spreading kindness and an old friend

It is hard to articulate how much fun it has been introducing Wings to students and teachers. I could see teachers smile as we talked about how Wings could help spread kindness each and every day. I have to say once again how great it has been to end our program with a Thinkable :-)

Now for my old friend. I did the lesson solo today because Ginny was out sick. I asked the teacher to think of a student that had a great week/day, etc to help me do the book reading. The teacher thought for a second then named an old friend of mine. This student was on my caseload in my former life as a behavior specialist 4 years ago. I advocated for him more than most of the students on my caseload. I was not always popular with my recommendations for him, but in the end I think he got the services he needed. I was super proud to have him stand next to me today and help me do the book reading. Today reinforced that saying “everything happens for a reason.” My professional life came full circle today :-)


final home challenge and some surprise thank yous

The final home challenge is for children to be like Wings and spread kindness around. Specifically, students are asked to say or do something kind, write it under Wings and color her in. We are putting up all that are returned. Check out what one of the bulletin boards looks like after just a few classes had the lesson. Makes me happy just to walk by 🙂


The surprise thank yous came from the Learning Lemon Drops, a 1st grade classroom. Each student wrote us a thank you note during writer’s workshop this morning. I cannot think of anything nicer!


This one was my favorite 🙂


Final Classroom Challenge

The final class challenge that Ginny and I came up with is really neat, if I do say so myself :-).

We wanted to create a way for students to review the Unthinkables they learned about this year and strategies they have learned to defeat them. This is what we came up with.

We are asking teachers to have students complete the class challenge as a class activity. The first graders will most likely need more help than the 3rd graders. I am excited to see what kinds of responses we get.

Completing this final challenge results in a ticket to the Superflex Celebration that Ginny and I will host for all the classes. It should be a fun way to end this amazing school year.


Don’t Slam the Door book reading


We are using the book Don’t Slam the Door to show how one action can lead to many, many more. The dog slamming the door wakes the cat, gets yarn knitted in knots, Pa has lumpy socks and bumps into the honey hive, etc etc.

As I am reading the book, Ginny pulls out pictures of the problems from a box. After reading, we put all the problems back in the box to show what would not have happened if only the dog had not slammed the door. It is a really neat way to visually show how one action can lead to so much more, just like the Butterfly Effect.


Wings: A Thinkable

It is hard to believe that next week will be our last lesson. Ginny and I have learned so much during our pilot program and have had a blast teaching students to be “Thinking About Others” kids. I really cannot imagine doing anything more rewarding.
Lesson 12 is about a Thinkable Named Wings. We are using the book Don’t Slam the Door by, Dori Chaconas to introduce the scientifictheory called “The Butterfly Effect.” Scientists say that when a butterfly flaps her wings, small changesoccur in the air around the butterfly that lead to other changes in the air that eventually become part ofsomething much bigger, such as a hurricane.  This is called the Butterfly Effect.
Wings is a part of the Superflex Team. She doesn’t use her wings tostart hurricanes. Instead, she uses her wings to make kindness grow. Wings wants“Thinking About Others” kids to think of something kind to do or say each and everyday. Pretty soon, everyone around you will notice what you did and dosomething kind to someone else. Then before you know it, the Butterfly Effect isspreading kindness all around!
I love the idea of ending our lessons with a Thinkable. It really speaks to what our program is all about.
More next week about the final class challenge, a possible student performance and parent information meeting. Good things continue to happen in the world of Teach Social First!


Pout Pout Fish book reading

Ginny has laryngitis, so I had to fly solo today. While I was trying to figure out how to do the book reading alone, I came up with a great idea…have a student help me! I needed someone to be the bright and brilliant swimmer that turns me into the Kiss Kiss Fish.

One of our lessons was in my daughter’s class today. She has seen me do lunch bunches with students from her class and has been such a trooper about not being able to come along. Having her help me with a lesson was a great way to give her a special job and recognize the fact that she is regularly a “Thinking About Others” kid.

So, here is the book reading of The Pout Pout Fish with my special assistant 🙂


the Pout Pout Fish and changing those feelings around!

Check out my prop for the Pout Pout Fish book reading.

Thank goodness it is close to Easter. I modified some bunny ears to make Pout Pout Fish on one side, and guess who on the other side? The Kiss Kiss Fish 🙂 The book reading has been a little tricky because I spread the “dreary wearies” throughout the book. I figured out during the first lesson that if I went beyond the first desks to spread the dreary wearies that students could see the Kiss Kiss Fish on the other side of my bunny ears. So, I started working my way around the perimeter of the classroom as I spread the dreary wearies. Again, lesson learned from our pilot program.

There is only one lesson on Wednesdays, but today’s lesson was super meaningful. As I started talking about feelings (we all have them, we cannot change them, but we can control our reactions to our feelings) the teacher and teacher assistant started to chuckle. Because I know this teacher well, I stopped and asked if she would share why she was chuckling. Apparently some students and the teachers needed to change some feelings around today. The teacher had a headache before school that lasted during the day, the assistant had to leave mid-morning for a dr appt, and some students were just “off” today. I think this is probably related to the fact that Spring Break starts on Friday…spring fever, the need to be outside/away from school, etc. But, it was a great “in the moment” way to talk about how to change those feelings around. I felt super great when I left the classroom, and the teacher said to me “wow, we really needed this lesson today.” I cannot think of any better affirmation of our program.


Grump Grumpaniny and Worry Wall

Lesson 11 focuses on feelings, specifically what to do when you feel grumpy or worry about something. The 2 Unthinkables that want to make bad feelings stick around are Grump Grumpaniny and Worry Wall.

Superflex always has strategies, and here is what he has to say about good and bad feelings.

We talk about bad feelings being like a cold…they can be contagious!

A student in one of the 3rd grade classrooms said that Worry Wall was really messing with him right now. When we asked if he wanted to share what made him worry, he said the EOGs. He was worried that he would not pass, what happens if he misses more than one question, would his teacher be upset if he did not do well, etc. Before we talked about ways he could defeat Worry Wall, I asked if other students were also worried about the EOGs. Almost all the students in the class raised their hands which really made me sad. 8-9 yr olds should not be worrying about standardized tests. But, this blog is not the place for my personal feelings on EOGs, so I will move on.

One student said she was worried that everyone would know her grade on the test. I used this as an opportunity for the students to be good social detectives and check what they know about their teacher. Is she the kind of teacher that would call out names of students that did not pass….of course not!

We also talked about the importance of telling someone if you are worried about something. Why is this important? If you do not tell someone what you are worried about, that worry can get bigger and bigger.

Our book reading focused more on Grump Grumpaniny. We are reading the book The Pout Pout Fish by, Deborah Diesen. I have the honor and pleasure of being the Pout Pout Fish. More about that in tomorrow’s post.