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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eyes, Hearts and Hands

          Before snack each day, my students say the following grace: May we have eyes that see (point to eyes), hearts that love (put both hands over heart) and hands that are ready to help (hold hands out, palms up).  We then all hold hands and "in our own brains" think about something we are thankful for.  This moment of silence lasts pretty long - between 15-30 seconds.   I end the moment of silence by saying "please give a gentle squeeze and enjoy your snack."  I absolutely love the grace and the moment of silence.  This year was really funny because as soon as we did the "gentle squeeze" all of the kids would blurt out what they were thankful for...mommy, family, friends (by name often), the whole universe, school, toys...it was a really thankful group :)
         When I taught kindergarten in a public school, we always started our day by doing the Pledge of Allegiance in sign language. I used the version that I learned from Dr. Jean.  I describe the motions here. I found that the kids really understood the words when we added the sign language.  In fact, when I brought out a balance scale for math one day, one of my little ones piped up..."that's just like justice." After the pledge we went right into our Kindergarten Pledge: "May we have eyes that see, hearts that love and hands that are ready to help." (sound familiar?) I'm not sure if it was appropriate for a public school but the school pledge that the older kids did (and that we could never hear in our classroom because the nearby loud speakers didn't work) was really long and not age-appropriate. The simple words and motions meant much more to my little ones (and summarize quite nicely what is most important).

3 comments:

  1. This is soooo sweet!! I want to make it a first grade pledge, too. Would that be okay with you?
    Now, I am going to go check out Dr. Jean's sign language Pledge. Thanks for sharing, Lyn!!
    Connie:)
    www.welcometofirstgraderoom5.blogspot.com

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  2. I would totally do that "pledge" in my classroom. Thanks!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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