The concept of gratitude is a powerful one. In fact, thankfulness is a very important character trait to foster in children. Living gratefully encourages kids to cultivate a genuine appreciation for blessings they already enjoy, no matter how big or small. Children sometimes get caught up in wanting more things – more toys, more games, more electronic gadgets. This creates a vacuum of lacking that is difficult to satisfy. A mindful pause every now and then helps us reflect and re-examine this mindset. It inspires a healthy outlook that honours the present moment and reminds us not to take things for granted.
I like the definition of gratitude as stated by Psychology Today:
“Gratitude is an emotion, expressing appreciation for what one has – as opposed to, say, a consumer-oriented emphasis on what one wants or needs. Gratitude is what gets poured into the glass to make it half full. We can deliberately cultivate gratitude and increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, grateful thinking – and especially expression of it to others – is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy.”
There is no doubt that children’s attitudes can have a huge impact on the overall culture of the classrooms. As teachers, and caregivers, we want to inspire positive attitudes and increase empathy and a sense of community in our classroom. Teaching gratitude is a sure way to do that.
Below is a list of Gratitude-Building Activities, based on my latest picture-book, Lucky Me. Please feel free to download a FREE copy for your personal use at home or in the classroom by clicking on the image on the bottom of the post.
Gratitude Building Activities for Home and School Continue reading
Happy New Year!
I hope 2018 has been off to a wonderful start for you and your loved ones (it’s hard to believe we’re mid-month already).
It seems like forever since I last shared thoughts, ideas and classroom resources. Not for lack of desire, more to do with obligations, commitments and responsibilities that somehow or another find a way to redirect me from the screen (life takes precedent after all).
In order to better balance life and leisure (New Year’s resolution number one), I thought I’d try what the rest of the world has been doing so beautifully already – writing in snippets! Capturing big ideas in photographs and captions – less is more after all!
This year, I am blessed with 27 lively Kindergarten students who keep me busy and on my toes, literally from the moment I step into the classroom. To say there are no challenges would be far from the truth. In the 17 years that I’ve been teaching, there have been ample opportunities for growth and learning from the experiences and circumstances I embarked on in the classroom – as every teacher can agree with, I’m sure.
So I thought the first snippet I’d share is my Cool Down Kit, a behaviour management and self-regulation tool I use in the classroom, which runs parallel with mindfulness ideologies. Continue reading
Father’s Day is just around the corner and what better time to get crafting.
Father’s Day is a special day to honor fathers and father-figures in our lives. In Canada, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, though it is also observed widely on other days in many other countries. Father figures may include step-fathers, grandfathers, brothers or other male figures that help and guide us through life’s journey.
How do we, in turn, honor these prominent male figures?
Some people give cards, chocolates, clothes, accessories or gift vouchers. Others take their father or father figure out to the movies, enjoy a meal together at a restaurant, lounge in a café, or simply enjoy a restful day in the park.
In my classroom, we are preparing for the big day by creating The Perfect Package.
envelope stamp address label
Below is a poem I wrote and plan to share with my students as we begin crafting next week. Keeping in mind that not all children may have a father in their life, I left the recipient open to include a figure that may take the place of a father, whether it be a grandfather, uncle, brother, etc.
My Hero by Lora Rozler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
To download a copy of the poem and craft kit, for your personal use in the classroom, click on the image below.
Join my Facebook Community and stay in the loop when new teacher resources are available.
Let the countdown and crafting begin!
Happy Father’s Day!
A very interesting math lesson stemmed from a story I read to my students about a king who got a giraffe as a birthday gift. The king challenged his townspeople, offering a reward to the first person who would be able to tell him how tall his giraffe was. The people set off to measure the giraffe in whichever way they could – none of the attempts were successful. Every failed try served as a great lesson about measurement do’s and don’t’s.
How Tall is My Giraffe?
