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How exciting to hear from my own friends and colleagues at my school when they find success and JOY after trying out some of my SEAL ideas!  This happened just about a week ago when, after watching the Facebook Live focusing on Friendly Friday, my friend, Julie Kermelewicz tried her first Friendly Friday. 

Her email just made my day!  So, of course I asked her to write a little article so that YOU could hear about what she did in her classroom.  I hope her story inspires you to do the same!  ~EMP

I have been following Elizabeth Peterson’s Inspired Classroom for some time and am extremely fortunate to work in the same building as her. I am inspired by her creativity on a regular basis. After watching Elizabeth’s latest Facebook Live post about Friendly Fridays, I made time to introduce and execute an activity she featured.

I had been wanting to do something with my students that focused on kindness as my students were in desperate need of kindness from each other. I introduced Friendly Friday with my class this past Friday during our writing and literacy block.  I set the stage by writing Friendly Friday on our daily schedule and said they had to wait to learn what we were doing. The students were so curious most of the morning and were eager for me to get started on the lesson.

I explained that we were going to be doing acts of kindness for each other every Friday and today we would begin by writing each other letters.

We read a book, Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller and brainstormed complimentary words.

Next, students secretly chose popsicle sticks with a classmate’s name.

Then I handed them notecard-sized paper and gave instructions to write their friend a friendly letter.

You could have heard a pin drop while these kids were writing letters of kindness to their friends! Each child was so focused and intent on creating a work of art as well as writing a kind note.  

Their notes of kindness warmed my heart and was just what I and the kids needed that day.

At the end of the day, I passed out the cards and gave the students time to read them. I was so touched by their expressions of gratitude and was warmed by their kind words to each other as they complimented a drawing or just thanked their friend. We agreed as a class that this is an activity worth continuing this year.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for this wonderful idea and for helping me end my Friday on a warm and fuzzy note.

~ Julie Kermelewicz

Isn’t that exciting?  I just love stories from teachers who say the SEAL activity or arts integrated lesson is “just what they needed.”  After all, when we provide activities that we can enjoy with our students, we are building those relationships and becoming better teachers – SEAL Teachers!

Resources

If you are interested in learning more about What it Means to be a SEAL Teacher, head over to this article.  I even have the option to listen to this article!  WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SEAL TEACHER

Interested in watching the FB Live Julie did?  Here’s the link to the video: FBlive003 Friendly Friday

I host a Facebook Live every first Thursday of the month.  Go to www.facebook.com/theinspiredclassroom to see what the next one is all about!

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