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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I'm in Charge of Me!

A few weeks ago my colleague, Carolyn Kelley ran a lunch bunch with some of her lower elementary school students that was great, so I wanted to share it with you! While the children ate she read, The Way I Feel by Janan Cain.   This is a lovely book with fun illustrations that introduce children to the array of feelings that can be a part of any day. Feelings are a normal part of life for children as well as adults, and the more we teach our children about emotions, the better they can understand how they are feeling.  She had the boys quickly name 5 feelings – they were able to use posters around the room to help if need be…it was interesting to hear the feelings that came out first!

We always tell children that ALL FEELINGS ARE OK.  It is what you DO with them that matters.  She want them to understand that they are in charge of their feelings and can “make a plan” to flip those negative feelings into positive and find solutions to unhappy situations.  First, we have to identify and acknowledge how we are feeling and then, if it is a “negative/unhappy” feeling or situation, we need to have some strategies to help us calm down, feel better and move on.

They briefly reviewed how to “Make a Plan” to move on from a negative situation/thought and then, played a game called Upside Down Frown from Power Play, by Kathy Cooper and Marianne Vandawalker.  The children were placed into two teams.  One team acted out a negative/unhappy situation and the other team was challenged to come up with a positive solution by changing the unhappy mood to a happy one.  If their solution was deemed a “success”, they won the upside down frown and points.  The kids had fun video taping their role plays and the game was a hit!

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