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Compliment Slips/Thank You Cards: an easy way to acknowledge kids' good choices

Compliment Slips/Thank You Cards: an easy way to acknowledge kids' good choices

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How can we as teachers acknowledge kids' good choices in the classroom simply and easily? How can we show appreciation to children who are respectful and hardworking on a daily basis?

For me, one of the simplest solutions has been the use of compliment slips. I typed up a number of tasks that I wanted to thank kids for, printed the compliments out, cut them apart, and stored them in a pencil box divided with little cards.

Every few weeks, without warning, I choose one of the compliment types and placed them on the desk of my students. I'd notice who hadn't been tardy that day and left a "thank you for being on time to school" note on their desk when they went to art. Or during the kids' lunch break, I'd do a random desk check and leave notes that said "Thank you for keeping your desk so neat and clean" for the kids who had followed our clean desk diagram without reminders.

Sometimes I gave the compliment slips only to one or two kids at a time. When I got a new student who didn't speak English and a Spanish-speaking student took him under her wing, I placed a compliment slip on top of her backpack: "Thank you for being so kind and helpful to your classmates." When a student had the opportunity to keep a dollar she'd found on the ground but instead chose to turn it in, I gave her a compliment slip that read "Thank you for doing the right thing when no one was watching."

Although I rarely gave out any kind of tangible rewards to students, I'd amassed a small collection of sparkly pencils, stickers, and bookmarks, and decided to store them in the pencil box with the compliment slips. I thought of these as surprise gifts: something that I wanted to give to my students not out of obligation to a reward system, but as a token of appreciation for their help in making our classroom run smoothly. This is something I like to do on occasion with husband or family or friends who are so supportive and wonderful to me…why not my students? Why not give them an unexpected thank you gift and card?

I really can't overestimate the impact these compliment slips have had on my students. It didn't matter whether I gave a surprise gift or not: just saying thank you, and memorializing my appreciation in writing, was incredibly gratifying for the vast majority of students. One student attempted to collect every type of compliment slip I had created. Another tucked them carefully into the clear plastic pocket of her homework binder so she could admire them every time she took the binder out. Even the less enthralled still smiled and exchanged happy looks with me upon seeing the thank you note on their desks.

Because the compliment slips were such a powerful tool for thanking and appreciating kids, I decided to create a more polished version. I've created individual slips in three different sizes (depending on how much paper and ink you can spare, and whether or not you also want to take time to write a personalized message to students on the slip). There's also a version of each compliment in black and white so you can save your colored ink and print on colored paper if you prefer. Additionally, I created dividers to help you organize the cards: the two smaller versions of the slips will fit perfectly behind the dividers so you can find them easily.

You'll get:

* 7 different compliments + a blank form for handwriting in your own

* 4 different size/versions for each compliment

* Divider cards to keep the compliments organized

* 8 blank cards for writing thank you notes

Download the free 15 page preview to learn more, or read about it on my blog.


See what other teachers are saying!

What a great idea! These are going to come in so handy. It is nice to have them pre-printed so I can just hand it to the students to glue into their planners. Thank you for this resources! - Teaching in Room 6

I love this. I've had children, even middle school kids, respond well to a written note just on a post-it. I can't wait to use these. - Wendy T.

Thank-you so much! I love how these slips will give students that little boost they need. What a great way to build a caring classroom environment. - Runde’s Room

Wow! You are right, a small piece of paper with kindness on it goes a long way with students. Thank you for creating! - Jennifer Brown

What an awesome idea! I'm a first-year teacher (gah!) and found these and your TpT store...what a find! Have already downloaded these and printed them out...cannot wait to give out some positivity in the classroom using these :) Thank you for an amazing, thoughtful product! - Stephanie Nichols

This is a great way to make certain that students are being acknowledged regularly. I love the additional cards to place in a box for quick organization. I plan to print the compliment cards on colored paper so I can quickly identify them. - Jill S.

These are wonderful! I like giving compliments, but do not always have time to acknowledge the things done during the day. I can "hide them in desks, lockers or even staple them to papers for good effort. AND I LOVE the planner idea! Thank you for sharing! - Sandra C.

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Feedback Comments for Student Writing
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Multiplication KITs: Fun math fact practice games
Clean Desk Diagram: Mini-lesson + printables for teaching desk organization
The Quick Skill Assessment Form: A simple system to document student progress

Be sure to check out my website where there are hundreds of pages of classroom management resources that make teaching more effective, efficient, and enjoyable! You'll find photos, activities, printable forms/posters, and more.



NOTE: This resource is included at no cost for members of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club, as part of our focus in the month of MARCH on Students, Not Scores.

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