December is a very exciting time of year with the excitement of the different holidays taking place, the change of seasons, the joy of lights and the winter break around the corner. With the excitement also comes the ups and downs of the all the emotions from students and ourselves. Offering alternative activities in conjunction with the regular work cycle can help to build compassion and kindness among the students as well as help to settle the air of heightened emotions.
Some ideas of compassion and kindness for the classroom are:
- Talking toothpaste activity:
- This kindness object lesson with toothpaste is a visual demonstration on how important it is for us to use kind words. There is the saying, “Stick and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
- This lesson can help kids to understand the gravity of their words and therefore learn to speak with kindness.
- Talking toothpaste activity:
Get a tube of toothpaste for your kids.
- Talk about the importance of words. I talked about how you can say something, but once it’s heard the bad effects have already started to take place. Talk about what nice words look like and how they make us feel. Talk about how mean words might make us feel. By talking about how how they would feel, we can get to their hearts rather than just their behavior.
- Next, tell them to start squeezing the toothpaste out of the tube. Squirt it onto a cutting board.
- The next part of the activity was to have them try to put it back in. Give them toothpicks to help.
- Talk about how the toothpaste represent words that come out of our mouth. Once your words come out of our mouth, you cannot stop what has been heard, and it can have really hurtful effects on the people around you. You can ask for forgiveness, but those words can still have a lot of weight on people.
- Conclude by coming up with nice words.
- Play Emotion Games- helping them understand emotions.
- Role Play
- Make an “I Will …” board- haves students write statements for their family, friends or school about and act of kindness that they will do.
- Make “I will statements”- I will use uplifting words.
- Practice random acts of kindness.
- Make a kindness jar.
- Pick a Charity for the class to be apart of to participate in the second half of the year
- Try modified activities for children to experience the lives of others- paint with their feet, their mouths, explore braille- connect these activities real stories of people- show pictures.
- Collect clothes, toys, books and do a class service project
- Write letters for the elderly at the local nursing home
Growth & Perspective
Maria Montessori Academy is in the midst of tremendous growth and these moments can feel chaotic, fearful, frenzied, confusing or these moments can feel like an opportunity for reflection, growth, and learning. I chose to move through this experience with the latter, positive view.
Since 2009, I have personally witnessed our students and physical facilities evolve from early childhood through adolescence. It is extremely exciting to see the dream realized as we build the school addition that will house the Junior High students in just a few months. This moment also causes me to reflect on the wonderful teachers, families, and other community members that have made this growth possible.
Other educators and families are recognizing our growth and success. This recognition is evident as tours of MMA happen on a regular basis where potential families, college students, university professors, other school administrators and teachers visit to see the awesome things happening in our building. MMA exemplifies qualities of successful implementation of Montessori education in the public sector.
The growth happening at MMA is not limited to our physical building. Students are growing in their learning and development. Teachers’ classroom and academic expectations are growing. As teachers and parents navigate this growth, we must practice the model for our children to first seek to understand and then to be understood.
Successful navigation of the changes happening at MMA will also require communication. As we communicate with others, we are exposed to alternative views, which is an opportunity to grow our own minds.
Welcome everyone. I am so excited for the 2017-2018 school year. Normalization is coming to a closure and classrooms are buzzing.
Please come stop by the Curriculum Office- even to say hi.
What will you find in the room: materials to check out (new and old items) and a library check out. The library checkout is catered to teacher professional learning, peace curriculum and books related for circle time, language, math, history, and social sciences. There is also a new book library that is in the break room that consists of books like Positive Discipline and 7 Habits. Materials continue the same as last year with some newer items in regards to history, math and language.
PLEASE remember to check out all materials. Some items are loaned resources for school use and others are donated. We want to make sure we keep our materials in good shape and accounted for.
Please check out the power point for a brief synopsis of the vision for the MMA instructional coach. Instructional Coach ppt