Are we asking kids to sublimate their feelings to be kind?

Last school year I had a kindergarten student come to me and complain that two of the others were ignoring him, that they had told him he wasn’t their friend anymore.  I decided to do a little “digging” I spoke to both of the other boys, they told me the first child had pushed one of them down and hurt him.  This was a pattern for this child, he would push, hit, otherwise hurt a classmate then say it was an accident.  He had apologized to the boy he pushed but the two boys were mad and you know what I couldn’t blame them as the first child had done this before and wasn’t changing his behavior I’d be mad too.

It made me begin to wonder when we require kids to include all others are we doing the right thing?  Those boys had a right to feel angry and to use words to express those feelings to the first child.  Is it right for us to then tell them because he apologized they have to play with him???  Are we not providing proper feedback to the child who pushed by letting them think an apology excuses all behavior, we all know sometimes an apology just isn’t enough!  By not allowing those kids to refuse to play with this other child are we asking them to sublimate their feelings, are we telling them their feelings aren’t valid?

There has to be a middle ground here and we need to find it.


I love the $ store

I think I’d love the dollar store even if I weren’t a teacher, but as I am it’s one of my favorite places to shop. 🙂  Kiddo and I ran into Dollar Tree not long ago and I ended up picking up several things for my classroom.

First I found these collapsible “crates” I’ll be using these to store the K, 1, and 2 “mission reports” (there’s my space theme) I need to go back and get some more for organizing my books.


Then all teachers need stickers, and yes I mean all teachers, I know little ones love them and when I taught middle schoolers they loved them too, I recently saw a blog post with a HS teacher talking about how much her students like stickers or stamps on their papers.  Also some new glue stick pens I want to try.


To go with my space theme I found a few books, I have two of the second book so that I can take it apart and use just the space pages in it for my walls.


Ok the next may seem like a strange purchase but I swear it’s not.  I bought tissue paper, I plan on laminating the three sheets of silver to put on my desk to make it look more metallic as my desk will be “Mission Control” 🙂


I bought five pairs of sunglasses, that will become “Astronaut glasses” the kids can wear as a reward (Class Dojo post to follow).  I’ll be taking the lenses out and painting these silver.


Finally some stuffies that the kids can snuggle with (another CD reward) and yes even the 4th and 5th graders will want to.  The stars are from $ Tree but the shuttle isn’t, had to sneak in a pic of it though.  I found it at Build a Bear/Dino in the St.  Louis Science Center.  I love it, when the kids don’t have it at their “control station” I’ll have it at Mission Control.


There you have it one trip to the $ store, I really do love that place.  I can spend way too much even there. 🙂

Cakeway to the West day 15

Thurs of tourist week with kiddo, niece, aunt, and cousin.  Mom and other aunt joined us and off we headed to Purina Farms to see all the animals: cows, horses, rabbits, dogs, kitties, my aunt’s favorite the piggies.  We petted baby pigs, a rabbit, and some chickens strangely enough.  We enjoyed the dog show, kiddo has since been trying to get my sister’s dog who is staying with us while they go on vacay to do some agility stuff.  Hmm might be time to get him his own dog and get them enrolled in an agility class together.  The cake here was no surprise and it is adorable.

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Cakeway to the West day 14

Hubby had  a big birthday this summer, 40, so he took the day off and we took kiddo to Six Flags for the first time ever.  He’s finally tall enough to ride almost all of the rides.  We were excited to see the cake there but I was bewildered when we did because it seems to have nothing to do with it’s location.  It looks more like a cake that belongs at the zoo than the one that is at Six Flags St. Louis, which will always and forever in my head be Six Flags over MidAmerica.

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Cakeway to the West Day 12

So recently I was hanging out with my best friends for a girls’ night.  We talked a bit about the StL250 birthday cakes, I pulled up the list of cakes and discovered that there were two new installations very near to where we live.  So kiddo and I headed out to see them.  The first is at Babler State Park, we camped there just last fall, it’s a beautiful place.  The bottom of the cake lists many of the things you can do in the park the top shows them in the hiker, biker, tent, and horse with rider.

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There is another state park not far from us as well.  We have often gone walking the trail along the Meramec River, we’ve seen races there as well.  Castlewood State Park is a hidden gem in the middle of suburbia.

