Mrs. Hewitt's kindergarten class started a unit about identifying and managing emotions. The class is learning to recognize emotions (How do I know if I am happy, sad, angry? What do these feelings look like on the outside? How do we feel inside our bodies if we are happy, sad or angry?) They are also discussing what they can do when they feel a certain way, in order to express those emotions in healthy ways. They will then incorporate what they learn by creating individual emotion books.
Making friends is on everyone's minds at the beginning of the year, especially for our new students. Mrs. Gueguen wanted to give her students an opportunity to share what they were looking for in a friend, and what they could offer in return. Having the students remain anonymous and unveiling who they were at the end was a chance to show the students that they might have more in common with one of their classmates than they originally thought. The lesson clearly worked as kids were asking to be each other's friends as they read the ads. It was a great way to build community within her classroom.
Students in Mrs. Spataro's class read the book "Have you Filled a Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud. This is a wonderful story that encourages positive behavior as children see how easy it is to actually build up others through kindness, appreciation and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the well being of others as well as ourselves. The class made their own buckets and brainstormed ways to fill the buckets of others and discussed how it feels to make someone else happy. The students are practicing filling one another's buckets daily in addition to filling teacher buckets by saying thank-you after art, music and drama.