It's back! Another edition of "Why I Do What I Do!".
Today I'm sharing about my teaching belief that "Celebrating the success of others is important". One way I do this is by passing out awards every Friday in my classroom. The first two weeks or so, everyone is always hoping they will receive an award. Sometimes there are hurt feelings at the beginning of the year. But, in doing this every week and spending a bit of time explaining why each student is receiving an award, students not only learn that it's important to be happy for others when they are successful, but they also vicariously learn about desired classroom behaviors. In fact, as the year goes on, students will come to me and say things like, "___ helped me this morning when I fell getting off the bus. I think you should give her a kindness award on Friday". And things like that make this gal's heart happy!
Friday always starts with kids walking in and checking the board to make sure I have the "Awards" card posted at the end of the day. And, inevitably, two or three kids will ask throughout the day, "Are we having awards today?" They LOVE this and look forward to it all week long. On short weeks or Fridays when we have an assembly I do not pass out awards and they are always so bummed!
Every Friday I give out 5-6 awards for various things... sometimes it's academic achievement or super nice handwriting or kindness or good choices... it really depends on what has gone on in class during the week.
When I pass out the awards, I do it something like this...
"Today I have an award for a student who has struggled to meet their AR goal for the past two weeks. He's (at this point all the boys are wondering who I'm talking about) had to miss a recess or two so he could get his goal met... but this week, he was a reading machine! He was on fire! I saw a book in his hand and his name in the AR testing list over and over all week long (now the kiddos are looking around to see who is grinning the biggest because he knows I'm talking about him)... so let's celebrate with ____ for his amazing work on his AR goal this week!"
The kiddo comes up, we shake hands, I present the award, and everyone claps and cheers. Then I move on to the next award. This is SUCH a positive way to end the week and I love seeing my kiddos high-fiving and cheering for the person receiving the award.
I keep my awards in page protectors in a binder. Each protector is numbered and then I keep a check-list of who has gotten each number and on which day. Some kiddos do get many more awards than others throughout the year, but everyone will receive at least two or three during the course of the year.
How do you teach your kiddos that celebrating the success of others is important? I'd love for you to share in the comments below!