Everybody Likes a Compliment

“Everybody likes a compliment.”

—Abraham Lincoln

Word Wall + Valentine’s Day = Community

Whether you’re freshening up your classroom for the second half of the school year or getting ready to start a brand-new term, January is a great time to focus on building community in the classroom. One way to do this is by creating a word wall and calling it “Positive Personality Traits.”

Between now and Valentine’s Day, have students suggest words—such as generous, confident, patient, and kind—for this new wall as they come across them in and outside the classroom. Before you know it, you will have a large collection of feel‑good adjectives!

When Valentine’s Day is close at hand, get a blank piece of paper for each student and write their name at the top. Distribute the papers to everyone in your class, making sure that no one gets the paper with his/her own name on it. Ask students to write one or two adjectives from the “Positive Personality Traits” word wall that describe the student whose name appears on the paper they have. When they have finished, have them switch papers with a classmate so that they have a new name on their paper. Do this until students have had a chance to write adjectives for each of their classmates. Collect the papers for the next step.

Now the fun part. Take a minute to write your students a valentine card. At the end of each card, add “Your classmates think you are…” In speech bubbles, write the adjectives that show how classmates perceive this student. You will be amazed at how these cards help your students develop rapport with each other!



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