Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources

SEL Positive Actions

ICU “I See You”

PURPOSE: Recognizing positive actions of students can be a strong incentive and motivator for continued positive thoughts, actions, and feelings. The ICU routine (“I See You Doing Something Positive”) allows teachers to collect messages about positive actions that students and staff members observe.

View ICU Resources



ICU Message master, options for ICU box creation



The ICU routine encourages everyone at your school—students, teachers, school staff, etc—to recognize positive actions of students. For those schools teaching face-to-face or in a hybrid environment, the resources to assemble an ICU Box are included. For students in a distance learning environment, teachers can adapt that ICU Message to be shared or marked-up digitally. Students can simply message the teacher when they see a positive action or teachers can create a simple virtual form for students to complete and submit.

When you notice a classmate doing a positive action, you can use one of these notes. (Display an ICU Message and indicate the different sections as you say the following.)

Write their name on this line so it says “I Saw [student’s name] Doing Something Positive!” Next, fill in these lines so it says, “The positive action I saw was: (example positive action).” Then fold it up and put it in the box (demonstrate these actions). Once a week, we’ll pull out the ICU Messages and I’ll read about all the positive actions our class did that week. Does that sound like fun? (Wait for responses: Yes!)

Some additional considerations:

  • Important that the ICU Message includes the specific positive action or actions being cited.
  • A school-wide approach to ICU Messages allows the principal to read selected ICU messages out during their public address or during classroom visits.
  • ICU Messages can be published in other school- and community-wide communications.
  • A positive note can be sent to each student’s parent or guardian to let them know of their child’s achievement.
  • It is important to recognize all positive actions, including those around effort and not necessarily always around achievement.
  • ICU Messages can be utilized to collect and capture formative data useful for multiple purposes.