For Primary Teachers: Month 3

Week One

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

Sometimes our insides feel funny because we’re worried about something. Sometimes these things make our heads hurt or make us want to use our hiding spots. We call this stress. It’s not so fun to deal with. Today, talk about things that make kids your age feel this way.

Connecting

Connecting

We all feel stress in different ways and for different reasons. Did you have anything in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Everybody has stress, but there are things we can learn from one another that might give us new ideas on how to manage it. Today, think about ways you can work to relieve stress in your life.

Note: We’ll continue to learn about stress management in the coming weeks.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who thought of a few ways to relieve stress? Let’s share a few ideas so we can all help each other make stress a bit easier to manage.

Note: If you can, take a few extra minutes on today’s High Five Finale. Your students will benefit from some extra ideas on stress management.

tip

Prepare

Wednesday will be a fun day. Prepare what you think will work best for your classroom.

On Friday, you’ll be having a classroom discussion instead of the normal paired connecting time.

Day 2
Introduction

Introduction

Before we begin our prompt today, let’s take three deep breaths. This is a great way to feel better when we’re stressed. Let’s breathe in through our noses and make our bellies get big. It might help to put your hand on your belly so you can feel it get bigger with your breath. Let it out slowly, like a big balloon. Your tummy will get smaller as you breathe out. Let’s do it quietly 2 more times.

prompt

Prompt

Today your prompt is “One thing I look forward to for this school year is…”

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

It’s wonderful to have things to look forward to. Think about one or two other things you’re really looking forward to about school. Today, all day long, look for more ideas on what you might enjoy about school this coming year.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who has some good things to look forward to that they want to share? Who knows how to help remember these good things so we always have a pleasant thing to think about?

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Today is a fun day. Introduce your activity.

Connecting

Connecting

What did you enjoy the most about today’s fun? Why do you think laughter is so good for us?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, remember to smile. If we smile even when we don’t feel like it, our day gets a whole lot better!

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who remembered to keep smiling today? How did it go for you?

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

With your partner today, talk about a time you felt lucky or a time that something turned out pretty well for you.

Connecting

Connecting

You can talk about how your stories were similar, or you can see whether what you feel when something good happens is similar.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes we are the reason something turns out OK for others! Today think about being kind, even to people you don’t know. Notice how it makes you feel, and how it makes other people feel.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who got to be kind today? What was it like?

Day 5
prompt

Prompt

If you could be a powerful animal, what would you be? How would you live? How would you act? What would you do? What would you enjoy about it?

Connecting

Connecting

Did your stories have anything in common? Were there things in common about what you would do with your power? Did your partner bring up some things you hadn’t thought about before?

challenge

Daily Challenge

It is interesting to think of how much we have in common with animals… they have to be courageous sometimes, and strong sometimes. Many of them have to take care of their young, some of them live in family groups. Think about these amazing qualities in animals and what we as humans can learn from them.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Today, who thought of something pretty amazing that we can learn from animals?

Week Two

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

Today you can each share about someone you look up to… someone you admire. It can be someone in your family, someone at school, or somewhere else.

Connecting

Connecting

Can you identify anything that the people you spoke about had in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

For the rest of today, notice the people around you and think about the qualities you admire about them.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

What are some admirable traits in other people you thought about today?

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Today, share about someplace you’d like to go or see in the next year or two.  Talk about what makes that place of interest to you, and maybe who you would like to go with you.

Connecting

Connecting

Were there similarities about your interests?

challenge

Daily Challenge

New places are all around us every single day. Someday you might get the opportunity to travel to a place far away, but for right now think about how you can explore new things close to home. Even here at school! Maybe you could sit with someone new at lunch or greet someone new in the hallway.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

We learn a lot about ourselves and about the world when we go places that are new to us. Who discovered something new right here at school?

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Today is a fun one. Share something that was really funny that made you laugh.  It is great if it is something that happened in our class or in your family, but if you can’t think of anything that happened to you personally, what about something that was really funny in a movie or book. Before you begin to share, think about our ethic of not laughing at other people because they are different or in a way that would make them uncomfortable at all. This needs to be something that was fun for everyone.

Connecting

Connecting

What happens when people laugh together? Why is this important?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Laughter helps us feel comfortable with one another as long as it isn’t laughing AT someone, but rather laughing at something that everyone found funny. Find something you can laugh about with someone else.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who laughed today? Who wants to share something about that?

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

Courage is often doing what is right, even when it’s difficult and even if we’re scared. It might mean standing up and talking in front of the class. It might mean standing up for a friend when someone is being unkind to him or her. What is something courageous you have seen someone do at school? This could be recently, or it could go back as far as you like. Just an example of how you saw someone who had courage in action at school.

Connecting

Connecting

How were your examples similar?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Courage isn’t always easy. Today, look for ways you can practice courage. It may be sticking up for someone or standing with someone when no one else will. Or simply being with someone who is alone.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who saw courage today? Who was able to practice being courageous?

