Last week, I was wrapping up first quarter on STEAM with my kindergarten class and something that was a big hit was having a compliment read to them or them reading one themselves. I had used one of Tony Vincent‘s random HTML compliment QR Codes since we were learning about how to use QR Codes in the classroom and I also used my own random compliment QR Code. Some of the students just wanted to keep scanning or hitting the reload button to get a new compliment. Taking a page from Master the Media by Julie Smith. Julie pointed out in Chapter 8 about teaching a person how to navigate the internet or use proper tools associated with the internet will help them understand more.
One of the reasons I wanted to give my kinders the option to get compliments is that many times, students don’t know how to compliment another. Not even five minutes after getting one of Tony or one of mine, several kinders went up to each other and said: “You are awesome.” or “I really like your haircut.” One of the lessons I’m trying to teach with STEAM this year is digital citizenship and many forget that digital citizenship begins in person and not just the internet. When a young student can learn to use their classroom tools with each other, they then begin to understand what they do has a lasting effect on others. As Julie pointed out that by helping each other become aware of the media’s influence and being media literate it allows us to enjoy media consumption. Sometimes it takes introducing something that can have a positive influence on another and it can start by simply saying: “You are awesome and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”