Lesson recaps from last school year:
We spent much of April and May exploring how each individual can have an impact on the peacefulness in the world. Starting with a single person to a whole classroom and expanding into our entire school, home, community, state, country and finally world. No individual can take on world peace alone. It takes each of us to choose peaceful actions in the smallest part of our own lives. From there it can grow. It's been a pleasure working with my own little part of the world in Almond-Bancroft this school year.
This month, we have continued to explore how to deal with bullies drawing upon the courage we all have inside of us. Author Trevor Romain gave us some great tips in his DVD "Bullies Are A Pain in the Brain."
This was also a good time of year to review why we have rules with the fun book, "What If Everybody Did That?" by Ellen Javernick.
Students are learning about courage and how much it takes to stand up to someone who is being mean. We have been reading books with this theme including The Juice Box Bully and students are asked to take the Juice Box Promise which says they will get help for someone who they see being bullied.
Here are some more books we will use this year to learn about courage:
Students in grades K-5 are learning about empathy and compassion.
This "emotions" tree helped us to identify what others are feeling by facial expression and body language and to decide who might need our help or understanding.
Below are some students during a lesson on empathy. In this activity, students volunteer to choose a shoebox to open and put the shoes on from the box. A written scenario inside each box tells about the person who wears the shoes. Based on the information given, the student has to "put themselves in that person's shoes," identifying how that person might feel.
The class then suggests ways we might show compassion to the person in the shoes.
The ablility to put oneself in another's shoes.
To identify with and understand another's feelings.
The desire to help with another's problem or suffering.
It's pretty easy to show empathy and compassion to those we like or love.
The challenge is giving those gifts everyone around us!
We will be exploring that idea in more depth.
In some classes, this book is helping us to understand how our
interrupting and blurting out might make others feel. We will come up with
ideas that might help us not to "erupt" on someone!
I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.
----Rachel Joy Scott
First Victim Of The Columbine High School Massacre (1981-1999);