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The “Three Good Things Exercise”

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I’ve previously posted about my classroom practice of having students share three good things that have happened to them during the week, and shared studies that demonstrate its value in enhancing a positive classroom environment. At the same time, I ask students to share about something that was “not so good” and what they could have done to make it better.

It’s always gone very well.

Today, though, I read about an exercise that I think can make it even better.

Tom Peters wrote about an idea called the “Three Good Things Exercise” from Martin Seligman, founder of the Positive Psychology Movement. Here is how Peters described it:

Each night before you go to sleep:

1. Think of three good things that happened today.

Anything from the most mundane to the most exalted works, as long as it seems to you like a good, positive, happy thing.

2. Write them down.

3. Reflect on why they happened.

Determining the “why” of the event is the most important part of the exercise, and can open up your mind to ways you can increase the positive experiences you have.

As I read this, I realized that though I have asked my students to reflect on why an event didn’t go very well, I’ve never asked them to think about why their three positive experiences were so positive.

Duh! In retrospect, I’ve clearly missed a great opportunity for reflection and metacognition.

But it’s never too late to learn. I’ll start trying this out and blog about the results.

I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On Why It’s Important To Be Positive In Class.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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  1. Pingback: Relax and Renew « From Surviving to Thriving

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