Day 5
Introduction

Introduction

Some of our prompts are going to be about what we notice about nature. Sometimes we pay so much attention to screens and devices that we don’t notice that nature is around us, gives us a home, feeds us, and gives us life!

prompt

Prompt

Describe something about nature that you like. It might be some place in nature you like to go, or a particular kind of plant or animal that you like, or some other aspect of nature that interests you.

Connecting

Connecting

For your last minute, talk about why it is important for us to be aware of nature.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes we don’t appreciate things until we lose them, so it is important for us to pay attention to the world around us. Notice nature today, and all the ways it helps us. From the water you drink to the food you eat to the sunshine that warms you, to the shade of the tree right outside, to the tiny leaves that grow on its branches, nature is working to make our lives better every single day.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who noticed something great about nature today?

Week Three

Day 1
Introduction

Introduction

Learning new things actually changes our brain; it does more than just put facts into a memory bank. And the more we learn all along, the easier it will be all through life to learn new things.

prompt

Prompt

What is something you’d like to learn in the next year or two?  It can be something that has nothing at all to do with our academic learning at school. It could be about the stars or planets or something in nature or how something works or whatever interests you.

Connecting

Connecting

What did you find most interesting about your partner’s interests?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Learning is about a whole lot more than school. People who become mountain climbers have to learn many different things to become good and to stay safe. People who do long bike races need to understand how to fix their bikes and how to train their bodies. Whatever you want to do, there is likely lots you can learn about it. Think of something you’d like to learn about over the next few weeks and tell someone about it!

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who has a great thing to learn? Who heard about something really cool to learn from a friend?

tip

Prepare

Note: Tomorrow can either end in the usual paired conversation OR the last minute could be a moment when you write all the ideas down on the chalkboard or in an email to send to parents.

Wednesday will be another fun day.

Note: At the end of this week, you will have your first Community Circle.  Consider language that is fitting for your group when you decide what to call the circles. You might call them Community Circles, Circle Time, A Circle Gathering, or whatever might work.  This link has more information about the functions of having the circles and how you might approach them. Take the latitude you need to in order for them to work well with your students.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Some of what we’ll do with our five minutes is share ideas to help one another. Today, talk about all the ideas you have for how to help yourself get to sleep at night. You can share your own ideas or those you’ve heard work for others.

Connecting

Connecting

Note: This is when you can choose to have them see what they had in common OR you can write all the ideas down on the chalkboard or in an email to send to parents.

Was there anything you had in common?

Note: This is when you can choose to have them see what they had in common OR you can write all the ideas down on the chalkboard or in an email to send to parents.

challenge

Daily Challenge

There are lots of different reasons we have difficulty sleeping sometimes. Worrying about tests, worrying about people we love, stress, and even being really excited for something to come! It is really helpful to have lots of ideas for helping ourselves get to sleep. Look over our list throughout the week and see if you have anything more to add!

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who will approach going to bed a bit differently tonight? I can’t wait to see how you all feel tomorrow!

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Today is a fun day. Introduce your activity.

Connecting

Connecting

What did you enjoy the most about today’s fun? Why do you think laughter is so good for us?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, remember to smile. If we smile even when we don’t feel like it, our day gets a whole lot better.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who remembered to keep smiling today? How did it go for you?

Day 4
Introduction

Introduction

Sometimes we’ll have topics that probably touch all of our lives, but we don’t have to talk from our own personal experience. For instance, the prompt might be “Talk about anger. What happens when people are angry? What happens when people manage their anger really well?  What does that take?” So with that example, you don’t have to talk about your own anger or anger that someone had toward you. We’re talking about it more generally.  So the concept is not to talk about the people, but to talk about the emotion or attribute itself.  We’re starting with something other than anger today.

prompt

Prompt

Talk about the importance of honesty, or of telling the truth. What can happen when people don’t tell the truth, or only tell part of the truth?

Connecting

Connecting

What did you both notice?

challenge

Daily Challenge

There are so many reasons that being truthful is important. One that matters most is that whether people trust you often rests on whether they experience you as being honest. Notice today moments when you’re very truthful, and any moments when you might want to hide the truth a little. Do they make you feel differently?

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Did anyone feel good about remembering to tell the whole truth today? I hope we all feel that all the time, because it’s a really great feeling!

Day 5
prompt

Introduction: Community Circle Day

Today is the first time we will do a circle instead of pairing up. We are going to use this Circle Time in several ways. One will be to create a greater sense of community in our class. Another is that if we have a shared dilemma, such as too many students talking during class time, or [give an example that might be true for your class], we can use circle times to quickly come up with ideas on how to solve that problem. We will also use Circle Time to learn new skills together and, most important, some circles will just be for fun. Because we just have five minutes and we have [30? How many?] students, you’ll each just have 10 seconds[or how many seconds?]to reply to the prompt, so I’ll give us all about 20 seconds to think of our response. Narrow your reply into maybe two sentences. That’s all! And anyone who wishes can just say “pass” and it will move to the next person.

prompt

Prompt

Today we’re going to focus on lunch time. You can tell the group anything you’d like in your allotted [10] seconds. You can tell us what you wish the school would serve that isn’t now on the menu. You can talk about what you’d like done so you can have more options during lunchtime. Maybe you want to talk about the noise level. Whatever you’d like in terms of what you would like to see happen differently at lunch. Let’s take just a moment to think about it and we’ll begin.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, pay attention at lunch time to see what might help that time be more enjoyable for everyone. And to even try to understand why some of the rules are in place.

