This week I have been thinking A LOT about how I am going to begin the school year. I still have been unable to get into my classroom, so I have been putting my efforts into curriculum. One area that I feel is so valuable is setting the foundation for respect in the classroom. When my kinders come to school for the first time, everything is new and exciting for them, but it can also be overwhelming. Even though many of them come from a preschool or daycare setting, coming into a BIG school for the first time with new faces and places can be a bit scary. Teaching kids respect for each other, their classroom, and the school creates an environment of trust and kindness.
In our school, we are required to teach a character trait each month. Because I teach in a Catholic School, we call these traits "virtues." Our kinder team has fuddled around trying to come up with meaningful ways to get little ones to understand the virtues and make them real, but we just haven't found anything that has worked for us. So, I decided to create a resource that we could base our lessons upon that would be something that little kids would understand. It is my hope to create a character trait packet once a month. In the summer, this sounds doable, but once school starts (gulp), we shall see!
So...... the RESPECT packet that I just finished is written in a repetitive text style. The word RESPECT or RESPECTFUL is highlighted on every page. Because little ones come to school not always knowing daily schedule expectations, I have broken a common early education day into parts. For example, the first page says "We can read respectfully." This is a simple sentence that carries BIG meaning. This is a great opportunity to discuss classroom expectations for reading i.e. buddy reading, finding and putting away books, care and handling of books.
I wrote this resource as an introduction to the concept of respect. It was not written as a unit; rather a discussion starter for a concept that is revisited many times throughout the school year. The book, poster, and large letters spelling respect can be brought out and discussed often.
Many of my resources include real life photographs of the concept being taught. But finding exact real life clip art of real kids is almost impossible. So, this particular resource is full of wonderful clip art from some really amazing clip artists! I also included a fun, beginning of school craft that is easy for little ones to complete.
Because of copyright, I could not include our "David" craft in my resource. But I can share it with you here. I love discussing David because he is the OPPOSITE of respectful and he causes little ones to giggle. The BEST part about this story, though, is the fact that despite David's bad choices, his mother tells him at the end that she loves him. What a wonderful time to discuss forgiveness! If you would like the background sheet for the David project, click HERE. The "David" project is a bit more advanced than the project above!
Until next time!!