- Bringing Project Based Learning to our Classroom - August 12, 2018
- Keep the Engagement Alive: Start the Year with Purpose - August 5, 2018
- It's Our Fault: A Teacher's Confession - March 18, 2018
- Keeping Your Teaching Real: A Teacher's Role - March 11, 2018
- Sketch Notes in the Elementary Classroom - February 15, 2017
- Teach From the Heart - February 9, 2017
- Who is the Teacher: School or Family? - January 11, 2017
- Dear President Elect Trump, From Your Teachers - November 17, 2016
- Let them Be Children - October 21, 2016
- Print Resources: Great Tools for Kids - October 17, 2016
Gratitude is being thankful, showing appreciation and returning kindness. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays celebrated in the December can find a connection to gratitude. Thoughtfully teaching this habit in our classrooms can bring traditions together during the holiday season. Edutopia has a post about helping students reflect and a gratitude journal. As I am thinking of keeping my students focused and on task to complete the end of the nine-weeks, I think adding in some daily gratitude will be a gift for us all.
At home this year I took books from our shelf and wrapped one for each day of the Advent season. We will open a book each night and spend some family time together. This is worth more than any store-bought gift the children will get this season. Here is a list of books you can read to your students to inspire and model kindness and gratitude. Then make the lessons real with some of the activities listed below.
Random Acts of Kindness:
- List of 30 ideas
- Print posters for the classroom.
- Send home a calendar for families.
- Have students write a note to someone in your school or community.
- Write thank you notes to staff (custodians, lunch, aides, etc.).
- Pick up trash around the school or playground.
- Visit last year's teacher and give him/her a hug.
- Give up your spot in line.
- Compliment someone you rarely talk to.
- Create a countdown chain of random acts (printable).
Gifts for Parents (with a link to learning):
- Egg Carton Christmas Tree (symmetry, plants, life cycles)
- Snowflakes (symmetry, chemistry, weather)
- Coupon Gift Book (writing)
- Ice Candles (states of matter, scientific process)
- Treat Containers ( pets, 3D shapes)
- Write a Poem (any topic, writing, language arts)
- Bottle Cap Coaster (geometry, recycling)
- Make Cards (writing)
- Photo Magnets (write a description to go with the photo)
- Sidewalk Chalk (science)
- Handprint wreaths (patterning)--have students trace their hands on two shades of green and glue into circle. If you are feeling brave you could use paint on white paper instead.
December can be a stressful month for many reasons. Changing weather, the hustle of the holidays, the end of the 9-weeks and many other things are on the minds of children and adults. Amongst the crazy, stop and teach something that will continue to give throughout the year. Have fun sharing random acts of kindness and encouraging gratitude with your kids. Smile, laugh, say thank you and tell your kids how much they mean to you. It's why we do what we do!