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About Me

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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Phonics Games

Phonics Games
Phonics Games
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

Kindness Matters

Kindness can be characterized by a concern towards others and a pleasant disposition.  It seems simple and yet we are witnesses in a broken world full of self absorbed, hurtful  people in the midst of the "rest" of us. It is up to US to make a difference in the LIVES of our CHILDREN!

What then, my friends, can we do to make a difference?  Look around and listen... I mean really listen to conversations, social media posts and yes, even to our youngest students as they play.  Then ask yourself, "What can I do to promote kindness in my classroom and in my school?"

First and foremost, we NEED to make connections with our students and we need to provide opportunities for them to make connections with each other. From the minute they walk into the door this needs to happen.

Greetings are a great way to connect with your students.  It can be a simple "Good Morning", a high five or a fun handshake.  My students LOVE that they have a choice how they want to be greeted!  If I get busy in the morning, my students will come and greet me!  It is something they look forward to and NEED.  They know I am there for them.

I make connections when I put their blanket on each one of them at nap time. Yes, they could put it up themselves, but it lets them know I care.

I encourage connections with my students during story time, centers, recess and any other time the opportunity arises.  We sing greeting songs that use their names, incorporate "Turn and Talk" for the students to engage with a partner, and plan class games during recess all while building relationships.

Children role play all the time.  This is a great way to have students take a active role in providing examples and non-examples.  We use this strategy a LOT at the beginning of the year when introducing class and school rules.   It is a powerful strategy to use to help children work through problem solving strategies throughout the year.

In pre-k, I love to hang out in the dramatic play center with them as role playing is an everyday occurrence.  This provides the opportunity to role play WITH them.  Its a win-win!

Children NEED problem solving strategies and sometimes just KIND words that do not always come natural to them.  Perhaps someone pushes in line.  Instead of yelling to the teacher, "HE PUSHED ME" in their loudest voice, we MODEL ways to problem solve.  "I feel _____ when you ____." and then offer a solution.  " If you _____, then I ______."   For example, I feel SAD, when you PUSH ME.  If you BACK UP, then I will have my space." We use this frame for a visual reminder to help us identify the problem and to offer a solution.

We also model manners throughout the day.  It is more than please and thank you.  It is also learning how to compliment our classmates, even when they may not be our best friend.  We need to model these conversations so they will become hopefully become part of our students conversations.

There are amazing children's books that provide storylines about showing kindness, having good manners, emotions and about making a difference. I am including some of my favorite books below and have attached Amazon links for you as sometimes it is difficult to find the book you are looking for.  (These are affiliate links.)

The Feeling Book by Todd Parr is hands down one of our favorites.  
His colorful illustrations and simple text is perfect for my pre-kindergarteners.

So many children come do not know how to express that they feel.
Anger is a normal, healthy emotion that often comes out in tantrums with little ones.  
They can certainly relate to Sophie in When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry
and it can lead to great discussions in class.

Our children want to have friends and get along.  This book, Talk and Work it Out  is amazing as it showcases situations our students can relate to.There is a whole series of these books called, Learning to Get Along.

There are so many great books to choose from on this topic.  Be sure to check out your local library and book store too!

Children notice everything! Let's work hard at being the role model they deserve.  That includes leaving our personal lives at home, being PRESENT in the classroom ALL DAY and making an effort to show KINDNESS to students, teachers and staff at the school. 

After nap one day, one of my students said, "Here comes the trash man." as the custodian was unlocking the door to come into our room at the end of the day. After he left, we talked about how his job title is "custodian" and he is so important at the school.  He keeps our classroom nice and clean and without him, we would be sitting in a room full of trash unable to learn or play.  It hit home for them.  So next week, I have a little gift for our custodian and I am encouraging my kids to draw a picture or finish the sentence, I am thankful for you because _______"  to show him how thankful we are for him.
In the spirit of spreading kindness, I am sharing these KINDNESS MATTERS printables as my gift to you! Just head on over to my TpT store and you can grab these for FREE!

You can also pin this post so you for easy reference!

Mrs. Wathen
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