First, we read Todd Parr's The Peace Book and wrote in our writing journals about what peace means to us.
I also write in a journal while the students write. One of the ways I bring peace and calmness to my classroom is by doing mindful breathing. We take time to stop, listen, breath, and smile. It is amazing how this can settle a busy classroom in just a few short minutes. My journal entry is about the 4x4 breathing activity that our principal has us do during morning announcements. I also drew a picture in the style of Todd Parr.
Next, our counselor visited and read How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer.
The students spent time writing notes on paper "drops" to their friends, teachers, and staff. It is so fun to see their faces light up when they receive a drop. It is also nice to see how excited they are about giving the drops with kind words and encouragement. I have set up a basket and a stack of drops in a central location in my room and have designated our morning settling-in time as the time they write and deliver drops. I am planning to keep this a positive, ongoing activity in my classroom.
We have taped baggies to our desks for easy delivery and storage of our drops!