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"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and never giving it."

- William Arthur Ward

This year...Whew Chile! This has definitely been a year like no other in the past and I hope like no other in the future. This year was the first Global Pandemic I've experienced and that was surrounded by several personal dramatic events. In the midst of it all, I know how important it is to stop and reflect on the positive things and acknowledge and express gratitude.

I always naturally incorporate routines that help my students' personal development. In person, we do a lot of conversations, shared readings and writings, and authentic development through real experiences. Virtually, I knew I needed more writing routines to make up for some of the conversations and real experiences I knew we would be missing. Due to the world's current situation, I felt that expressing gratitude daily would be a good routine for my students.

I created the sheet "Grateful Heart" and my students have been completing it daily ever since. It's so beautiful to see the change. At the beginning of the year, my students were saying one word for each of the numbers...repeatedly. Seriously, each heart was looking the exact same. Now, they are much more genuine. Many times they say different things daily, or the same thing with different reasons. I notice genuine responses based off things I know are occurring in their lives.

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