Last week, my students were introduced to character traits from my Being Awesome pack. We just read through the posters and talked about connections they had to those character traits. It was a very powerful lesson as I learned a lot about what they already knew about those traits. Interestingly, I found the students that connected the most to those traits were not always the ones that actually practiced those traits. Later, we will do some writing about those traits. I used that lesson as a spring board for introducing my new center to them called My Happy Place. I would like students to be in control of their own emotions and be able to recognize when their senses are off or when they are just right.
I decided to use animals with my 2nd and 3rd graders because most kids love animals and can relate to animals. After some lessons on what it feels like to be "too fast" or "too slow", students get to understand what it feels like to be "just right".
Here is a little printable that you can use to teach this concept. You can use it as a starting place where students do their own writing (that way you can see who has experienced being too fast, too slow, or just right) and then join as a class to discuss or further brainstorm. Or, you can just do it together as a class.
Many students are just right already and can use the time to set and write some learning goals because they are already in the right state for learning.
When children see and feel how great it is to be well rested and in a calm state, they will be proud to feel like a "cool cat". But it's not as easy for some and that is why I created a space for students to go when they feel they need to slow down or speed up.
My Happy Place has brain breaks for students to use depending on how they are feeling. There are options to help them regulate their own body and mind needs. I have included an editable page for those of you that would like to create your own brain breaks that are more relevant to your class's needs.
Part of being self-aware is being able to practice compassion and be kind to others. That is why I also included a section on giving and receiving kindness. I use the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? as a starting point as well as many others on kindness and compassion. (These books are available at Amazon.) Students can use this center to write little notes of kindness to each other or write about something that is making them sad that others can help with. I like this center because students aren't just relying on others to help them feel better. This helps them realize that they are a big part of how they are feeling and how they can choose a different reaction to things.
If you are interested in looking at this set for your primary learners further, you can see it by clicking on the preview picture below. Have a great Sunday everyone!
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