After extracting important math concepts from this adventurous story, I introduced students to a giraffe of my own (my children’s old plush growth chart). I posed the same question to an eager-looking bunch (there was no gold incentive on my end though). With just enough direction, I let students explore solutions to this problem during Learning Centres time. Students showed remarkable interest in this challenge and began gathering all kinds of objects to use as measurement tools.
Before long, the carpet was filled with various objects: building blocks, popsicle sticks, snow pants, jackets, bottle caps, books, markers, etc. Students were so excited, they even suggested using me as a measuring tool. How could I say no to that? After a few chuckles and excited cheers, we sat down to reflect on our findings, which ultimately led to another great inquiry question? Why did we need so many cotton balls yet such few blocks? How does the size of the measuring tool affect the measurement?
Roses, cards, chocolates, cookies, breakfast in bed, you-name-it, Mother’s Day sure brings out the sweetest in us. Celebrated on the second Sunday in May each year, Mother’s Day is a time to honour our one and only – our precious Mother (or a mother figure in our life).
I am sure I speak on behalf of many moms out there when I say the most precious gift we can receive on Mother’s Day is one that is especially handcrafted for us. As a teacher I keep this in mind as we set out to cut, glue and craft a personal treasure that Mom will want to keep around for a very long time (if not forever).
Below is a poem I wrote and plan to share with my students this week. Keeping in mind that not all children may have a mother in their life, I left the recipient open to include a figure that takes the place of a dominant caregiver, whether it be a grandmother, aunt, sister, etc.
Under Your Wing by Lora Rozler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For this year’s Mother’s Day craft, my students will be making a mobile frame, with the theme of my latest poem in mind. Here is a sample of the finished product.
Mobile frame – Back side
Front SIDE – option 1
front side – option 2
To download a copy of the poem and the craft templates, for your personal use in the classroom, click on the heart image below.
Join my Facebook Community and stay in the loop when new teacher resources are available.
Thank you for your support!
Let the countdown and crafting begin!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Happy Earth Day everyone! Every year at this time we are reminded of how important it is to preserve the environment for future generations. Whether it be on the radio, television, social media or in educational environments, the flood of content blends into a common message – protect the earth!
We’d like to share a short, yet compelling video clip that made us pay just a little more attention this year. It’s called Dear Future Generations: Sorry. We hope you enjoy it too, and of course … share it.
My favourite line in the video was ‘An error does not become a mistake, until you refuse to correct it’. That is a powerful statement – in all facets of life, but particularly when it comes to taking care of the earth.
After many months of collecting recyclable materials, we finally set out to transform old boxes into new ART.
We used materials from our Art Centre (containers made from recycled products) to help with this Earth Day project.
Here is a showcase of some beautiful pieces from our growing collection of Recycled Art:
Fashionable Writing Utensil Caddies
Decorative Tissue Boxes
Recycle is a poem I came across online that was written by Meish Goldish . Students enjoy the familiar rhythm, and the catchy pattern makes it a great math extension as well (don’t we teachers love that?!).
After reading many books relating to Earth Day, our class sat down to brainstorm ways in which we can protect our environment. We also reviewed some of the things we were already doing in our classroom (i.e., recycling , reducing, reusing, composting, conserving energy, using only as much water as we need, not littering, etc.). Students then all had a chance to reflect on what more they could do (at school and home) and completed a promise note reminding them to take action and contribute in whichever way they could. No contribution is ever too small – every little bit helps.
Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed and wonder how these very small acts can possibly solve such a massive problem. But if we all contribute one little building block, we can turn an error into an opportunity.
For more ways you can help, click HERE.
As always, thank you for your time!
Hello everyone. I hope you had a restful March break and are excited about the week ahead. I’d like to share a poem I wrote a little while back titled, Three Witty Goats Gruff. It is based on a variation of the original story, Three Billy Goats Gruff. I plan to revisit it with my students this week as we continue our exploration around the concept of Measurement and Size.
After reading several versions of the original story to my students, I plan to introduce my version of it via a poem. When I first introduced it (last year), students really enjoyed the chant and patterns, while I loved the teachable moments that stemmed from it.
MATH – counting backwards, detecting patterns, reinforcing concepts of measurement and size, subtraction, etc.
