For the past several years at Byng, students have been engaged in social responsiblity lessons. In 2017-2018, staff and students used the anchor text Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. Language from the text developed kindness and a sense of community as students learned to "fill each others' buckets." Staff worked collaboratively to create inclusive language ("I feel") and visuals to facilitate deep thinking when explicitly talking about "bucket-filling".
Students continue to be encouraged to use this language, and the "I feel" words, in talking about how other people's actions make them feel. Using stories, loose parts, buddy classes, sharing assemblies, and visuals around our school, students foster a deeper appreciation for kindness in our community. With the new school year, 2018-2019, we checked-in to assess how we are doing with our focus and asked ourselves What next?
It became clear that the "I feel" language developed and practiced as a school was supportive but not necessarily manageable since there were so many "I feel" options thus making it challenging for learners to weave in to their daily vocabulary. We decided a good starting place for the 2018-2019 school year, is to help students choose 2-4 "I feel" statements that mean something to them (intrinsically personalize it) with an effort to take student thinking and learning deeper by connecting the "I feel" language with the core competencies.
Our school focus is How can our students use the "I feel" language in connection with the core competencies to further develop community and a better sense of self?