract Blog Producer

Another technique I use in

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Another technique I use in groups is Gratitude Ball Toss.

Sit in a circle if possible.

The student who holds the ball says one thing in their life they are grateful for. They then toss the ball to someone else, who repeats what the previous just said (to keep them paying attention to the group), then states what they are grateful for, etc. (Example: Ashley, "I am grateful for my dog." Tosses to Zoe. Zoe says, "Ashley is grateful for her dog, and I am grateful that it's sunny today."

I found students (especially younger ones) would just repeat what someone else said, so before we started, I had them all stop to think of what they are grateful for.

If the group is small (5 or fewer), you can repeat this up to 3 times per person. With this, I would recommend having the students sit and write down their 3 things first, to keep things flowing.

Builds community, and shifts brain perspective to the positive things about their lives (SEL). For more on gratitude see:
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/elementary-social-emotional-curriculum-2-ap...

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