LITERACY – introducing new vocabulary, making predictions, using context clues to make inferences, singular/plural pronouns, synonyms, etc.
Three Witty Goats Gruff by Words On A Limb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
One of my students favourite follow-up activities was to re-enact the poem using stick puppets. It is a wonderful way for them to practise retelling the story and have fun while doing so. Some benefits of using stick puppets to teach literacy include strengthening oral vocabulary, acting in role, building comprehension, retelling a story in sequence, and recalling details.
Here are some cross-curricular extension activities, including: 1. Three Billy Goats Gruff Maze – students help the Billy Goats navigate through a maze to get to a field of fresh grass (good for refining fine motor, spatial and problem-solving skills); 2. Writing Template – students reflect on their favourite part of the story (while practising important writing skills); 3. Fill In The Blanks – students use a word bank to fill in the missing words from the poem (great for memory skills and practising high-frequency words); 4. Making Patterns Math Worksheet – students complete and create their own pattern using characters from the story (aids with visual discrimination and patterning concepts).
To download a copy of my poem, Three Witty Goats Gruff, including the Stick Puppet Templates, for your personal use in the classroom, along with the cross-curricular activities hown above, click on Billy Goat.
I hope you and your students enjoy the poem and have fun with these activities in the classroom. As always, your comments and feedback are welcome.
Join our Facebook Community and stay in the loop when new teacher resources are available.
Have a great week everyone.
Happy Monday everyone. I’d like to share a poem I wrote a couple of years ago and plan to share with my students this week, as we begin exploring the concept of measurement. The Giant and I is a charming poem about a little boy who outsmarts a fearsome giant. It opens up a great discussion about the various ways the characters could be described (big, small, tall, short, heavy, light, wide, narrow, etc.) hence setting the stage for building the appropriate vocabulary for the unit. A follow-up activity is included, integrating concepts about size and shapes.
Click on the image of the giant to download a copy of the poem and worksheet for your personal use in the classroom.
The Giant and I by Words On A Limb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Have a great week everyone!
There is no doubt that we all lead busy lives and the daily hustle and bustle make it difficult to stay connected with the ones we love. Special times like Family Day are opportunities to re-connect and re-evaluate those important relationships in our lives. As such, I will continue to focus on friendship and family with my students throughout the month of February.
Considering that many children no longer grow up in traditional nuclear families, the need for literature that is inclusive of varying experiences is of paramount importance in the classroom. I’d like to share a poem I wrote that can be used to springboard a discussion on what constitutes a family, moving away from a pre-defined understanding of what a family should look like and embracing what makes families unique.
She brings the sky within my reach
And bakes the best of brownies.
She tells me stories of long ago
And forgets about my bedtime.
Grandma Nia is the greatest – she is my family!
He piggy-backs me to my room
And makes monsters disappear.
He plays with me even when he’s tired
And let’s me win at checkers.
My stepdad is my superhero – he is my family!
They take me places all the time
And buy me books and toys.
They care for me and teach me things
And help me with my homework.
My parents love me endlessly – they are my family!
My Family by Lora Rozler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Below is a Family Day Resource package you can download for your personal use in the classroom. It contains the poem above and other fun activities for your students. The download link is found below the samples. Enjoy!
‘My family’ Poem, ‘my family is my treasure’ interactive poem,
‘love is…’ writing template
My Family is My Treasure by Lora Rozler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Here is a fun activity I can’t wait to share with my class. Invite students to draw and colour a portrait of their family. Then have students cut the page along the faint lines to create puzzle pieces. Send the puzzle home in a zippy bag to share with families. It’s one I’m sure they’ll cherish.
‘we stick together’ Family puzzle
Students use the blank template rectangles to draw, colour and label their family members. They then cut and paste the images around their own on the family tree.
my family tree
To download this family activity pack for your personal use in the classroom,
click on the family icon below.
If you enjoy our content, please feel free to share it with your friends.
Follow us on Facebook. Thank you for your support !!