What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is an attitude and a natural “anti-depressant.” True story. You don’t even have to “find” something of which to be grateful, but just by looking for it, your mind releases serotonin and dopamine. These natural chemicals are the same reuptake inhibitors contained in antidepressant drugs. Therefore, if you begin feeling down, look for things around you and show some gratitude. Or, you can make #GratitudeSnaps!
My buddy, Tisha Richmond and I recently issued a 23-day #GratitudeSnaps Challenge and invited all to join via Twitter, and PLFamily peeps from all over the world flooded social media with positivity. Check out the hashtag #GratitudeSnaps to see for yourself.
Kids + Gratitude
There is a class of students in New York that stood out to me. They were making #GratitudeSnaps on their time off, on the weekend, and every chance they got. When their teacher, Cara Newman, shared them with me I couldn’t help but ask if they’d mind if I included some of their #GratitudeSnaps reflections on my blog. Enjoy. Don’t forget to check out their slideshow of snaps below.
From the Student Perspective
“#GratitudeSnaps are a good way to tell my classmates what I am thankful for. It also is a great way to learn about my classmates. Making #GratitudeSnaps helps me express my creativity, and it’s fun.” ~ Shea
“Some things that I enjoyed was that you can get ideas from everyone in the class and you get to show your family and why you are grateful for them.” ~Camryn
“It was fun! It taught me never to be greedy.Thank you for making gratitude snaps, without you we wouldn’t be doing it!” ~Devin
“#GratitudeSnaps are important to me because I love sharing what I am thankful for and I love hearing what other people are thankful for.GratitudeSnaps are awesome because people could discover new things they didn’t know about.” ~Mark
With #GratitudeSnaps, “we could make some more peace in the world.” ~Aiden
“What I liked most about gratitude snaps is that I get to show what I am grateful for and I like that you could just let out your feelings on an iPad.” ~Kira
“I realized with #GratitudeSnaps that I should never be greedy because what you have some people don’t have. Thanks so much for #GratitudeSnaps or I wouldn’t realize how much I need to be thankful for what I have in my life.” ~Riley
“The GratitudeSnaps are important to me because when I tell my mom and my family, they also tell me what they are grateful for so then they are basically doing a Gratitude snap but in words.” ~Robbie
“Hi! I’m really enjoying gratitude snaps because they show you what you’re really thankful for in your heart.” ~Valentina
“I like going on Seesaw and looking at all the gratitude snaps. It makes me feel kind.” ~Erin
“I love gratitude snaps because it helps express your feelings. It tells us a little bit about others lives.” ~Emry
Check out more of their Snaps here! You won’t be disappointed.
From the Teacher Perspective by Cara Newman
I think of myself as a pretty grateful person. I do my best to appreciate the little things and big things in life on a daily basis. When Tara Martin tweeted about the #GratitudeSnaps challenge during November, I knew I was in! I also knew that this was something I wanted to bring into my classroom for my students to try.
Through the Seesaw app and using Pic Collage, the students were challenged to create and post a #GratitudeSnap daily, about something that they were grateful for. I knew I would get the typical, “I’m grateful for my video games, my clothes, and toys.” However, they surpassed my hopes for this challenge. The kids pushed past objects they were thankful for and started to notice much more in the world around them. They became more mindful of their everyday lives and surroundings.
I felt during this time in my classroom, the students were more in the moment, appreciating little things, along with being calmer. Another benefit of participating in the class #GratitudeSnaps was further enhancing our class community. Through Seesaw they got to see their classmates #GratitudeSnaps and get to know the many sides of them. Such as, the student who posted that she was thankful for her Tae Kwon Do, art, and swimming lessons when the rest of the class didn’t even know that these parts of her existed. They are a huge part of this young girl and the other kids needed to understand this. As did I. My eyes were opened up to my students’ many talents, hobbies, and the family and friends they were thankful for. Equally as beautiful were the student’s comments to each other.
I am forever grateful to Tara Martin for her blogs, her inspiration, and for getting this challenge out to the world, for my students to participate in. ~Cara Newman
When the going gets tough, look around for things for which to be grateful. It benefits all involved.
Check out my #GratitudeSnaps Challenge Fall 2017 Padlet.