Monday, May 15, 2017

My Mouth is a Volcano! All about Interrupting.

 In Kindergarten, we have been learning all about conversation skills. For this unit, we used one of my favorite books, "My Mouth is a Volcano" by Julia Cook. In the book, we meet Louis. Louis has problems interrupting. When Louis interrupts, he realizes that others are bothered by his behavior. One day, another student interrupts Louis; after that, Louis realizes that it doesn't feel good to be interrupted. In the story, we learn a strategy that can help us if we feel like we are going to interrupt.

  1. When you feel like you are going to interrupt, STOP!
  2. Take a deep breath in. 
  3. Take a deep breath out. 
  4. When it is your turn to talk, breath in again- and then share what you wanted to say. 
The students loved making their own volcanoes! They thought the volcanoes also made great party hats! 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Learning about Conversation Skills is a Hoot!

In Kindergarten, we have been learning all about conversation skills. We read the book, Lacey Walker Nonstop Talker by Christianne Jones. In the story, Lacey Walker is an owl who loves to talk. She loves to talk so much that she forgets to listen. One day, Lacey loses her voice and has no choice but to listen. She learns so much from listening and sees that it is important to balance listening and talking. You can check out the Video for the book below!

After reading the story, we talked about how important it is to share and take turns when we speak. We watched a Social Skills video about how we can take turns in conversations. The students were then able to practice this skill. We talked about how sharing a conversation is like sharing a pizza, everyone can get a slice! If one person takes up all of the words, then it isn't fair to others.

During this unit, we also had the chance to create our own 'Owl' that shows how we can share and take turns during conversations. Each owl has an even 'pie' to show how we should share during our conversations. Students could decorate their owl however they liked and really let their creativity show! Check them out below!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Empathy in Action!- Grade 2 Guidance

In grade 2, we have been learning all about Empathy! To conclude our unit on Empathy, students were able to create their own skits about empathy in small groups. Each group was able to brainstorm different ideas for their skit, write dialogue, and perform in front of the class! It was inspiring to see how the students came together and how excited they were to write their own skits. Check out some of the photos below!
Working together to create their 'Empathy Skits'

Four heads are better than one!

The cast of 'One Feather'

The cast of 'Keep Include Others'
The cast of 'Empathy'

The cast of 'Pie Leader'

The audience added their reviews of the skits! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Week-2017!

Book Week 2017
Book week was a BLAST this year! Ms. Sobol and Ms. Renee did an outstanding job of organizing our Book Week. Students and staff alike dressed up as some of their favorite book characters. Who did I dress up as? Pete the Cat! Check out some of the photos below!
Pete the Cat reads to 1B

Pete the Cat, Alice, and Pippi Longstockings!

Monday, April 17, 2017

What's the scoop on Pre-K Guidance?

During Pre-K Guidance Classes this month, we have been learning all about conversation skills. In this unit, we used ice cream cones to learn about how to start a conversation with someone. Each part of the cone represents a part of the conversation! We called them 'Conversation Cones'.
  1. First we started with the cone! The cone shows that it is important to look at the person we want to talk to and smile! Eye contact and a smile goes a long way! We talked about how we would feel if someone wasn't looking at us when we tried to talk to them. The students agreed that it wouldn't feel very good. 
  2. The first scoop of ice cream is 'Hello!' There are many ways to say hello! We learned that saying hello to someone can be the first step of a friendship.
  3. The second scoop of ice cream is 'How are you?' We learned how it was important to listen to how someone else was feeling. 
  4. The third scoop shows how they are feeling themselves and says 'I am ____'. Students could choose how they were feeling and show their feeling face on the scoop. Many students chose silly, excited, or happy! 
  5. The last scoop showed how we can wave and say 'Goodbye!'.

The students enjoyed learning about conversation skills with the 'Conversation Cones'. While making the cones we talked about different ice cream flavors we liked. Many students thought that 4 scoops of ice cream was too much to eat and could give them a tummy ache! Check out our scoops below! 

You can help build conversation skills with your child at home too! Model appropriate conversation skills with others for your child and encourage them to greet their friends and family using the skills they have learned! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Empathy Builders in Grade 1

In grade 1 guidance classes, we have started working on a new unit! We recently started our empathy builders unit. In empathy builders, we learn about how we can show empathy to others!

We learn about the 3 steps to empathy!

1. Look at the person. How are they feeling? Why are they feeling this way?
By looking at the person's face and body, you can often tell how they are feeling. When you start to think about how others may be feeling and why, you are taking the first step to building empathy! 
2. Listen to the person. How does their voice sound?
Listening to the person's voice can help you understand what they might be feeling too! If their voice sounds harsh- maybe they are angry. If their voice is quiet- they could be feeling sad or shy. 
3. Think. What can you do to help? 
We need to be problem-solvers! Sometimes it may be helpful to talk to the person about how they are feeling, other times it is best to walk away or give them time to cool off. We talk about many different things we can do to help others and try to understand how they are feeling. 

What can parents do to help build empathy? Building empathy is an important and valuable life skill. As a parent, you can work on building empathy with your child. Here are some things to try!
Ask 'thinking questions' like: 1. How does that person feel? 
2. Why do you think they feel that way? 
3. Have you ever felt that way before? 
4. What helped you feel better? 
5. What do you think could help them? 
Listen to a variety of music: Music can express many different feelings, thoughts, and ideas. By exposing your child to a variety of different music, you can encourage them to reflect on how different types of music makes them feel. You can also ask questions like, 'How is the singer feeling and why?' 
Expose your child to a variety of cultures and viewpoints: By exposing your child to different types of people, you are showing them that there are many different view points and life experiences. It is healthy for children to see others that are different or unique from them. Encourage them to reflect on their experiences with you!

Walking along the 'Peace Path' in grade 2

 In grade 2 Guidance Lessons, we've been on the 'Peace Path'!

 What is a Peace Path? Our 'Peace Path' is a tool that helps us learn how to work together and also to improve our relationships inside and outside of the classroom. Each week, we add another 'step' to our 'Peace Path'. This unit was originally inspired by the Peace First Program 
Group Brainstorming: What is empathy? 

Group Brainstorming: What is Empathy NOT?
Including others: How can we lower the Hula Hoop down while including everyone? 
What is included on the Peace Path? For our path, we have included the following steps: Cooperate, Communicate, Trust, Empathy and Patience. Each week, we discuss the word and what it means to us at KISJ. We use engaging games and activities to reinforce each word. Afterwards, we reflect on how we used the word in the activity and how it can help us in our daily lives. 

Group Brainstorming: What does Empathy sound like?
What are students learning? Students are learning many new skills. This unit encourages students to reflect on their actions and how their actions can affect others. These activities also help reinforce community and team building skills! 
Our grade 2 boys are practicing cooperation with our 'Untangle the Knot' game!

Wow! Look at that cooperation!

The girls are thinking hard about how to find a solution! Great work group!
How can parents support this at home? As a parent, you can support your child on their character development each and every day. As your child continues to grow, encourage them to reflect on their actions and behaviours. Provide opportunities for them to work with different types of people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Encourage them to take the 'Peace Path' when trying to connect with others.