Student Contributor: M. Lalley
Warm and Fuzzies are notes from peers complimenting a student on something or telling them something good that they can take home with them. The notes must focus on positives and are helpful because even if students had a rough day they are able to take something positive home with them to end their day on a good note.
Warm and Fuzzies should be used to support community in the classroom. They can be anonymous or students can sign them so the recipient knows who the note is from. It encourages students to notice positives in their peers throughout the day. Students are encouraged to not just focus on their friends, but also their classmates that they do not interact with on a daily basis. Somewhere in the classroom the teacher can have a special set-up like a paper bag for each student for their warm and fuzzies, or warm and fuzzies can be placed in students’ mailboxes if the teacher uses mailboxes. Students can leave the note anonymous or sign their name, and all students will empty out their designated receptacle for warm and fuzzies at the end of each day so they have something to take home and read to end the day on a positive. Personally as a teacher I would make sure I wrote at least one warm and fuzzy for each student each day so everyone has something to take home and no ones bags are empty and everyone has at least one warm and fuzzy to take home.
This tool should be used as a supportive strategy. It promotes classroom community, and by giving students the option to keep it anonymous might encourage them to give notes to students who they are not buddies with, especially in younger grades where BFFs are a big deal. This tool can relate to the preventative phase by having students focus on positives among one another instead of negatives and potentially avoid conflict. This tool also relates to the corrective phase because a student might have a conflict with another student and as a correction the students might want to or be suggested to write one another a warm and fuzzy to end the conflict with a positive. This fits best with the referent theory because it is building relationships, especially with the teacher sending home a warm and fuzzy with every student, so even if there was a conflict between the teacher and the student, the student can go home knowing that their teacher still notices their positives from the day and they aren't left with the negativity of the conflict to potentially bring it into the classroom the next day.
More Information –
Tool Source: Washington Air/Army, National Guard Youth Summer Camp