Note: Make a comment of appreciation for efforts they made to stay within their timeslots or any other positive comment or compliment you can make.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Was lunchtime a bit different for you today? Did anyone learn anything new in observing lunch after our Community Circle time together?

Week Four

Day 1
Introduction

Introduction

This is one of those prompts that gives you the choice to talk about something you’ve seen, not necessarily something that happened to you. Remember, when we do these, we don’t talk about a specific person, but just what we saw happen. So we’re not talking about the person, but about what happened to someone.

prompt

Prompt

Talk about a time you saw someone’s feelings get hurt. Include your thoughts about how you think that person may have felt, perhaps talk about what you did, and what you think that person wanted others to do to help him or her in that moment.

Connecting

Connecting

What did your stories have in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

We often see someone’s feelings get hurt. What is important is what we do to help or encourage that person in the moment. When we see someone’s feelings get hurt, especially when we can see it is on purpose, we need to stand up for them in whatever way is safe – however we are able. Notice people’s feelings today and be ready to stand up for someone if you need to.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Were you paying attention to other people’s feelings today? Sometimes when we do that we notice what makes other people around us happy, too! That’s a great surprise we might not have known before.

tip

Prepare

Note: Friday will be another Community Circle Day.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Have you ever been somewhere that was really interesting to you? Today we get to share about interesting places. Depending on the type of place, you might talk about what the space was like, or the plants, or the people, or the activities that were a part of your visit.

Connecting

Connecting

What can you find in common in terms of what you both find makes a place interesting?

challenge

Daily Challenge

We understand people better when we go places outside of our normal everyday life. Travel is one of the best ways to do this, even if it isn’t too far away from where we live. More, it is going someplace out of your ordinary. Sometimes we forget that our ordinary is very different from someone else’s everyday life. Today, notice things that might make our own city / town interesting to someone who might be traveling here.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Was today a bit more interesting, just from looking at things from a new perspective? Who has something interesting to share about their day? We live in a pretty interesting place, even if it might be seem ordinary to us sometimes.

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

This one is just for fun… If you could change one school rule, what would it be and why? How would that make students happier? Even if it’s a silly rule change like bringing all our pets to school.

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common about your rule changes?

challenge

Daily Challenge

We all know that schools must have rules so we keep everybody safe and we know where everybody is all the time, but if you really had a good idea for how something could be improved, let me know! Today, notice what makes your fellow students happiest about school. And also what frustrates them. This is a good place to start when we think about improving things.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Did everyone notice what makes people happy today? Did anyone think of something we could improve around school to keep up that happiness?

Day 4
Introduction

Introduction

Note: This prompt is in preparation for the stress reduction exercises. A great place to start is by having students identify all the kinds of stressors they can identify.  At this point, we don’t want students feeling like they have to talk about their own stress from a personal place, but rather identifying all the kinds of stressors they see that people in our world experience.

Today we’re going to talk about all the ways that people in our world feel stress — things that make them worried or uncomfortable inside. This isn’t a time when you have to talk about what worries or makes you feel uncomfortable personally, but rather to help us see how many different types of situations can make people feel stress.

prompt

Prompt

During your sharing today, talk about circumstances that cause people stress. You might want to talk about people you see on the news. Certainly, most people in our lives experience stress of some sort. Remember we can talk about something we know happens in people’s lives and not name the people. You might start your sentences, “People feel stress when _____.” Or “Kinds my age feel stress when _____.”

Connecting

Connecting

What did your examples have in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

We can’t control what life throws at us, but we can control how we respond. In future days, we’re going to have some time to learn how to manage stress. It will help us for the rest of our lives! Today, just notice when you start to feel stress levels rising. Very soon we’ll learn ways to help ourselves handle stress.

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Did anyone notice when they started to feel a little stressed? Keep noticing and you’ll be able to catch it earlier and earlier. And soon we’ll learn what to do about it so we can feel better when we experience stress.

Day 5
Introduction

Introduction: Community Circle Day

Today for our circle, we’re each going to describe one thing that people do to show that they care about one another. We aren’t going to name names, but just describe what someone could do. So you might say, “Friends might help you with your homework.” Or “Friends might want to spend time with you outside of school.” Or, “Friends like to listen when you have a story to share.” Take a moment to think about one example of how friends show one another that they care.

prompt

Prompt

Share one example of how friends show one another they care.

Connecting

Connecting

Today’s connecting time can be a whole-class discussion.

Let’s hear from a few of you. What did you notice about our comments?

challenge

Daily Challenge

For the rest of today, notice when people do something supportive for someone else!

High Five Finale

High Five Finale

Who saw someone caring about someone else today? As you watched, did it make you feel better too? Our actions impact other people, and sometimes we don’t even know it. Keep caring about other people as you go home today.