Sunday, December 2, 2012

Currently... It's December!

I have often thought to myself: It's a good thing that Sweet Farley does her Currently postings... Otherwise I would never know what month it was!

So December is here and I am thrilled. I'm not sure why November was so incredibly long, but I am glad it's over...

I feel like my class is ready to take off and learn.  We had struggled so much with behavior, and apathy, and a lack of empathy at the beginning of the year... and now things are beginning to fall into place. Every time someone raises his/her hand to offer a comment, the joyful applause goes off in my head. It's not frequent, but it's BETTER. And I will take better--happily.
Hello Sketchie font by Jen Jones; Heart paper by Lauren Thompson on TpT
Still my heart had to hurt a little last week when we needed an extra volunteer for our Kindergarten Recess Helper program.  "Is there anyone from the Monday squad who would help out on the kindergarten playground today? Tuesday squad? Is there anyone from ANY day who will work an extra shift?" Not.One.Volunteer. Not one! I sat there in stunned silence willing myself not to cry (or worse!). Finally, one of my shyest (and sweetest) kiddos raised her hand and offered to help supervise the kindergartners. I said, "Your kindness has won you an evening of no homework..." (Odd that I felt the desire to reward her--Clearly I have some learning to do as well.)

Of course, then I had several volunteers. Obviously, I declined. I said that this student had volunteered because she was being kind--NOT to get something in return. She saw a need and decided to step up...

I believe that acting with compassion can be learned. I don't think my kids lack heart... they just haven't been called upon very often to think with their hearts. Overall, their lives are pretty comfortable and they are fairly fortunate.

I think that learning comes from opportunities to practice. So, I am going to incorporate some talk about Random Acts of Kindness into our schedule at some point in the next three weeks. If you haven't read the story about the police officer who bought new shoes for the man who was homeless, check it out here.  I think that will be the opening of our RAK discussion. (A side note: Maybe I because I wish so desperately for kids to care, I have read the story and watched the video FIVE times--and I still cry every time. I hope I can keep it together long enough to teach the lesson in a meaningful way...)

So now you get a chance to be inspired through the BlogFriends you meet and/or check in on at Farley's Currently. She's asking you to list your state when you link up, so don't forget. And, as always, remember to leave some love with those who link up before and after you.

 I hope that your December will be filled with happiness and the joy of random acts of kindness...


  1. Thank you for your post... I have the same feeling when I ask for a volunteer to help. The "please don't pick me" look just makes me want to cry. I'm glad I'm not alone! Wishing you joy in this holiday season.

  2. I'm trying to teach the same this Christmas with my kiddos too:) I'm posting a writing packet tomorrow that I made for the same reason. Check your email...I'm sending you it early:))) Hope you can use it. The first prompt is the biggie. The rest are for fun:) Hugs!

    4th Grade Frolics

  3. I cannot think of a RAK that would be more appreciated than taking recess duty. Brilliant! It seems many of us just want our shopping to be dunzo. Enjoy December Kim! We are both looking forward to Christmas break. :)

  4. Your RAK are so sweet! I am going to steal the recess duty one and take a recess duty for each of my teachers during the last week of school before Christmas. Thanks for the idea!

    Thinking Out Loud

  5. I really enjoy your comment that students have not been called on to act with their hearts. It is something we need to focus on more in the classroom. I hope you have started your planning for "free time" over break because it always seems to go by so fast. Thanks for the ideas!

  6. RAK is the best! We did it last year at our school and loved seeing the reactions to it. I too am loving your "loving" as I am so ready for Winter Break!!

  7. Love the idea of leaving goodies for your teaching neighbors!!

    Tales of Teaching in Heels

  8. THANKS so much for linking up!!! I feel for you and know exactly what you are going through :) EXACTLY!!! sending HUGS!!!

  9. it's so hard to teach kids to do things JST to be kind.... my daughter does it now, but she's 3... I hope she never grows out of it!

  10. Love your RAK -- especially the duty one!! That's so cool!
    And I think your kids are so blessed to have you and that they will definitely learn to have compassion because they have you as their teacher.
    You, my friend, define kindness.
    Love you!

  11. I know exactly how you feel. I just love that you work hard to teach the "whole kid". I'm so inspired by you. I love your RAOK, too ;)

  12. Kim,
    Thank you so much for the Starbucks card from the 2nd Grade Surprise Giveaway! I just received it this morning and will be putting it to good use during faculty meeting morning this week. :) I'm having a gift card giveaway this week if you'd like to hop on over and enter.
    I Want to be a Super Teacher

  13. Hello!
    I just found you through Farley's Currently - and am so glad that I did!

    I can imagine how difficult your class must be and your diligence and continued investment is encouraging and challenging.

    Have you ever read the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? It's target audience is much younger grades, but the message is clear and I use it with my fifth graders each year and they LOVE it. The premise is that each person has a "bucket" they carry around with them and all day long people are either "filling" (saying/doing something nice) or "dipping" (saying/doing unkind words/things). When you fill someone's bucket, you also fill your own. But when you dip into someone else's, you don't gain anything in your bucket. It's a valuable truth to communicate to the students. I have each student decorate a bucket and they can write encouraging notes to one another. They can't always write to their best friend and they can't just say "I like your hair." We discuss positive ways to build one another up and praise their behavior or effort rather than just physical or material things. They turn the notes into me and I place them in the classmate's bucket. The person sending gets a bead in their bucket, as does the person they sent the note to. At the end of each week, we take our notes home. It's been a great classroom bonding activity.

    Sorry, didn't mean to write a novel - just an idea :)

    Joy in the Journey

  14. Glad your year is getting better. My friend and I were just talking this week about how even the kids that behave all day everyday at school don't show good character! What do we do about it? The world is SO different now than just 10-15 years ago!!

    Here's to 12 more days until pure bliss-I mean Christmas vacation! :)


  15. I just found you blog and I am so glad that I did! I teach 6th grade as well, but in a middle school setting. I'm jealous you get your 6th graders in the elementary. I love this grade but would rather be in an elementary setting. I am your newest follower and am off to read over as much of your blog as I can.

    Crofts' Classroom


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