At Wardlaw Elementary this year we have implemented school wide Positivity Practices. As a staff we did research about how to help our students be more successful in school and we found the work of Shawn Achor. He presents research based strategies to increase positivity and productivity, for children and adults. We’ve adapted his work to fit the needs of our students and have committed to daily implementation.
These daily practices are: expressing three things you are grateful for, writing about a positive experience from the day, spending two minutes on restful breathing, getting at least 15 minutes of exercise, and performing acts of kindness for others. By spending time engaged in these activities our students and staff feel more positive, happy, connected, and able to tackle their instructional work.
In order to support this, each class has been paired with a buddy class. They meet at least twice a month to work on our Positivity Practices, to participate in activities around a monthly theme for Social Emotional learning, and to build strong connections across grade levels. These buddy relationships have grown naturally to include mentoring and tutoring of our younger students by the older ones.
We encourage our families to reinforce the monthly themes and the Positivity Practices at home as well and have seen growth in our students in all areas. It’s been a joy to be a part of this year.