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End of Year survey part 4

This is it the final question:  What would make IT a better class? (NO Game Day cannot be every day 🙂 )  Game Day was something the students earned as a reward for good behavior.  This will not be the same this coming year anyway as I’m planning on using Class Dojo for classroom management.  Each child will be earning points towards rewards, I may include some total class point rewards like Game Day or it may be that the number of points earned by the pre-scheduled Game Day will denote how many minutes students get to play that I’m still working out.  Some of these answers were the most fun to read, and the biggest headshakers combined with a laugh that I got on the survey

First grade answers –

  • game day every week (1) yes because only one instructional class a week is going to work, nice try kiddos lol
  • the movies (1)
  • more Clicky (3)
  • learn more technology (1)
  • do more technology in the first month the first month was filled with the required internet safety lessons, they may need to be stretched out more
  • videos on the SMART board every two weeks
  • more internet safety (2)
  • learning where every letter is on the keyboard (4) glad they said this because that’s the primary focus for second grade
  • vote on game day to see what to do
  • game day twice a month
  • typing (2)
  • more games (5)
  • if we get to do whatever we want
  • game day every day (3) yeah…no, nice try though kiddos
  • type a lot of stories
  • quieter room
  • have a little bit more videos
  • play fun games
  • make golden keyboard shorter
  • be a better listener (4) hmmm some of us apparently don’t like that our classmates don’t listen, and in first grade already wow
  • more typing games (2)
  • make teaching a little fun
  • draw pictures
  • do whatever we want
  • learn to type a long word in 3 seconds
  • go on computer every day (2)
  • Just Dance every day
  • more computer time
  • note day (2)
  • being here on IT days we have a gifted and talented program in the district these kids go to another building one day a week, I’d imagine this comment was from one of those kiddos
  • fun
  • learning better
  • making a book on how to fix a computer I really like this idea

Second Grade answers –

  • make reptile books
  • if we’re good whole time earn 5 min game time to use or save if we had more than 30 min classes this would be great
  • type whatever you want (2)
  • no game day ever 🙂
  • cool decorations well I’m working on that
  • type more stories
  • changing seats everyday maybe second semester
  • more binary
  • play a typing game
  • how to type
  • IT every day (3) sorry kiddos I don’t control that
  • everyone would be quiet (3)
  • game day more often (6)
  • having a prize when you do something good  here’s where Class Dojo will come in
  • more games for game day
  • watch movies (3)
  • no golden keyboard
  • when we all listen
  • make power points with partner
  • got to color a lot
  • doing jumping jacks
  • be able to go on new websites
  • games every day
  • different kinds of game days
  • game day once a week
  • be good to Mrs. Davis (2)
  • coloring day
  • learn about curves
  • more class movement
  • how to talk Spanish
  • more Professor G
  • let us play Minecraft
  • you tube events
  • more fun (2)
  • Power Point
  • more Dance Mat typing (2)
  • more Clicky
  • more typing (2)
  • every day something fun
  • no writing
  • learn everything about a computer
  • MS Word every day
  • type to each other  this could be a cute idea

Fourth Grade answers –

  • more activities
  • music
  • more Power Points (7) seriously this class has a thing for Power Point, it seems to be their favorite software
  • work together more
  • use MS Word more
  • start typing club at the beginning of the year (2) I do plan on doing this, making typing practice a daily thing 5-10 min
  • sit by anybody hmmm maybe as a reward but otherwise we get silly and don’t get work done, that’s how we ended up with a seating chart to begin with

Fifth grade answers –

  • more game days
  • blog
  • take laptops out to outdoor classroom I like this idea if we’re sure the laptops have a good charge, will have to make sure we know how to safely carry them first though
  • interacting and playing games not on computer ex: sitting in circles
  • code every day maybe for a unit but not every day too much else to learn 
  • bring electronics
  • more kids in class
  • happy posters on the wall (motivational posters)
  • type once a week
  • do different things every week
  • nothing it’s perfect lol love these kiddos
  • less typing
  • treats

Some good ideas here for me to consider as I plan the year.  I may have to do a beginning of the year survey as well to see what the kids think now, at least for my incoming fourth graders as it’s been a year since they’ve had IT.