Friday, September 28, 2012

Unkind words leave "Wrinkles"

Are you shocked? I was MIA for about two weeks and then I post two posts in two days! Go me! I've decided that I would like for my first grade friends to pick a lesson or activity each week for me to blog about. I told them that it can be anything they choose- one they liked or even one they weren't that fond of.... I can take creative criticism from a firstie, right? (maybe.... :)  )  This week they picked TWO! (Who am I to make them choose only one?!) These kids know the way to my heart....they enjoy all the little craft ideas just as much as I do! YAY  :::insert Dr. Jean's Round of Applause here::: So, it was no surprise they enjoyed our "Unkind Words Leave "Wrinkles"  " lesson. We started out with the tried and true story Chrysanthemum  by Keven Henkes.

We talked about the characters (of course), how the illustrations depict the moods of Chrysanthemum, and the ugly actions of the "mean  girls". My firsties told me how they feel when people say mean things to them (and everyone had a story to tell here...but that is a good thing...self to text connection, right?) Then, the fun began. I introduced our "Green Friend" to the class.  (butcher paper outline of my personal child lol)
Next. each friend was told that they would whisper a "bucket dipper", "unkind word" to our Green Friend. While they were whispering to our "friend", they tore a piece of the person and balled it up. Each child whispered, tore, and balled up a piece of our friend. It was very interesting to hear what they "whispered" and what they believe to be "unkind" words.
Next, I told them that we had to apologize to our 'pieces' for all of the unkind things we said AND they had to get the wrinkles out when they apologized because we had to put our "friend" back together. UH OH!! You should have seen the look on their faces! They worked SO hard to get the wrinkles out and put the person back together.
the girls were BEGGING the wrinkles to "go away"
trying to piece our "friend" back together

 To make a long (yet truly engaging) lesson short...the moral of the activity is this... An unkind word to our heart is like crumbling the paper and putting tons of wrinkles in it. We can apologize (which we ALWAYS make them do), but the wrinkles in our heart never really go away. Things will never be JUST the way they were before... Remember friends, words CAN and DO hurt... Teach your little ones to use kind words AND we should practice what we teach :)  Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Freebie ...and an Apology!

I promise to do better. I've been in a "blogging fog" lately...trying to create things for TpT, classroom, prepare for parent conferences, and well, excuses, excuses. So to try to make things right... I'm posting a Freebie! YAY! You can also find the FREEBIE on my TpT store!

I have been super busy in the classroom creating lessons that DO NOT include worksheets, are engaging and provide a sense of accountability when parents and my admins. need to "see" the learning. We are currently doing an "I am Special" (think all-about-me'ish) unit in ELA (Treasures) and Social Studies. To kick things off, we made friendship bracelets. Ahhh, how it took me back to knotting thread and wearing ten bracelets on my stick thin wrist. Snap back to the NOW, we made DUCT TAPE bracelets...My firsties LOVE them!  Super easy (minus cutting it and the tape sticking to itself...after about the tenth  third one, we got the hang of it. Each piece was slightly shorter than a Magic Treehouse book is wide (nonstandard measurement, ok?) We folded our bottom mustache piece hotdog style and did the same with our accent (paint splat) piece. We then cut the splat piece long ways down the center to make two skinny strip and secured the two pieces at both ends by, you guessed it, another piece of tape! We used the almighty velcro dot to make our bracelets ea
fun right?...
TA DA!  :)

Oh- and I know you are wondering about our choice of patterns for our bracelets.... think "Friendship" unit...we MUST (mustache) remember to accept and love others even though we are different than one another (paint splat colors and sizes). To an adult, this may sound cheesy-to a child, it was a homerun! 
I proudly wear my bracelet as I type tonight ... Sometime, even  as adults, we need to be reminded of the message our bracelets represent and with that, good night and ... Enjoy the Journey!