"These people made us smile....
Simon because he always makes our class laugh.
Jacqueline because she helped me when I couldn't understand Maths.
Jerome because he stayed with me to wait for my Mum when I was sick.
Liam because he loaned me a pencil when mine broke.
Thomas because he invited me to play handball when I had nobody to play with."
The students loved writing the entries, sharing them with the class and hearing their own name read out. All students, teachers and parents who visited the classroom were encouraged to add an entry whenever anything happened that made them smile. In later years I took The Smile Book to the staffroom with similar positive results.
This was in the 1990's. Today it would be called a gratitude journal and the research would affirm this small class practice. Research says that gratitude is the strength that is most predictive of wellbeing. (See the article on this research here)
Of course, there are other valuable ways to for students to record their observations these days! But why just do this at school? Why not not use dinner time tonight to ask family members, "Who made you smile today?" It's an easy conversation starter with a positive outcome and definitely a habit to be encouraged!
Who made you smile today?