Developing a practice of sharing appreciations can help build community and shift your classroom climate. It’s wonderful to hear someone say something as simple as “I appreciate you,” and it can be even more impactful with a little time and practice to share something more specific.
The format can be kept simple, for example:
One thing I appreciate about you is ___________________.
I appreciate that you __________________.
Have students pair up and write an appreciation for each other. Or, have each person pick a name at random* and write an appreciation for that person. Make sure that everyone receives an appreciation (yourself included!).
Give students time to think about what they want to say. Considering these questions might help them along in crafting an appreciation:
- What is something that your classmate does to help the class or other students?
- Why do you enjoy spending time with this person?
- What is a good quality that they have?
These questions might lead to appreciations like:
- One thing I appreciate about you is that you are kind.
- I appreciate that you always have great ideas.
- One thing I appreciate about you is that we have fun together during recess.
- I appreciate that you ask good questions.
*If you're teaching remotely, you can use a website like this one to draw names from a hat.