Monday, May 11, 2015

May Songs And Poems

Hello Families!

I am reeling that the year is almost over!  We will have these songs and poems for three weeks and then the June ones for three weeks so that they each have the same amount of time.  (Two weeks for June is harder to learn songs and poems!)

I wanted to write a bit on my choice to include the Genesis song, "That's All".  Some poeple may at first think it is an adult song, but we do have students at this age who are already experiencing how friendship can be hard sometimes.  I wanted the students to know that these feelings of frustration and confusion (of other's behavior and their own) are normal and okay.  I wanted to open the dialogue and to remind them that it is important to talk about our relationships with others and to begin that dialogue with your family.  I also wanted the kids who have strong relationships with friends to see that someone like Phil Collins even felt that this was worth writing a song about!

This communication and dialogue can open up the flow for honoring feelings, deciphering what is going on and the choices we each make with others, and to begin deciding on how to do something about the relationsships that may not always seem to go as we wish.  I hope the kids can realize that not everything is perfect in life and that is totally okay, too.  I think the title says it all- "That's all"- nothing more, nothing less, that is just all there is to it right now, at this moment.  It's not the end of the world, but it's not totally great and could use some improvement- that's all. (At least that's my interpretation of the title!  ;)

Already, the song has stemed some great discussion in class.  When I asked the kids why they thought that I picked this one, Owen said that it goes with the self evaluation.  This is another tool I created recently to help students who were chosing unkind words or interactions with peers, and then feeling badly and not knowing how to repair, speak up or be honest about their own decisions.  This tool has helped many students after they have less than successful interactions with friends- to reflect and be honest with their journey and to hopefully begin to learn more about themselves.  This has already reminded us that our decisions and behavior and words are things we will constantly be learning to change or edit!  (Here's what part of the self assessment looks like...)

I used kind words

I used a kind tone

I said what I meant (instead of using strong comments like “I hate that” and “you’re not my friend”)

I was honest

I listened and respected other people’s needs

I spoke up kindly if I needed to disagree

I went along with another person’s play idea

I encouraged or complemented my friend

Thoughts after the play, or what I said was _________ and what I meant was ________.

I hope you understand the reason behind this song (not just that it is fun to sing and catchy- which it is!).  :)  I chose the grey poem to go with this discussion, too.

I chose the rest of the songs and poems because they are more of a narrative feel, which is another style of poetry for the students to realize they could try out!  What small story or memory might you make into a poem?

Have a beautiful day!  Love, Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. Katarina and I were able to have a great discussion around this topic and she was able to share some of her feelings by using the assessment. Thank you for supporting their learning of friendships and themselves!