Student shoutouts are an easy and effective way to build your classroom community. They empower students to uplift one another, which is why I continue to use shoutouts in my classroom.
I recommend using your morning meeting time to introduce shoutouts and discuss ideas for how students can make them meaningful. Instead of mentioning someone's hairstyle or only writing them for their best friends, encourage your students to focus on significant compliments about a classmate's character. The shoutout below was written by a student a few years ago and it still blows me away!
Allowing students to fill out shoutout forms at any point during the week (excluding teaching time) is a great way to establish them in your classroom. Students might fill them out during morning work, as an early finisher task, or while packing up. Class leaders will announce the shoutouts during your weekly class meeting, with students who receive one having the choice to put it in the classroom display or keep it.
When students are in charge of giving shoutouts for their classmates, this strengthens a student-led classroom community.
Tips for using shoutouts in your classroom:
- Talk with your students about the importance of writing meaningful shoutouts and discuss examples
- Give students the freedom to fill out shoutout forms throughout the week (outside of teaching time)
- Encourage students to choose friends other than their “besties”
- Read shoutouts during the weekly class meeting
- Designate a place in your room to feature shoutouts
- Give students the option to display or keep their shoutouts
Building classroom community through a computer screen can be difficult, but digital student shoutouts will make it easier. With distance learning, it's more important that ever to include activities that allow your students to learn about each other and grow as a class family.