Well, I didn’t fill my office with balloons, but I did snag the last 20 minutes of each level of class to write happy things.
I wrote a note to each teacher explaining the assignment and my motivation for it, and I included suggestions on how to explain it to their level of student. I asked them to introduce the activity to their class… and then have everyone get up and walk over to the big classroom to do the actual writing.
We had some music in the background and students sat at random tables. They wrote on colorful slips of paper about what makes them smile, what they’re proud of, etc. When they finished a piece, they brought it to the front and taped it onto a poster. They were encouraged to do multiple pieces, and the teachers enjoyed participating too.
At the end we had a colorful patchwork of student (and teacher) writing at all levels. More importantly, everyone left with a huge smile on their face. Success!
Epilogue: One of the librarians offered to run it through their giant laminator for us, and our now very shiny poster is on display between our classrooms and the circulation desk. I’ve seen students and general library patrons reading it, and several students who were absent on writing poster day have come to me hoping they’ll be around for the next one and suggesting future writing prompts. I’m very pleased and plan to do this again soon!