Students Showing Gratitude

Hey teaching friends!   I know most of us tend to think about the 12 Days of Christmas when December hits, but I was reflecting on being thankful in November, so I decided to throw a little Organized Classroom twist on the normal tradition.   

Introducing the 12 Days of Gratitude Jar!
November is a tough month for teachers. Usually you are coming off the craziness of Halloween and the sugar rush that follows. 
Next, it's election day and Veterans Day, which are both important to mention. 
Usually, parent teacher conferences are in that mix as well, which means a couple really late evenings that week too. 
Then, it seems as though you have a short week for Thanksgiving Break, but with only a couple days off, you are home and trying to clean, prep, and cook a big meal and host houseguests from out of town. Not to mention the laundry, grocery shopping, and more. 
And then it's suddenly December! 
November is one of those months where you NEED to remember the memories and words of love throughout the month because it can spiral out of control very quickly. Taking a few quiet minutes each school session in the days leading up to your holiday break really give both you and students a chance to pause and reflect on all the good things happening during this time of year as well.

How to Create Your Grateful Jar

How does it work?   Simple!   
Head below to download the freebie packet which contains both color and grayscale versions of the materials.   
Cut the page of sentences into strips and wrap each around a pencil to curl.  
Toss into a mason jar and tape the header around the bottom. 
You can even get fancy and place fabric or scrapbook paper on the top of the jar if you wish, or you could choose to just leave the jar open with no lid at all. There really are no rules with this project.
Now - count 12 days before your Thanksgiving Break begins and each day for 12 days, pass the jar around for each student to pick a topic to be thankful for and write about it on the worksheet.   
After time is up for the activity that day, have students toss their topic back in the jar for the next day to pick again.  
It's fine if they end up picking the same topic on more than one day.  Just have the student choose a different item to write about that would fall under the same topic.  
Easy peasy!

DIY Gratitude Journal for the Classroom

It is not a huge assessed writing assignment, but rather something to start (or end) the day with a frame of mind that encourages gratitude. 
This will be their little version of a gratitude journal. 
Should they share their writing with the class? 
Personally, I don't like to share my personal thoughts and gratefulness statements with others, but maybe some students do want to share. 
Perhaps a student is thankful for another child who included him or her in an activity at lunch or recess the previous day and wants to make sure that child is recognized. 
Having some good examples ready will be important. 
Here are a few you could prep:
  • Today I am thankful for having a bed to sleep in because I know there are others out there who sleep on the floor or in a car.
  • Today I am thankful for wearing a warm coat to school because it is snowing outside.
  • Today I am thankful for recess because I am able to play with Tyrone, Destiny, and Kim. They make me smile.
That is something that should happen all year long, but November is a particularly great month to focus on it.


And just for the record, I am super thankful for each of you!   #soblessed 

This post originally appeared at Organized Classroom.

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