The little things

Finding beauty in the little things

Life is busy.  We rush around thinking about what’s next on our to do list, what we’re going to make for dinner or who we have to email/text a reply to.  This past week, I noticed two things that made me stop and appreciate the little things.  As I pulled in my driveway one day after work, I noticed a beautiful daffodil glowing in the warmth of the sun.  It wasn’t nestled comfortably in a garden surrounded by other annuals revealing their colours and joy.  This pretty pop of Spring was in a ditch across the street from my house.  My eyes were immediately drawn to this pale yellow object and as I approached it, it’s simple beauty spoke to me.  A single daffodil growing independently in a spot no one would expect.  I was grateful for that daffodil.  It’s unexpected presence made me smile and brightened my spirit.

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The next day, again as I drove into my driveway after work, I got out of my vehicle and my eyes were drawn to a busy bumblebee gathering pollen from a dandelion flower.  I grabbed my phone to take a picture as it busily went about it’s work.  I was encouraged by this natural, little phenomenon.  It reminded me for the second time that week to pause and enjoy the little things around me that might be overlooked because im so busy buzzing around like a bumblebee tending to daily life.

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So what I’ve been reminded of through all of this is to slow down and be observant of the little things around me.  You never know what you might be missing!

gratitude

Gratitude in your Classroom

Gratitude is an important concept for kids to learn.  Being grateful for things that don’t cost money or aren’t material possessions can be quite difficult for students to grasp.  This is the second year I have done gratitude journals in my classroom.  They are proving to be so valuable.  I can see how my students have grown and become more aware of all the little things that they can be grateful for.  We have these great mini-binders from Staples that we use as our journals.  The bonus is that you can reuse them every year.  I just send the personal pages from each binder home at the end of each year with each of my students.  Here is what the binder looks like…

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Here are a few examples of what they have written…

 

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Their gratitude has become deeper than simply “I’m grateful for my family” or “I’m grateful for school” (even though those are awesome things to be grateful for).

This year I also added a weekly, whole class gratitude.  We reflect on the week and decide what we were most grateful for.  Once we agree on something, a student writes it on a piece of paper and puts it in the “gratitude box”.

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At the end of the year, it will be fun to read all the weekly gratitudes together and enjoy all the positives that the past year included.

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Parents appreciate the fact that their children are being mindful of all the things they can be grateful for.  It is an activity we do at least 3 times a week and my hope is that the happiness and positivity that come out of writing in these journals will encourage my students to continue having a heart of gratitude through the years.

I personally write in gratitude journal at home every day.  I know it helps ground me and focus on the good…even on those tough, tiring days we all sometimes experience.  Gratitude changes everything!

Earth Week

Earth Week

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This week was Earth Week at school!  We had so much fun being kind to our planet!  My class was involved in many activities that demonstrated responibilty and being mindful of how they treat the planet we all live on.  To start off, I had my students create PowerPoint presentations about how to take care of the Earth.  They presented these to the class a week later.  It gave them the opportunity to be creative and come up with ways they can help the environment (ie. turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, turning the lights off when leaving a room, composting, etc.).  Another activity we enjoyed was planting conifer tree plugs in a small forested area on our school property.  The next day, we simulated the life cycle of salmon (like a giant tag game of predator and prey) all around our field and playground areas.  Then, there was the “un-nature trail”.  Students had to look for things (which I hid ahead of time) that they shouldn’t find while walking on a nature trail (ie. a glue stick, a stapler, a container of Play-doh).  They loved this game!  Finally, we ended the week with a community clean up.  A true sense of pride and ownership comes from being involved in activities that help save our planet!  I hope all of my students will continue to be passionate about caring for our Earth!

Worry...Fret

Don’t fret about it

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Fret…that sick, worried feeling.  My Mom always told me not to fret about things, but I’m human…that’s what we do.  I’ve learned over my 42 years that fretting about something doesn’t help and isn’t healthy!  You can’t always control what’s inevitably going to happen, you can’t often change it…so try to face it without worry.  Mom, you were right…it’s not worth fretting about it!

Teaching, Uncategorized

I’ve got tidbits to share

I am an elementary school teacher with 20 years of teaching to my name.  I’ve learned many valuable things over the years as I’ve taught students, managed many different classrooms of budding, young minds and grown as a teacher through my own personal experiences and just through living life.  I hope to share some of my experiences and stories to help new teachers or teachers who just want to gain a new perspective in a very rewarding, but also highly demanding career.  So please follow my blog to hopefully gain some insight or share in what I’ve experienced.  I am excited to start this new blogging journey!