Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Warm Fuzzy...

A long while ago, the students (that happened to be) in my calculus class were all up in a tizzy and stressed out and flustered and frazzled with school. It seemed daily that there were melt downs. I tried to think of things that would be helpful and not take too much time that would ease their situation. I did few things, including this activity.

I didn't know if the following thing would work (and it actually took some time), but since that day, I've seen the students file this sheet in the plastic sheet on their binders, so they can look at it when they need to. I just saw one the other day, and it reminded me about it.

Now, I'm guessing it will only work with students who know each other well and have some history with each other. My students, for example, have been in math classes together for at least 4 years. They're the epitome of the dysfunctional siblings ... in a good way ... mostly.

I copied this sheet onto pretty paper:

Then each kid wrote their name in the box at the top. Then each kid had to write something nice about themselves (a memory or a compliment) on the first line.

Then we rotated the papers in one direction, and then each kid had to write something nice (memory/compliment/...) about the named kid at the top of the paper. Then we kept rotating in this fashion until the paper made it back to the original student.

Now this is something the student can keep forever and look back on when they need a boost.

Of course, I had to preface the activity with some time where each person had to scan the room and reflect on memories. They were also reminded about "bad" "mundane" sentences: (you are very nice) versus awesome statements (I love that you helped me with ____ when I was feeling ____).

I have 22 kids in class, and it probably took that long. So I'm guessing it has to be on a day when you can afford that time. Don't know if/when I'll do it for another class, but at the time, it seemed needed for my little stress buckets.


  1. >>Now this is something the student can keep forever and look back on when they need a boost.

    So true. My 7th grade math teacher had us do this same activity! After 10+ years and many moves, I'm pretty sure I still have that sheet of yellow legal pad paper!

  2. Cool! I too still have my "book" from when I did this in 2001 with my New Jersey students.