Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sparking Student Motivation: Student to Student Encouragement Cards

Hello Blogging Buddies!  I hope you are enjoying your Saturday.  I am for sure.  My week was a crazy one...I was asked to coach the Varsity Girls Basketball team because their coach was away, which was a step out of my comfort zone.  I ended up having to coach six games this week...three varsity and three JV.  It was intense, but I made it through and rewarded myself with some Chick-fil-a! 

Before I get to my student motivation, I wanted to share some exciting news...I was featured in The Mailbox Feb/Mar Intermediate Edition on their Teacher Talk page!  I was asked to answer the question...'I love when my students...'  It was very exciting to see my name in the magazine!  

Now on to Student Motivation...Today, I am linking up with the fabulous Joanne from Head Over Heals for Teaching.  If you have not checked out her Saturday linky party, check it out.  I always walk away with new ideas! 

Today, I want to talk about something I did with my students over Christmas, but it could be used anytime of the year.  A few years ago, I wanted to do something different with my kids at Christmas.  I was tired of gift exchanges and grab bags, so I developed a card for my students to make for each other.  They would choose another student's name from a bowl and that is who they would make their card for.  Each would do a rough draft and once it was checked they would start their final draft.  The card had them answering four different questions: If they could give their classmate anything what would be, three words to describe their classmate, what they like best about their classmate and something special they would want them to know.  I would let them decorate their card any way they would like.  

Here are some examples of my students Christmas cards from this year.

This was by far my favorite answer to the gift question!

They students took a great deal of time of their cards and were very excited for this project.  Students chose names out of a bowl and some received a friends name and others did not.  It was a challenge for some of them to come up with nice things to say, but I made sure everything was positive in their card.  I was very firm in not letting them switch names.  My class this year also decided to keep their names a secret.  They were very careful to make sure no one would know who they were making a card for.  It was fun!  My favorite part of this project is seeing the kids faces when they read what their classmate wrote.  Some kids keep it in their desk all year and reread it some time to time.  

I created a packet so you have all of the tools to do this activity with your students.  My packet includes various different rough draft and final draft papers.  I also have included templates for different holidays.  This project does not have to be done at a certain holiday, but could be done when students just need some encouragement from each other.  I may do it again towards the end of the year!  You can get this packet for $2 at my TpT store by clicking any of the pictures bellow.  If you do decided to do this with your class, please send me pictures.  I would love to feature them on my blog!  

You can win this packet by playing Pin It to Win It.  Pin any image below and leave me the URL and your email.  I will choose a winner or two tomorrow night.  

Well, I am off to relax some more and possibly grade papers!  I hope you have a fabulous week-end!


  1. I love that you took the focus away from physical gift giving and showed your students the importance of kindness giving! Such a fun idea, especially at that crazy, commercial-driven time of year.

    Congrats on being featured in The Mailbox! You're famous now!!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  2. WOW! Congrats on your quote The Mailbox. That's exciting!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'