Valentine's Day is important. It's a quick reminder to stop and appreciate the ones you love. In classrooms, the practice of love, gratefulness, and appreciation ought to be an everyday practice. In fact, positive classrooms are linked to student comfort, self worth, and behavior.
As teachers, it's common knowledge that a positive classroom requires intentionality. So, this Valentine's Day (and after), try the activities below to intentionally spread positivity.
Students love to hear from their peers. In this structured activity, have students use their webcam to record a short video appreciating the actions of another student. Possible appreciation topics could include kindness or work ethic. If you're worried about some students being left out, you can assign students a classmate to appreciate.
After students are done celebrating their peers for having a stellar attitude, they can move to celebrating their exemplary work. Students might even create these videos anonymously by displaying their partners work on their screen with the webcam turned off.
Of course, constructive peer feedback is important and needed. But, there is a place for purely positive feedback.
Who said that Valentine's Day has to be about loving others exclusively? There's definitely enough love to go around for your students to appreciate themselves. In this activity, have students record a quick video that highlights their favorite characteristics about themselves. You can even challenge students to think about how they exemplified those characteristics thus far this school year. You'll have a better understanding of your students and your students will engage in the important process of articulating their favorite things about themselves.
Personal Work Celebration
Good students are aware students. Challenge your students to go through their own work and detail what they enjoy most about it. Theoretically, students can use this video to determine how to create more work they are proud of.
You don't have to leave yourself out of the equation. Have students create a quick video that details what they love and appreciate about you. You may be surprised about what aspects of your teaching practices your students gravitate to. You could even have students to pick one of their favorite assignments and then explain why they loved it so much.
Regardless of how you decide to share the love with Screencastify, the idea is simple: create opportunities for students to highlight and appreciate themselves, their classmates, and their teacher (YOU). When a classroom creates frequent opportunities for appreciation, everybody wins.
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