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And I’m feeling good

Our new unit this half term in SMART is ‘Community’ and we’re starting off looking at the class as a community. As part of that we’ve been talking about respecting other people’s feelings. Today we had a great lesson that created loads of buzz, so I thought I’d share it here.

We started by talking about what the word ‘Community’ meant. We had loads of ideas, but settled on the idea that it was group of people who had something in common, who looked after and helped each other.

Pupils then had ten minutes to draw a picture of themselves that represented them as they thought others saw them. There was a wide range of ways in which this was symblised, including words around the edge, images, facial expressions.

Before the lesson I had printed off a load of slips with pupils names at the end, with ten for every pupils. These were jumbled up and placed in a box. Pupils had to come and grab a few slips of paper, on which they had to write one positive comment about the person whose name was on the slip. Pupils could exchange if they got themselves, or duplicated, but otherwise there was no swapped and no looking (they had to rummage in the box without looking in!)

We carried on until all 240 slips had been completed. Pupils came back for more slips when they finished their first few. This meant pupils were free to work at their own pace, some completing their designated ten, but others doing 12 or 13 while others only managed 6 or 7. Pupils then ‘delivered’ their slips to the portraits of the people names on the slips. This meant that when people returned to their seats, they had ten slips about them, each with something positive on.

Our plenary focussed on what it felt like to receive such positive feedback (it was agreed that is was ‘awsome!’), and I then threw out the question ‘so why do you think we did this lesson?’. Very quickly that we established that they all had the power to make someone else feel as good as they felt now and we agreed that we were all (me included) going to try harder to use that power in the coming weeks.

To finish, they glued their slips around their posters and we stuck them on the boards. It now looks a bit like I’ve got a gand of Medusa’s coming for me, but hopefully it will serve to remind us of how good we can feel, and try a little bit harder to make someone else feel like that.

Dave Stacey

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