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Welcome to my blog! I use my blog as a way to reflect, share, organize, and re-conceptualize my views as an educator. Enjoy and feel free to comment, post, disagree, and share your opinion. The more perspectives, the better!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Saying Thank You and Other Gestures of Appreciation Part 2

As I mentioned in the previous post, it is important to help students understand why, when and how we say thank you. Here are some ways we have said thank you (or have shown appreciation) this year:

(1) Learning to make and write thank you cards: We taught the students how to fold paper in half to make cards.  It seems simple, but it is a lesson in itself to show how to fold a card and where the "message" of the card goes. Once we learned how to make cards we made them for different occasions all year long.

(2) Field trips and presenters: We go on a lot of field trips and have several presenters throughout the year. We use this as an opportunity for children to use writing in a meaningful way. We typically write letters to these people.

(3) Shared writing: Thank you/ appreciation letter. Write letters and thank you's as a group. It is easy to incorporate sentence structure, vocabulary choice, and editing into a shared writing like this.

(4) Pictures: Take a picture of your students saying thanks! Have each child decorate a letter and hold it or make a banner to let the children decorate and take a class picture. We used this in our classroom for a get well soon message, thank you to our Fasching basket winner, and I even got a birthday card like this!

(5) Giant Card: Make a poster-sized card and let the children sign/ decorate. We used this idea to welcome our German teacher's new baby!

(7) Pick a name activity: one morning we had each child draw the name of another child in the class. They were instructed to write or draw something you like about the person they had drawn. We collected all of the notes/ pictures and sent them home in each child's morning folder. They LOVED it!

(8) Royal Friendship Book: In our classroom we pick a King or Queen each week. Throughout the week we learn about the child. Each Friday every student and teacher writes a letter to the king or queen. All of the letters are put into a book and presented to the king or queen at the end of the day. Note: we also use this as a regular writing assessment and make copies for documentation. This is especially helpful because it is a familiar process for the students each week.

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