Today a student said to me, "Thanks for making me like reading again."
As much as I would like to report that they came up to me and said this out of the blue, that wasn't the case. But, the activity I did with them today always draws compliments like this.
Behold, the Warm Fuzzy:
These little yarn necklaces entered my life when I was and 8th grader, when a bunch of high school kids from a group called Snowball put on a day-long activity to teach us about positive self-esteem, staying away from drugs and alcohol, and being kind. Warm Fuzzy necklaces were handed out to each student and we were instructed to compliment one another and with each compliment, give a little string from yarn ball.
Fast forward to teaching, and every Valentine's Day I do this activity. I *always look forward to it. This year, I had my middle school kids do some Quick Writing afterwards to collect their thoughts. Three minutes of writing on their behalf yielded (yielded?) these ideas...
"I enjoyed it. It shows how many people appreciate me and how I make them laugh, how I've been a true friend, and how nice I am to everyone."
"It's awesome because you tell people nice things about them and they feel happy and feel like people care about them and that we're all like a whole family."
"I loved the fuzzy activity because we could remember who made us laugh and thank you for doing the fuzzy balls for us, Ms. Brezek."
"I noticed when everyone would say something to someone, the person would smile. It's good to see others smile."
"The Warm Fuzzy activity is fun and I think it helps you to talk about your feelings to others."
"My friends mean so much to me and I couldn't get them all candy, but the strings showed even more meaning to it."
"I enjoyed the activity, it gave us a moment to realize the positive things we see in each other."
"The warm fuzzy activity made me feel good. I walked into class not feeling so well, but as usual ELA made my day."
After class, one of my students wrote a blog post about our activity, too. Check that out, here.
I seriously love kids and love teaching, especially on days like today. You should totally use the Warm Fuzzies for community building, on Valentine's Day or on any day. Check out this post that explains how to make them.
So, ELA...what am I loving? You guys, definitely. Thanks for sharing the love today!