Friday, February 13, 2015

Mix-It Up Day and Feelings

This week has been an exciting week for the kiddos. Not only because they got to have Valentine's Day parties this week, but because we also completed our third and final school-wide activity to be designated a No Place for Hate school!! For our final activity, we completed a "Mix-It Up Day" where the kids were all mixed up at lunch time and sat at different tables, with different people than they are used to. In order to mix them up, we had several different colored stickers and each child received one as they walked through the lunch line. They then had to go sit at the table that had that same color sign on it. 




I could not have done all of this without the help of our lunch monitors and the help of my No Place for Hate coalition!! Those kids helped me throughout all lunch periods to make sure it ran smoothly. While I gave a colored sticker to each child that came through the lunch line, two other kids helped give stickers to those who had lunch boxes, two helped pass out pencils to the classes as they finished eating and lined up with their teacher, and everyone helped guide all the kids to the right table.



While the kids were at the tables eating, next to children they don't normally sit with or hang out, they were to try to find out three things they didn't know about the person they were sitting with. As I walked around, it was fun to see all of the interactions and how excited everyone was to break up the routine a little bit. It is important to try to get to know new people because sometimes we find out we really like them and we wouldn't have known that had we not just introduced ourselves. We can also help to make those who are a little more on the shy side feel welcome and comfortable.


In addition to Mix-It Up Day this week, I was also in all 2nd and 3rd grade classes teaching a lesson about feelings. We read a few stories from the book Feelings by Aliki and then completed a "Wheel of Emotions," writing about eight different emotions we have felt this week. Here are some examples of the great work they produced:



We talked about many feelings and how to keep the bad ones under control and turn them in to good feelings as much as possible. We talked about anger and how it is okay to feel angry, but we need to learn how to control anger. When we are angry at someone, no matter what they did, it is not okay to hit them, or yell and scream. Those reactions do nothing to solve the problem and often make it much worse, so the kids came up with ideas to react to anger the appropriate way and how to calm down. Some suggestions were to count to ten or higher, take deep breaths, go to the "peace area" in their classrooms, walk away, try to talk it out with the person calmly, and ignoring it. It was fun to get to hear about all the different feelings they have had in one week and to see how they chose to illustrate each particular feeling! 

Next week, I will be in 4th and 5th grade classes. 4th grade will also be completing a "Wheel of Emotions" and 5th grade will finish working on some career booklets we started last time I was in there. I will also be starting my "Lunch Bunch Small Groups" next week. I will work with nine small groups of 4-5 children each week for the next 5-6 weeks on different topics, such as social skills, self-esteem, anxiety, grief and loss, anger management, family issues, divorce, and depression. I look forward to getting these started! The kids always get so excited to get to come eat in my office! I always have many kids who aren't in group asking when they can come! I wish I could see all 800+ kids!! 

Have a great weekend and a Happy Valentine's Day, if you celebrate it!! :-) 

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