Monday, January 26, 2015

A Heart of Gratitude

Gratitude is a practice. It results in positive thinking. In a difficult time and world, the one true factor that can make the most impact is exercising gratitude. It is complex, yet very simple. The cause of resentment and poor behavior is a direct result of feeling undervalued, not worthy, not heard, and not cared about. When we focus on the things in which we do value and are the most grateful for, we can change resentment into gratitude and love. Recognizing and expressing gratitude towards children can change everything. Expressing gratitude is a simple answer for a complex problem. We need to stop thinking about gratitude as an emotion, and begin to live it as an action. Living your life as an expression of gratitude is the greatest give you can give a child and yourself. 
Gratitude Journal

When children thank while they think, they think better and deeper. Thankfulness teaches children to be in the present, and they want to give back. This journal is meant to help children begin to walk in gratitude. Remember that gratitude practices are not about smiling more and being positive, it is about recognizing the hard part and focusing on the things for which we are grateful. 
How can we start? We can live by example. We need to thank our students more. We need to share specifically what we are thankful for about them on a daily basis. If not, we are missing the daily practices that can change EVERYTHING.

I’ll start. Thank you for your interest in this blog. Thank you for the job you do each day. Thank you for making it your life’s work to change the world one student at a time. I am grateful for your support. I am grateful to work among you.

Trina Deboree (Dralus)

Meaningful Mama has a great list of books that help teach generosity and giving.
Meaningful Mama Blog

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Goals for the New Year!

So I went back to school today for a new year in 2015! The kids were pretty mild, as they all were still pretty sleepy. It was great to see all of their smiling faces. 

One of my favorite things to do as a class is to make goals for the New Year. (Much like resolutions, I hope they stick!) So this year I used a Scoot game I created last year. Scoot is so fun! It is such a great way for kids who need to move while they learn to get up and get moving. Each student had a recording sheet, like the sheet below. I placed task cards on each desk. Students move around the room answering the questions/prompts on the card. They record it in the correct number that aligns with the question/prompt. They can move at their own pace. I usually have 3-4 extra cards at various seats in the room so that there is always an open spot. 

There were four different categories that the children answered questions or were prompted to write about. The categories included:
 Smarter You!
 Braver You!
 Active You!
Better You!

This was such a fun way to reflect on things from last year, make goals for this year, and really think about how to better ourselves in 2015!
The kids and I had a blast. Make this a part of your New Year's traditions. It is available in my store for FREE! Happy New Year!
New Year's Goals (Task Cards) FREEBIE