Hi everyone! I wanted to give you an update from my last post. In it, I described a plan to encourage Kindergarten children, and older children, to be more “other directed” this month, rather than focused on what they will get as gifts this holiday season.
Since reading Crazy Hair Day, the children understand that they can make someone feel good after a ‘difficult situation’ arises. So I drew my own version of ‘Stanley’ and created a cover for the book we will be working on for the next few weeks.
We also read A Chair for My Mother and they were SILENT as I read about the fire which created much devastation to the home of the family in the story.
I gave them the challenge to watch each other and see who is being kind, generous, helpful or understanding during the day. As I left them, I gave them the idea that they could write thank you letters to people who are being extra kind to others. I explained that those thank you letters would become the pages in our book.
Right afterwards, as they were playing in our gym during indoor recess, a little boy was crying because someone yanked a football out of his hand. The poor guy doesn’t exactly have the same throwing and catching skills as the taller more experienced guys do, so he often feels left out as they run faster and can catch the ball more quickly. After I had the appropriate conversations with those involved, another child (who was listening) threw the ball right to him so he could practice catching it.
And, yes, I capitalized on that moment!! I very loudly praised her in front of everyone, and encouraged the boy to thank her. I also asked him if would be willing to write a thank you letter to her for our book. He worked VERY hard on that letter this morning, and I couldn’t be prouder of the two of them!! Thus, we have our book started, with page number one complete as a great example!! I have also created blank pages for the book with the starter sentences; “Thank you (another child’s name). It was so kind of you to ________________________________________________________.”
And, it just so happens that one of our teachers was very sick this week, and we started creating a very large “Get Well card” for her. This morning, I saw a little boy bring in a picture he made for her at home yesterday, and he presented it to her today upon her return. I am hopeful that someone will write a letter thanking people for encouraging our sick teacher.
We will continue removing links from our paper chain as the days go by this month, but not to get excited about the holidays, but to celebrate our becoming much more kind to each other. After all, aren’t we to spread peace and goodwill?
Since I have written this post, I found two need book titles I thought I’d share that I feel encourages kids to think of others:
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson (A very creative way of dealing with someone a child might not like.)
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson (January is a great month for this book since MLK Jr day is fast upon us, and very young children can benefit form learning about the lessons we have learned from our history, and, of course this amazing man, Martin Luther King, Jr.)
We have about 7 pages in our book. Although this was a good challenge for them I am hopeful I can refer to it, or create a sequel, as I continue to encourage children to think of others.