Gratitude Journals

Gratitude Journals
Posted on 08/27/2019
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Indian Lake Middle School students are really thinking about the things they are thankful for this school year. 
ILMS Co-Principal Erin Miller explains that every student in grades 5-8 has received what's called a Gratitude Journal. 
Starting this week, students will take about 2 minutes each day to write down one thing in their life for which they are thankful. 
Miller says research suggests that Gratitude Journals improve many aspects of a child's perspective on life. She wants this daily exercise to help students move toward a growth mindset and develop hope for the future. 
"It's not just about the disciplinary and academic benefits.  It's about taking the time to realize the good in all our lives, even if it's something small like 'my shoes held out for one more day or that my alarm went off on time," Miller explained.
The idea for Gratitude Journals grew from the activities surrounding ILMS Kindness Week last school year. Miller says the staff wanted to find a way to maintain that level of concentration on the positive. 
After making their daily entry first thing in the morning, students may choose to sometimes share what they are thankful for with their class.  
On the second day of writing in the journals, 5th graders in Kelly Wagner's class said they were thankful for things like their pets, being able to find their classes in the ILMS building without getting lost and their parents who get them to school on time. 
Wagner shared what she wrote in her Gratitude Journal saying, "As a teacher, I'm so glad that everyone has been here everyday so far. That's important!"
The journals are inexpensive and simply made by a group of student volunteers over the summer. They consist of a cover that students created themselves, basic calendar pages inside and a rubber band binding so that notes and other materials may be easily added.