Lessons in October- Friendship, Diversity, Self Control, Growth Mindset, and Acceptance

Kindergarten

We read Friendshape, which is the perfect book to talk introduce the idea of diversity. The book is adorable and so much fun because it’s full of puns.

Activity: After reading the book we did my worksheet together and then independently. You can get it as a FREEBIE here.

First

Families, Families, Families! by [Lang, Suzanne]We are learning all about different types of families and the importance of diversity. This book is adorable and explores all family types, including those with two ma’s or two pa’s. Each page is a family portrait and the use of animals in the illustrations makes it fun and approachable for a variety of grades.

Activity: We are using Teaching Tolerance’s Different Types of Families lesson on Nearpod. I had enough iPads to partner students and it’s taking practice, but my students are getting it. Without a doubt their favorite part is “visiting” a family in Dubai.

 

Second

We are talking about self control with our buddy Clark.

First, we practiced ways to sit in class using the visual sitting posters by Extra Special Teaching. I call out “criss cross, mountain or mermaid” and they have to show me. I start slow and speed up as we go. They love it and it’s a perfect way to introduce self control with our body.

After watching Clark The Shark on storylineonline.net we partner- pair- share to discuss the rules we saw in the story and then apply that to our class and school.

Activity: We finished with a cut and paste activity from Counselor Chelsey.  You can also create a class book of rules with this FREEBIE. 

 

Third

Let’s boost our self esteem while developing a growth mindset. We read  Giraffes Can’t Dance about Gerald, a giraffe that wants to join in the jungle party but is a little clumsy. The other animals laugh at him, all except a little cricket who helps him find his inner confidence and soon he is the life of the party.

Activity:  We got excited for our lesson with a Go Noodle dance party. I also used this time to model positive words of encouragement. There was a lot of “I like that flossing.”

After reading I gave them these Self Assessment Smiley Face Fan, Show me Cards, Flash Cards.  The cards have a green happy face, a yellow worried face, and a red unhappy face. As I read sample scenarios (you can get some from the Ned Show) I asked them to hold up the face that matched how person would feel. For example, Boss wants to become a therapy dog but his litter-mates tell him he’s too lazy for that job. (Red Face). We also identified self talk. For example, Brooklyn wants to run a marathon and tells herself if she practices everyday she can do it (Green Face).

At the end we drew and wrote about the things we love to do that we are getting better at. I used a worksheet from Lori Moldenhauer at Little Priorities.

You can get the book here for less than $5.

 

Fourth

We are doing one of my all time favorite lessons on empathy and inclusion. The Invisible Boy  is the perfect book to talk about being kind, including others, and discussing empathy

Activity: 

Before Reading: Do a “science experiment.”
Here’s how it works:

1. In a plate/flat container that’s full of water I pour in pepper. I ask the students to think of the pepper as people. We call them our “pepper people.” I ask them to notice that the pepper is floating together, almost like a family or a community This is a good place to discuss people coming together in the community, at school, etc. You can ask them to think of all the different ways people work together.
      2. Then I introduce the “soap.” Put the soap in the middle of the pepper. In previous lessons I have introduced the soap as a “bully,” however this time I asked them to just think of the soap as a person.

      3. As you will notice when you put the soap in the water the pepper immediately darts away from the soap. I asked the kids to tell me why the pepper would be running away from the soap. Some said that the soap was a bully, others said it might be someone who is scared, etc. This time I asked them to imagine the soap was not a bully, perhaps a new student or even a student they have known a long time. I then asked them again, why would the pepper run away?

4. This was a good place to introduce our vocab. words of the day: exclusion and inclusion. I explained that the pepper were all off by themselves and the soap was left alone. We discussed the word exclusion here, when one student noticed that some of the pepper had stuck to the soap. She commented that if the soap were a bully perhaps they were joining the bully or maybe trying to stop him. I asked them to discuss why else the pepper might stick to the soap.

5. Next we talk about inclusion and that it’s important to include everyone and it just takes one “sugary sweet” random act of kindness to make a big change. As I talk about this I pour the sugar where the soap was and slowly you will see the pepper coming back together.

Lesson: Next I read the story, stoping frequently to ask the students to make connections between our experiment and the book; looking for pepper people, the soap, and the sugar. I also asked them to make text-to-life connections. Many of my students really opened up!

Game:   Next we played Quiz Quiz Trade using the discussion questions in the back of the book. I had a student demonstrate with me how to play and model how to restate an answer. I asked everyone to show their listening skills by restating what they heard and repeating it each partner. They did a great job, I loved the “I heard you say that you think…” or “So you are saying that….” It was amazing.

Assessment:  This year I added a short Kahoot at the end of the lesson to assess what my students had learned.

Fifth

We are talking about Growth Mindset.

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First we read either Stuck or The Koala Who Could.

Stuck is a funny book about a boy who gets his kite stuck in a tree and is trying to figure out a way to get it down. He decides to keep throwing things in the tree to knock it down and of course they get stuck. I love this book to talk about perseverance and problem solving

 

 

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The Koala Who Could is adorable. This sweet Koala likes life in his tree. He doesn’t want change because he’s comfortable where he is, but soon he has no choice to get out of his comfort zone.

 

 

Activity: We used Class Dojo ideas to watch and learn more about a Growth Mindset. I partnered the students the paper activity so they could encourage each other.  This was a struggle for them, so I gave them the opportunity to try it twice with the help of a group that was successful.

Early finishers got to escape the fixed mindset brain maze and then I sent home this letter for parents.

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