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    By scraphappy

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    I actually thought 3rd grade would be too old when I made the switch, but I tweaked it a little and it works great. I continue to do it because it is such a self-esteem boost for my less popular kids and they CHERISH those little booklets from their friends. Here's what I do though:

    I found that the most beneficial part of having a star/student of the week is the letters from classmates. However, it can be time consuming if done in class. I think kids in general really need a lot of practice in both writing and writing friendly letters so part of their Monday homework is to write a letter to the star of the week. The kids are responsible for writing a letter stating the posititve attributes that they observe in their classmates. I encourage them to site specific examples (i.e. You included me in the kickball game and I appreciate that.) and have a list of "banned" words (cool, funny, pretty, etc.)

    The kids turn these letters in on Wednesday and have the option of typing them at home or in class and they give them to me illustrated on Wednesday morning. We present it to the star of the week on Friday.

    Other than that the Star of the Week doesn't really take too much time or take away from the class.

    I have a template that I created that prints out as 2 8.5 x 11 inch pages and have them use that to create a display to share with the class. I used to do posters, but found this to be better because I keep them. They bring them to me on Monday and I display them on the board. At the end of their week I slip them back to back into a plastic page protector and they go into a binder which is our "Star of the Week" book. I keep it in the class library and it is an absolute FAVORITE to read.

    On Tuesday the child brings in a favorite book to read to the class. I normally do a read aloud in the morning anyhow, so in this case it is the child doing it. Again, it takes no additional time.

    On Wednesday the child gets to sit at my desk to work for the day. I'm never at my desk when the kids are in the room aside from checking morning folders so this isn't a big deal (well, to me anyway...it is a HUGE deal to the kids).

    On Thursday the star of the week gets to skip morning work (journal and number of the day) and use that 30 minutes as free choice. We do these activities EVERY day so it certainly will not effect his/her learning to skip it once. Also on Thursday, during my morning meeting I share a letter that "someone special" wrote about them. This is an idea I adapted from my idol Beth Newingham (http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/) She has the parent's write a letter, but I just ask that "someone special" write it since I feel as though a few of my parents will drop the ball. This way I can ask a former teacher or the principal to do so for that child.

    On Friday we present the book (which includes a letter I wrote) to the child and they are able to invite someone (usually a parent) to come to have lunch with them.

    I have a special "star of the week" chair that sits next to my chair during group times and a special desk (we use tables) that they are able to sit at for the week. I painted the desk and covered it in stars and it has a comfy chair. The desk includes fancy scissors, gel pens, glittery crayons and fun colored markers that they are welcome to use to illustrate their work when they are the star.

    I guess it depends on your population. While I don't work in a low-income area, I do work in an area where the kids really do appreciate and benefit from this extra attention.

    A few other ideas to make Star of the Week special for a child, but not make any more work for you:

    -let that person be line leader for the week
    -let that person be the operator (answer phones)
    -call upon him/her for errands to other classes

    As a sidenote: I also have a special basket of birthday themed books that children are only allowed to read on or near their birthdays (we do 1/2 birthdays for the summer bday kids) and they do so instead of the books in their book boxes for the day.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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