Friday Two Cents: Valentine’s Day Kindness


This past week many students had a lot of exciting things happening at school. Monday was the 100thday of the school year; Tuesday we had a rare snow day and the schools were closed; Wednesday report cards went home and Thursday was Valentine’s Day.   Yet I saw something during Valentine’s Day that I thought is worthy of mentioning.  In a school I work at, the kindergarten teachers decided to do something different and dare I say daring.  Instead of giving parents a class list for the students and parents to make Valentine’s cards, they helped the students to each make a card and have everyone in the class sign it.  

When I heard of this idea I loved it right away.  I know that it would be a lot of work for the teachers to organize but I thought this would teach the students so many things in the process. First off it is Eco (environmentally) friendly. How many of us would go out and buy or create cards for February 14thto simply throw them into the trash on the 15th. Second it is in line with the idea of inclusion in the classroom.  The idea is that everyone gets a card but we have all seen that not everyone gets one and that one child feels terrible when they do not get a card.  Or worse specific children are targeted to not get any cards because someone else tells everyone to not give them one.  Along that same idea not everyone can afford to purchase cards and if they make homemade ones they are ostracised because of it.  

Valentine’s Day Card

I was so impressed with the idea I suggested it to other teachers and parents at other schools. Yet their response was less than enthusiastic. Many flat out rejected the idea. They said that many of the parents are into doing the cards and they go all out with cards, candy and other stuff. In fact many students are not writing names or messages on the cards but the parents are.   

I found this interesting and a bit disturbing.  Yet from what I have observed in our society I should not be surprised.  There are a lot of people interested in only showing off and making themselves feel good at another’s expense.  These cards would alleviate all these problems and self-centredness for many people. In short it gives a small act of kindness to everyone in the class and I know that even a small act of kindness can make you feel amazing.    

Inspiring Words from my Colleagues

When I was in teacher’s college many of us, myself included, was stressed out and at our breaking point.  Yet during a class a colleague handed out pieces of paper each with our names on it. The sheets would go around the room and everyone would write one thing, a phrase or one word about what they like about that person or what best describes that person. After we each got the paper and I can tell you once I say all the comments the feeling was amazing.  When I heard of these valentine’s cards, it reminded me of that activity and how I felt receiving it in the end.  Yes the cards involve simply writing your name, but your classmates still took the time to sign your card.  To a child that simple act of kindness, signing their card, would go a long way to making them feel amazing.  

In the end isn’t that’s what Valentine’s Day all about.  Sharing love and kindness with others.  I am reminded of the famous quote by Aesop …

‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.’ Aesop

My deepest thanks and highest praise to my colleagues in the kindergarten program for implementing this wonderful Valentine’s Day act of kindness.  

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Comic Strips: Hpy Valentine’s Day?


February the month when many search their heart to express how they feel about that someone special.  Yet in this digital world are we getting away with expressing ourselves only through a LED screen?  Do we truly know how to express ourselves without our phones?  With this in mind, it gave me plenty of material to think about for this month’s The Craziest Things.  

In many cases, people cannot live without their phones.  They call, text, surf and play endless games with it.  But has our obsession with our phones come to the point when it replaces our face-to-face interaction with others. How far with this go?  Only time will tell.  

I hope you enjoy February’s The Craziest Things: Hpy Valentine’s Day?

February The Craziest Things

Art Inspiration: Pastel Hearts


 

ArtInspirationPaulGLogo

  For my 250th post I would like to share one of my lesson plans I did during my practicum.  They are the younger primary but I wanted to do something that was different and challenging with them. I got a suggestion to use different drawing mediums such as pastels. It was near Valentines Day and so I decided to incorporate a lesson with warm and cool colours. Below are the learning goal, what I want them to learn and the steps to be taken for the lesson.

 

Learning Goal (student perspective): I want to learn to use warm and cool colours to create a drawing with pastels. I want to use the warm and cool colours to make the areas I colour look different.

(Student perspective) I am successful when I can …

“use only warm colours in one area and cool colours in the other.”

“draw different wavy horizontal and vertical lines to make sections that I can colour.”

‘trace the heart shape to have different areas for warm and cool colours.”

Resources/Materials:

Craft Supplies – pastels, construction paper, desk covers, pencils, three heart-shaped tracers

iPad – with the PowerPoint of the lesson

Minds On: How will I engage the learner?

Use the puppet George to ask them about warm and cool colours. Have George show images of warm and cool colours in the iPad. Have George show his drawing and ask the students to see the warm and cool colours.

Action: Step-by-Step

  1. Draw three horizontal wavy lines going from one end of the paper to the other.      
  2. Draw three vertical wavy lines going from one end of the paper to the other.
  3. Trace a heart using one of the heart stencils.
  4. Decide if you are going to colour the inside of the heart using warm or cool colours. Colour the outside of the heart with the opposite.
  5. Colour between the lines using warm or cool coloured pastels.
  6. After you colour the entire page trace over the lines using a dark colour (black)

 

Below is the PDF Presentation I used with the students.

WandCValentine

I hope you enjoy the examples below.

 

Comic Strip: Commitment


ComicStrips 

This month’s newsletter has gone out to the parents and the comic strip ‘The Craziest Things’, with it.  This month’s comic strip is centred on a celebration at the school. No it is not Groundhogs Day, the 100th day of school, the Winter Olympics, Family day or for the teacher’s, report cards going out.  Or is that just a relief, hmm.   The biggest is Valentines Day.

For me it has never been a big deal because my birthday falls in this month and to be honest that is always more important, well to me anyway. Yet for the children and a great many people it is a big deal.  A day when we can show how much we love the people in our lives.  For children they just go, Yuck!  So I say to them, Valentine’s Day is the day we show the people who are special to us how much we care for them.  Like their moms and dads, brothers and/or sisters, friends, etc.

However with the older children I can have a little fun with them.  These children are 10 or 11 years old and have just started the second decade of their lives called adolescence.  A confusing and trying time for everyone not just the children but also their parents, teachers and their peers.  Therefore I like to open the door a bit about to this new chapter in their lives. 

I though I’d have a little fun with the children and parents with this comic.   Many of the parents remember the little game they play with the flowers and pulling off the petals says, “he loves me, he loves me not”, over and over again.  But this time I would add a little 21st centaury psychological perspective that might come into play.  It just might make you think twice about this innocent little game.

 Hope you enjoy the latest Comic Strip: Commitment. 

Feb2014NL

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