Printed from

Tell Me Something Good

In order to promote a positive, caring atmosphere in the classroom, devote a portion of class for “Tell Me Something Good.” This exercise takes just a couple of minutes from a class period, but has long-lasting effects and sets an optimistic tone for working together. During this time, students can share any positive aspect of their life, from school, friends, or family. Taking time for the class to get to know each other promotes a positive environment, builds confidence, and creates a sense of community within the class.

How to use

1. Teach expectations

Inform the class that each day (or each Monday, or whatever schedule you choose) will begin with “Tell Me Something Good.” The teacher will call on three students to share something positive from their life. Once the students have shared, the group will clap three times to honor the students that shared. Explain that most positive aspects of life can’t be bought, and encourage sharing positive aspects of family or school life.

2. Tell me something good

Ask the students to raise their hands to “Tell Me Something Good.” Call on three students to share. It’s important to rotate throughout the year to ensure that the same students aren’t always sharing. With the shyer students, try giving them advance notice that they will be called on today, allowing them some time to think about what they would like to share. Other options are for the speakers to be pre-determined by the teacher, selected at random, or “popcorned” by the students themselves, where the speaker selects who goes next.

3. Share and follow up

To keep the activity focused, explain to students that they should share the highlight of their positive life event, not always the entire story. Once the student shares, another student should ask a follow-up question. The best follow-up questions are open-ended, and can’t be answered with a simple yes or no answer. You can post a list of good follow-up questions students can use. Repeat this process with two more students.

4. Three claps

After three students have shared, the entire class will provide three claps to recognize the positive events that are happening around them. For example, the leader can say, “Three claps for all the good things happening to students in our class! Ready…1, 2, 3.”

5. Assign student leaders

Once the class feels comfortable and confident with the process, allow volunteers to lead “Tell Me Something Good.”  The students will enjoy taking ownership of the process.

When to use

Include “Tell Me Something Good” throughout the school year to encourage positivity and a classroom community, specifically:
• At the beginning of the class
• On a specific day each week
• During extra time at the end of the class


Compliment jar

Place a jar in a prominent place in the classroom. Explain to students that anytime they have a compliment to pay another student, they can add a compliment to the Compliment Jar. On a small piece of paper, they write their name, the name of the person being complimented, and a brief compliment or note of thanks. Take time on a specified day of the week to pull and read compliments from the jar. If there’s no time for reading the compliments out loud, pass the compliments out to the receivers at the end of the week. It’s important that each student receives compliments throughout the year, therefore plan a system for each student to compliment the others. Another name for compliments could be “Warm Fuzzies."

Printed from