Compliment Jar

Creating a sense of community is important in the classroom (and in our individual families).  During the year, I helped foster our classroom community through compliments, having a servant's heart towards helping each other, and writing thank you notes to outside helpers.  

I also wanted to give my students a unique end of the year gift.  Like all of you, I don't have much spare time and couldn't devote the hours to the lovely projects out there in Pinterestland!  I turned to technology and created word shapes filled with the compliments of each other.  

During the last 2 weeks of school, I introduced the Compliment Jar!  Actually it was not a jar, but a lovely empty Kleenex box....!  (I came up with the idea kind've quickly, and grabbed what I could find!!!)  I filled a separate bin with cut up scraps of paper for students to use.  It wasn't fancy, but it was the compliments that counted!  I told my students to think of a fellow student and write down a compliment on a piece of paper and fold it into the box.  They were to include the person's name, but NOT their own name.  It was more fun to be anonymous.  As a bonus, I found out which boy was "cute"!

Then during the last week of school, I led the class into a group compliment session.  I gave each student a paper with their classmate's names and instructed them to write a couple of words to describe that classmate next to the classmate's name.  I helped them a bit, writing some examples onto the board.  I told them they couldn't use the same word for every person...and it had to be encouraging and nice.  :)

After awhile, my students asked if they could include my name on their paper.  That touched my heart!  

I collected papers and the Compliment Jar slips and entered the key character words into a site called "wordle".  The words are saved into practically any shape/color you want.  I printed them, signed my name, the date, and our school's name, and placed them into page protectors.  On the last day of school, I called each student up to give them their gift and compliment them in front of their peers.  It was moving and a gift they will hopefully treasure for years to come.  I know some of the students were going to rush home and frame them!

Here is the my wordle from the student's kind words:

It's in the shape of an apple and I had each student sign it for me.  To make it simple (and to decrease any disappointment in the children), I created every one in the same color palette   I made every girl's into a heart shape and every boy's into the United States.  

Here's a link to try it for yourself: wordle

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