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Sunday, January 29, 2012

W is for Warm Fuzzies

I'm sad. I told my class I would be sad all weekend.

My rascals darlings have been a little bonkers lately (I wish I could blame it all on the double digit subtraction) and have been getting some not so good reports during lunch and specials. Last week the comment that made me the most sad was that they are "selfish".

We do bucket filling. It is thoroughly incorporated into our vocabularies. But, it's just a little abstract for some of the darlings to grasp. It's kind of lost its sizzle. Every year about this time, I have to break out the 'Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies' story. It has more of an impact now than when we're just starting school.

I learned a version of this story in college. Dr. Wright had us all trade warm fuzzies and decorate our own on paper. She taught us how to use it with our future classes. I'd have to say it's one of the things from college that stuck with me.

In my class, warm fuzzies are JUST for recognizing acts of kindness. They are meant to improve our manners and the way we talk to each other.

I start off by telling them 'The Story of Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies' and then doing a meaningful activity. I tell my students that I will give them either a warm fuzzy (craft pom pom) or cold prickly (brass fastener) to hide in their fists. They cannot tell anyone what they have and need to try to keep their faces serious. I have mixed in about 3-5 cold pricklies. After I hand them out, students will walk around and trade at least 5 times while giving each other a smile.

During this, I have the extra warm fuzzies in my pocket. I keep my eye out for reactions to getting the cold pricklies and slyly trade the warm fuzzies with those students. Eventually, I end up with all of the cold pricklies in my pocket. I don't know how I've been so lucky, but I've managed to get them all every year and each child "magically" ends up with a warm fuzzy. I LOVE their reactions when they find out the cold pricklies have all disappeared.

This leads to an awesome discussion on what it means to be nice to each other and how our rudeness, selfishness, and grumpiness affects everyone.

I am adding nomination forms this year. Students can write who they think deserves a warm fuzzy and what they did to earn it on a slip of paper. On Friday, I will draw several slips and give them a big/fancy warm fuzzy. I will encourage them to give it to a friend in another class or someone at home and tell them about it.

If you'd like to check out my Warm Fuzzy/Cold Prickly resources, they are available in my TPT store.

Look how other teachers use Warm Fuzzies in their classes:

Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

P.S. I'm not really sad. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!



  1. Love it! I use warm fuzzies too, but I love the idea of the cold pricklies :) Have a great day!

    Lisa :)
    Made In The Shade In Second Grade

  2. Cute idea!!! Especially for this time of the year when everyone gets a little antsy! :-) Thanks!!!

  3. I remember doing that with Dr.Wright! What a great way to help the kiddos get in touch with emotions! Also how they make others feel. Go job Ms. B!

  4. Thank you for reminding me about Warm Fuzzies! My kiddos so need this right now. We are more than half way through the school year and could definitely use a few doses of kindness! We also are working through double digit subtraction, who knew it could be so difficult, especially after they have mastered the addition??

    Second Grade Math Maniac

  5. Hmmmmm... I think I will give this a shot!! I will be sure to blog about it when I do. :) Thanks for sending me here!!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  6. Emily,
    As I googled "warm fuzzy and cold prickly" I found your super cute blog. I, too, remember this activity with Dr. Wright. Just wanted you to know that your blog is awesome and so are you!! :)

    1. Thanks Michelle! I make sure to find time for those fun activities Dr. Wright us! =)