Warm and Fuzzies

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

2 thoughts on “Warm and Fuzzies”

  1. I used this tool in a 5th grade class with 27 students at a suburban school. In terms of preparations, I found an awesome template online to print out, so I cut out the little cards for the students, and the template on the cards says to and from with lines for the students to write on. When I had the students complete this activity, I wrote names on Popsicle sticks and had the students draw names. I also included my mentor’s name since I had an odd number of students, so she participated as well. I was concerned about students being left out, so that is why I did not allow them to pick who they were writing to. I also collected all the notes and read them before I gave them to students to ensure no notes were mean, and none were. I altered the activity to include this step because my students are older, and there are some very strong opinions and divides between students, so I wanted to make sure no mean notes were being written. This tool was pretty successful in my classroom, and all students participated. At first, the students were embarrassed and struggling to come up with what to write. I wrote three good examples and three bad examples on the board as a reference, and this helped a lot of them get started. Overall, this tool was successful and I would use it in my future classroom.

  2. I used Warm & Fuzzies in a third-grade classroom with 15 students, and the school is in a suburban setting. This tool was very easy to implement in the classroom. My biggest challenge was finding a template that I could use. A teacher could make them from scratch, but I am not the most proficient with designing things like that. I did find several free templates on Teachers Pay Teachers, one of which I downloaded and copied for the class. The students understood their role with the tool right away, and the only limitation I gave them was that it had to be positive or constructive. One concern I had when implementing the tool was that some students would be left out, so I had them each draw a popsicle stick and they wrote a Warm & Fuzzy to that student. In younger grades especially, it might be beneficial for the teacher to collect them first and scan them before they are given to the recipient. I saw that students were very excited to do this, and they put effort into thinking about good qualities in their assigned person. We have them available to use at any time, and I have seen multiple students write their peers kind notes on their own will.


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